There are a couple of characters in the Bible whom stand out from the rest because very
little if anything is said negative of them. Perhaps the most that can be levelled against
them is that they were ‘victims of circumstance’. Joseph is one, Daniel is the other.
Joseph could be accused of arrogance, immaturity and possibly favouritism in the family,
though some would argue that it was God’s favour rather than man’s favouritism that allowed
him to receive his father’s (Jacob) special treatment. Nevetheless, for a man who was
subsequently sold into slavery, placed in prison, accused wrongly and generally treated
badly – it is hard to justify finding too much fault!
Daniel was an even stronger candidate. Living under a foreign ruler and having to serve
an alien empire, not once but several times, while being in exile with his people (Hebrews).
He had to demonstrate again and again the highest level of character and integrity whilst
serving leaders with whom he was not in agreement! This was in a time when one could be
killed at the whim of the King regardless of whether you did right or wrong.
What both characters demonstrate to us, is their trust in God and His purposes despite all
the circumstances and ‘happennings’ in their lives. Very few of us today, could withstand
the kind of pressure and trial that was placed upon these individuals, and maintain
absolute integrity, trust and faithfullness in God.
What is clear from the outcomes in these TRUE stories is that God’s purpose and destiny was
being fulfilled in a way that neither of them could understand. God needed and needs human
instruments to fulfill the bigger purpose. Joseph was the vehicle through which a nation
was saved from starvation and Daniel a man through whom God showed human history and destiny
in such detail as had never been known or seen, before or since.
It is rare to find a man, a women, a leader who is genuinely willing to lay there lives
down for the ‘bigger purpose’. We live in a self driven and self ambitious society that
will compromise what is ‘righteous’, for what seems ‘right’ at the time. What both Daniel
and Joseph had in common was that they were both ‘dreamers’. Not in a denial sense, but in
a visionary sense and the one thing that can keep us looking ‘up’ is when we can ‘trust in
the process’ – that God is who he says he is, that we are who he says we are, and that it
will end how he intends it to end – but that he has also chosen human vessels to fulfill
HIS purpose – therefore, dont just keep looking IN, look OUT, dont just keep looking
BEHIND, but look FORWARD.