The following is an excerpt from “Do Not Grow Weary in Prayer and Fasting,” written faithfully each week for nearly 10 years by Jerry Hale, Spiritual Emphasis Committee Chair for the Growing and Building Campaign.
We have been studying Daniel in our high school Bible study this semester after working on Joshua in the fall. I enjoy exposing these young men to great leaders in the Bible who made faith an integral part of their lives. Leadership and spiritual lessons abound as we study their life stories. God’s role in Daniel’s life is most amazing. Like many of us Daniel went through a rigorous leadership-training program as a young man and then went on to serve the king for many years.
At some point he either retired or just fell out of favor with a new king. It may have seemed to some that Daniel’s best years were behind him. Yet God wasn’t through with him and brought him back into a leadership role in his later years. Daniel 5 tells the story of “The Writing on the Wall,” where Daniel, now over 60 years old, is promoted by King Belshazzar on the very night Darius the Mede took over the Kingdom.
Amazingly, God restored Daniel to a position of leadership that transcended the change in Babylonian leadership at the very moment it occurred. I am impressed that the older Daniel was not interested in material rewards:
Then Daniel answered the king, “You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means.” Daniel 5:17
Not only that, but he lived out his faith openly among his pagan counterparts who became jealous of his success and favor of the king. We know that God honored Daniel’s faith and miraculously saved him from the mouths of the lions. We all know the rest of the story:
Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language throughout the land:
“May you prosper greatly!
“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.
“For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”
So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
So, to all you former young Daniels, God continues to work in your lives to carry out his purposes as he did for the older Daniel in ancient Babylon. I don’t know what he has in store for each of us, but certainly your perseverance on the OCF Growing and Building Campaign indicates one important responsibility.