Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel. — Daniel 1:9
Daniel had been forcefully removed from his family and more than likely saw his family killed by the Babylonians.
Where was God?
In just about every conversation I’ve had with a person who says they do not believe in God, it all comes down to this predicament: Evil exists, therefore, there cannot be a God . . . Any god worth his salt simply wouldn’t allow bad stuff to happen, especially bad stuff to them. Honestly, when bad stuff happens to me, I tend to have the reflex reaction of wondering where God is.
In Daniel chapter 1, God certainly could have kept Daniel’s family together. For that matter, He could have kept Daniel’s entire country together. Instead, after refusing to obey despite repeated warnings, Babylon took over Israel. It was complete defeat. The best of everything they had was plundered while the rest was completely and utterly destroyed.
Once again, Where was God?
Verse 9 tells us that God was giving the chief of staff respect and affection for Daniel. You see, we don’t realize just how big of a deal this was. If any other ungrateful exile had complained about the king’s food and drink, they would have been executed on the spot. Even the chief of staff was afraid of stepping the least bit out of line because he knew that it didn’t take much for the king to remove a head. It was clear that Daniel valued and loved God more than he loved and valued his own life.
I have to ask myself, do I?
The truth is that this year has brought a lot of trials. At times, I feel like the weight of the world is on me. Repeatedly, I “come unto Him” and He gives me rest. Then, somehow, I pick every single one of those burdens right back up as my day progresses. Could God just magically keep me stress free? Of course He could. However, if He did that I wouldn’t get to see Him unmistakably work on my behalf. I would do like I always do and take my ease for granted which would turn into me taking Him and His provision for granted. Daniel went on to see great and mighty things. He saw God protect from fire. He saw God close the mouths of lions in the lion’s den. He easily read and interpreted writing from the mighty hand of God Himself.
I believe He is preparing me for the same, or at least similar. If I can just figure out how to take my eyes off of my circumstances and focus on Him, He will do for me what He did for Daniel. If I choose to live for Him and refuse to defile myself with the things of this world, I will find favor with the right people. Best of all . . .
I will see His mighty hand do great and mighty things in my life as well as the lives of others.