Throughout time, amazingly, in some ways people never change. With the sophistication of our achievements, technology, and advancements, we, as a society, convince ourselves that "we are really different from people in the past." In basic ways, we are not. We allowed the glitter of our external advancements to blind and deceive us. No matter how much life changes externally, people who place their trust in humanity remain amazingly the same. And they always suffer the same disillusionment.

Hundreds of years ago a young man named Daniel witnessed the unthinkable. The city of God containing the temple of God collapsed. Its government failed, and its most prestigious people were forced to move several hundred miles to Babylon. That entire situation must have been quite a shock. Previously, important people including influential religious people [supposedly close to God] declared nothing bad could happen. Anyone declaring the contrary was using scare tactics.

I do not know what Daniel planned for his adult life in Jerusalem, or what he thought his Jerusalem future held. I am confident his aspirations included none of his actual adult experiences. Rather than becoming an important hometown man who moved among Jerusalem's elite, he was forced to move to Babylon to become servant to the king.

Incredibly, Daniel experienced a significant life of great influence in Babylon. In time, King Nebuchadnezzar placed great trust in Daniel's insights and wisdom. The king often relied on Daniel more than anyone else.

From the beginning, Daniel never took credit for his wisdom and understanding. From the beginning, Daniel made it clear that God was the source of his understanding. God was to be glorified, not Daniel. "Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for all wisdom and power belong to Him... It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; who knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells in Him" (Daniel 2:20,22).

Daniel experienced some severe trials. He survived hatred and jealousy. Why? His faith was in God, not himself. His faith was in God, not human strength. His faith was in God, not a world empire's might. Daniel's faith in God was always the basis of his decisions and actions.

Each of us attempts to determine the meaning of the current events. We are assured everything will be all right, but we wonder. May our lives and our values reflect Christ's light. May we be lights in darkness. May we be the assurance that things can be all right. Because we are America? No. Because of our great military might? No. Because of our economic strength? No. Because of our position as leader of the free world? No. Because of our reputation as the defender of freedom? No. Because of our incredible technology? No.

Then why? Because Jesus is the Christ. Whatever happens, it will be all right.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 30 September 2001

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