The desire for favor is inevitable. It’s human nature to long for approval, recognition and support. As Christians though, we seek a higher favor than you and I are capable of giving one another. We fall on our knees before the mighty feet of a King, hoping He’ll show us compassion.
As Daniel entered into unfamiliar territory under the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, he would need the Lord’s favor. Chosen to serve in the king’s court, Daniel was appointed a new name. Daniel, a name meaning, “God is my judge” would become known as Belteshazzar, “protect the king of Babylon.” Although Daniel would be seen differently in the eyes of the king, he knew he bowed down to another.
Daniel’s faith in God was tested in the court from the get-go. While one king offered lavish food and wine, another offered favor and compassion in return for obedience.
“But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.” Daniel 1:8
The moment Daniel rejected the food of King Nebuchadnezzar, the God of the universe extended favoritism to Daniel and his friends. After requesting a diet of vegetables and water, they had 10 days to prove the legitimacy of this unheard of meal plan.
“At the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king’s choice food. So the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables.” Daniel 1:15-16
Did the Lord’s favor fall upon them? You bet it did! Verse 17 goes on to say, “God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.” This act of faith set Daniel up for his next big move and ultimately saved his life.
King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, one that troubled him a great deal. His magicians, conjurers and sorcerers couldn’t interpret it, so he commanded all wise men of Babylon to be killed. Yep, that included Daniel. But when given the chance, Daniel raised his voice and spoke out. He requested the king to give him more time to interpret his dream. When granted his request, he runs to God to ask for compassion and clarity. Faithful to show up, God gives Daniel the true meaning of the king’s dream. Daniel erupts in praise:
“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; he gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for You have given me wisdom and power; even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, for You have made known to us the king’s matter.” Daniel 2:20-23
Daniel didn’t take credit for his newfound knowledge but gave God the glory. He makes it very clear to King Nebuchadnezzar just where he gathered the interpretation from. It’s amazing how outspoken Daniel was about his beliefs and his King. He was courageous and bold enough to serve one king while whole-heartedly following another. His loyalty and fearlessness placed him into the Hand of compassion.
“Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and did homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present to him an offering and fragrant incense… Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.” Daniel 2:46, 48
Daniel received the favor of King Nebuchadnezzar because he was first placed under the all-knowing favor of God. God didn’t just bless Daniel in his spiritual life but He gave him what he needed to succeed within the king’s court.
What court do you serve in? It might be your job, your family or the passions that fuel you. Those things that hold an immense importance to you, God wants to honor. He takes interest in the things that bring you joy, He wants to give you favor in the workplace and bless your family, He loves watching you pursue your dreams and supports you in accomplishing them.
Daniel remained true to his faith while the world stood against him. He had every reason to give into temptations of the flesh but he took priority in the eternal. If you do the same, the Lord will bless you with incredible favor in every area of life. The same God that led Daniel into the favor of the king is the same God that will see you’re taken care of.
So take heart my girls, your faith journey is your personal narrative. It’s what you make of it. You can be as close or as far from God as you want to be but the closer you are, the more you’ll sense His leadings within the courts you serve. Reach up and take hold of His hand of unconditional compassion.
Featured image by Nicole Mason06