Commentary: Daniel1-3. It is good for us to study the lives of the prophets because many things will be revealed to us through their various experiences. As we discussed in our last reading, the book of Ezekiel, there is difference between a priest and a prophet/Apostle. A priest will definitely have a mentor to teach and lead him. The priest teaches the law and feeds the flock, but the prophet has the reality of what is in God’s presence in real-time. The prophet might have a mentor to guide in moral upbringing but not in interaction with God. The Elders uses experience to advice.
Ezekiel 7:26 “Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients.”
As for the prophet, it is possible to have a predecessor, but not necessary; he is under direct supervision of God. However, he could be advised by another person on particular issues, the mentorship is of the Lord. A priest could be trained to be a priest but to be a prophet is absolutely of the Lord and God does not need the approval of any person to call or ordain as a prophet. Elijah received instruction from God concerning Elisha, Moses also received concerning Joshua. God takes the prophet through His own school to teach him specific things and this is why their lives are misunderstood by people. They could act as both a priest and, of course, a prophet. The office is the highest responsibility in God’s economy. If you decide to get too close to them, you could be in trouble if you are not ready to totally yield to their training and tolerate their shortcomings. The closer you are to them the more you see of them that they have flesh and if you talk about their shortcomings, you are bargaining for problems; remember Moses and his siblings (Number12).
1 Chronicles 16:22 “Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”
On the other hand, staying too far from them could lead into serious errors.
Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
To discipline a prophet is not in the hand of any man but God’s.
Romans 8:33 “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.”
God, Himself, works to pattern His prophets along with what He desires.
1 Samuel 2:35 “And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.”
A prophet does according to God’s heart and mind and not by information from people. The life of Ezekiel was a reflection of subservient prophet who acted as a fool in all the visions. Daniel is another life we have to learn from; a praying prophet. His life fulfilled the word of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Matthew 6:6 “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret, will reward thee openly.”
Daniel was carried into exile as a young man of 16 years and came of age in Babylon. The king who held them in exile wanted to acculturate them through delicacies and change of name. He wanted to breed them to suit his own purpose. This was good but, in reality, it was defilement; good foods, sometimes, might not be godly. He and his friends started their walk with God by refusing to defile their bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit. He took his eyes away from the things of the world but delighted in his God to please him. God, being a faithful God, identified with their determination and upgraded their brains beyond human imagination.
Daniel 1:17 “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”
This is a lesson for us all; if you don’t know who you are, somebody will make you what he wanted you to be. You need to discover your destiny; otherwise, someone else will create another destiny for you. Though Daniel was in exile, he never allowed his destiny to be exiled. Whatever hardship you are going through, don’t lose focus of destiny; it is to sandpaper you to smoothness and to adorable status.
Daniel 1:19 “And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.”
Many people’s true nature, life and character had been altered through unholy acculturation and, therefore, not fit for God’s use. Some, through peer pressures or environmental influences, had provided the door for the enemy to so tare while spiritually sleeping. The fasting they initially rejected is now a must before anything positive can happen in their lives.
When it was time for these children to be promoted, those who matter before the king began to fail.
Daniel 2:2 “Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.”
God created a problem that rendered these sets of people irrelevant to the king. To them, no man on earth could solve the problem; they had been defiled, changed from their spiritually useful state and could not interpret spiritual things anymore. They were under the supervision of the ruling demon of that nation. Hear what they concluded;
Daniel 2:10-11 “The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”
Surely there is a God whose dwelling is not with the flesh; that is the God of Daniel. The king’s wise men were put to death and they were looking for Daniel and his friends to kill.
Daniel 2:13 “And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.”
This was not a problem to them because they were serving the God whose dwelling was not with the flesh. They had a serious night vigil to that God and He answered them.
Daniel 2:19 “Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.”
You could only remain in your problems if you refuse to pray yourself out of it. Problems cannot stop your testimony if you know how to prayerfully deal with it with a pure heart. Daniel, with this confidence, preached God to the pagan king after receiving the disturbing revelation.
Daniel 2:28 “But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;”
When the king heard this and the message, he accepted that God whose dwelling is not with the flesh and promoted Daniel and companions with gifts. The gift you receive must be given to you in heaven; otherwise, it becomes a snare. In Daniel’s case, he had first received a spiritual gift from heaven which called for gifts from the king.
Daniel 2:48 “Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.”
When God promotes you, kings had no option but to effect it. The revelation given by God can only be interpreted by the Spirit of God; interpretation is not within human logic or wisdom. The God of Daniel is the God of the Prophets.
Let us seek for the old path where we could find rest. Let us listen to the trumpet’s sound, wherewith we could escape the calamity to come. Our reading for today is Daniel4-6. Keep the fire of burning and alive.
Pastor Supo Abayode
Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries