HEARTS OVERFLOWING: ANOTHER PERSIAN LINK
Ripped from the Pages of History
This month we’ve been taking a look at Ancient Persia, tracing its links to the Bible and to modern day culture. Last week we explored the story of Queen Esther and how situations in her life inspired our women’s volunteer organization. Well, there’s another GHM tie to Ancient Persia we want to share.
Daniel in the Lion’s Den is one of those stories many of us heard first in Sunday School or Vacation Bible School. The exciting tale follows Daniel into a den of hungry lions where he is forced to spend the night. God protects Daniel from harm and we were taught He can do the same for us.
While Daniel was alone with God in the Lion’s den, he was not alone in his daily walk. When Daniel was brought to Babylon as a captive, other young men from Israel were also taken away in exile at the same time and trained alongside Daniel to serve in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. These men stood together faithfully to face the challenges of life in a foreign court. The rules of law, fiery furnaces, and hungry lions couldn’t convince them to abandon their faith. Their influence was so great that even the king himself honored Daniel’s God.
But Nebuchadnezzar’s son Belshazzar (Nabonidus) did not follow his father in honoring the Israelite God and chose to insult Daniel’s God by using captured Temple treasures at one of his banquets. In the Bible, it is at this moment that God allowed the Persians to take over the kingdom, and Darius the Mede, later known as Darius I, became ruler of Babylon.
We do not know if this Darius was the same general who later became Darius the Great, but history does tell us Cyrus, who carried the title King of Kings, installed Medo-Persians to rule conquered lands alongside the trustworthy men who were already governing the nations. History also tells us that rather than using battering rams and a siege to conquer Babylon, Cyrus used propaganda to influence the citizens who over threw their own king. Perhaps Belshazzar/Nabonidus was that king. It makes sense for Cyrus to install one of his lieutenants to be in charge of Babylon and oversee his benevolent practices of rule, which included freedom of religion.
Just like King Nebuchadnezzar, King Darius recognized the talents and gifts of Daniel and kept him among his advisers and officials. And just as the evil Haman set a trap for Mordecai in the story of Queen Esther which, if successful, would have wiped out the Jewish race, jealous courtiers also sat a trap for Daniel. In Daniel’s case, God sent angels to hold the mouths of the lions closed and in the morning was able to share the testimony of it with the king. Just as Darius had predicted, “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you,” Daniel 6:16.
Daniels Men of Valor
Can you imagine the prayer meeting that was held as Daniel spent the night in the Lion’s Den? Do you think Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were still alive at the time, lifting up the name of Daniel before the throne of God or do you think it was their sons? Even King Darius spent the night fasting. If this King of Babylon was the general who became Darius the Great, then imagine what an influence this miracle would have had on him.
Little is accomplished in the Kingdom of God by one person alone and it’s the same way at GHM. President/CEO, Steve Sharp travels around the world engaging organizations and foundations to support our work, but he is able to do that because so many wonderful volunteers and prayer warriors are standing with him–our own Shadrachs, Meshachs, and Abednigos.
In honor of the men who stood beside Daniel in Babylon, we call the gentlemen who stand beside GHM Daniel’s Men of Valor. These men support us in prayer and donations, but they also show up to give us a helping hand when there is some heavy lifting to do. In cooperation with Esther’s Friends, they multiply our ability to do the task set before us. Are you a man who would like to stand beside Global Heart Ministries? Then please contact our volunteer coordinator via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Your Heart to Ours
Joining Daniel’s Men of Valor is just one of the ways you can partner with Global Heart Ministries to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.
We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached Regions of the World.