Stories of Faithfulness – Jeremiah 21:10; Daniel 1

“For I have set my face against this city for harm and not for good, declares the LORD:
it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.”

Jeremiah 21:10

“In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah,
Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it…
As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom,
and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams…And the king spoke with them,
and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
Therefore they stood before the king.
And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them,
he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom.”

Daniel 1:1, 17-20

This morning, I want to spend some time meditating on God’s faithfulness to His people. Faithfulness woven throughout our individual stories. Mercies new each morning, which are found as we come before Him seeking for Him to meet us where we are.

The prophecies in the book of Jeremiah, those speaking of defeat and death and exile to Babylon, do not appear to connect with this faithfulness. Instead, they display the just consequences of a nation turning its back on the God who had chosen to connect His identity with theirs, people who ignored His constant warnings to repent and return to Him.

Yet it is this circumstance which reminds me how personal our God’s faithfulness is. In the book of Daniel, we are introduced to four men who were taken to Babylon into the king’s service. Men who continued to look to God for wisdom, strength and provision, and who determined to obey His commands and worship Him alone regardless of the consequences. As we read their stories, we are given glimpses of God’s faithfulness to these individuals, highlighting that while the choices and actions of others may affect the lives of those who are His, they will not cause God to abandon His own.

If we were given a view of every story of God’s people, those individuals who walked through even the most horrifying events in history, I believe we would see His faithfulness, strength, and grace woven throughout each of them. Showing that while we will still walk through unspeakably difficult seasons, and may come face-to-face with the worst evils of humanity, our God will not abandon us. He will never withdraw His presence or His favor from our lives.

On a broad scale, from an outsider’s view, people may not be able to see where God is in any of it. But He abides in the hearts of those who are His. His hand is seen in the details of our stories. He is a refuge and a strong tower for us. Whatever lies before us, God our Savior is there, and His steadfast love and faithfulness will never waver.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:35-39

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