Daniel 5 contains several notable instances that are reasons to stop, pray, and consider our own lives. One of the most perplexing questions is derived from the words of the queen who entered the scene following Belshazzar’s inability to make sense of the writing inscribed on the wall by an unfamiliar hand.
Following the mysterious inscription, the king called in those who would have been culturally identified as experts at explaining and creating the unseen. To Belshazzar’s disappointment, none of them could explain the inscription or its meaning.
Then the queen stepped in with a brilliant thought, derived from past experiences. She recommended Daniel, a man who formerly had profound influence and insight and provided this type of help to the previous king—Belshazzar’s own relative, Nebuchadnezzar.
Consider the personal challenge that arises at the mention of Daniel’s name. It was Daniel’s past faithfulness that opened the door for present opportunity. And the natural question that flows from this realization is this: Does my faithfulness today lay the groundwork for future opportunities?
In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus described His followers as the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.” These descriptions of the people of God lend themselves to cultural influence that shows the power, mercy, grace, and goodness of God. And this type of influence always leaves a mark. In Daniel’s case, the mark was so significant that gave greater influence to his witness.
We can’t undo the past, but we can be decisively committed to the next step, the next moment, and the next opportunity. What if you committed to faithfulness one day at a time? And what if your faithfulness marked the people around you in significant ways? Then I would imagine that your faithfulness will lead to future opportunities for greater influence.
Don’t waste today. Be faithful to your purpose to live as the salt of the earth and the light of the world. And God will use you today and, Lord willing, multiply your efforts and opportunities tomorrow.
Check out The Gospel Project At Home for resources designed to help you lead a family worship experience as well as suggestions for morning and evening prayer times and family activities.
FAMILY TALKING POINTS
This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.
- Babies & Toddlers: The king of Babylon did not love and obey God. God punished the king. King Jesus obeyed God and gave His life to rescue us from sin.
- Younger Preschool: The king of Babylon thought he was better than God. No one is better than God. God punished the king. Jesus obeyed God and gave His life to rescue us from sin.
- Older Preschool: The king of Babylon thought he was better than God. No one is better than God. God punished the king. Jesus obeyed God and gave His life to rescue us from sin. God raised up Jesus to give Him honor as the true King forever and ever.
- Kids: God humbled the proud king of Babylon by taking away his kingdom. King Jesus willingly humbled Himself by dying on the cross for our sin. God raised up Jesus and gave Him honor forever. When we humble ourselves and trust in Jesus, God will raise us up to enjoy Jesus in His kingdom forever.
BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER
This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Younger Preschool: Where is God? God is everywhere and is always with us.
- Older Preschool: Where is God? God is everywhere and is always with us.
- Kids: Where is God? God is in all places at all times and is always with His people.
This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Babies & Toddlers: The Lord your God is with you. Zephaniah 3:17
- Younger Preschool: The Lord your God is with you. Zephaniah 3:17
- Older Preschool: “The LORD your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness … He will delight in you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
- Kids: “The LORD your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will be quiet in his love. He will delight in you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
** Next week: God Is Present with Us (Isaiah 7)