When I Feel Forgotten
“10 The queen,[p] hearing the voices of the king and his nobles, came into the banquet hall. “May the king live forever!” she said. “Don’t be alarmed! Don’t look so pale! 11 There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods. Your father, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners. 12 He did this because Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar, was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means.” Daniel 5:10-12 NIV
When the king was afraid and troubled, the queen remembered Daniel. It is likely that the queen was not Belshazzar’s wife, but his mother (the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar). When Nebuchadnezzar was converted (as we seen in the last chapter) she may have been converted as well. Now when her son was open to seeking wisdom, she tells him about Daniel.
At this point in the book of Daniel, Daniel had been out of the public eye for about twenty years.
I wonder if Daniel got discouraged. He had not been in a position of prominence since Nebuchadnezzar died. He had been a hero and champion of the faith as a young man. He, along with his friends, stood against persecution. They maintained an uncompromising faith and saw God do great things.
Sometimes I get discouraged and disheartened if God doesn’t use me in great ways this day, this week, this month, or this year. Daniel teaches me some important lessons in this passage about being a believer in the dark, when I feel forgotten.
1 – Be available to God.
Daniel reminds me that when things don’t go as I expect, I am simply a tool in God’s tool box. It’s ok if the Lord doesn’t use me in a significant way today… or I may not even know what He is doing today. A key lesson from Daniel is to stay available.
Are you available to God? Can He interrupt your schedule? Does He have override privileges over your calendar?
2 – Be ready to serve God
Daniel shows me that it’s not only important to be available. I also need to be ready. If I have any down-time, I must not make it wasted time. I need to be gearing up and preparing for what God has ahead. I must not be found sitting on my hands. If I am not serving God now, I need to keep the engines revved up and ready.
I remember when I was discouraged being so busy in Bible College and work that I wasn’t serving much with the church. My friend and mentor Pastor Larry Gillis suggested that if I didn’t have a pulpit to preach from, that I should continue to write. His point was to be ready to serve God when the time came.
Are you in the Word of God? Are you spending time in prayer? Are you faithful in serving?
3 – Consistently set a good example for God
At the time of this chapter, Daniel was now an old man retired from public service. It is significant to note that Daniel was NOT found at the royal feast. He was not found among the thousand who were with Belshazzar. It’s likely he was invited to the party due to his distinguished past, but we should remember, Daniel would not defile himself or compromise his testimony. When we set a good example for God, there are some parties we won’t be at. There will be some situations we will avoid.
As a believer, Daniel set a good example. Daniel may not have been in the public eye for twenty years, but he was still reputable to the queen. In Belshazzar’s crisis, here’s how the queen described Daniel:
“Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar, was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems.” Daniel 5:12 NIV
Are you setting a good example for God – to those in and out of the church? Are you compromising your testimony? How do people see you as a person of faith? Do they know you are a person of faith? Do they know your convictions? Do they know you follow Jesus? Are you setting a good example? More importantly, are you setting a godly example?
Lord I find this devotion particularly encouraging. There are times I feel like I should be doing more, involved more, serving more, charging forward more. I am reminded today to surrender to Your will whether it is for more or less. It is well with my soul if I am on the scenes, behind the scenes, or off the scenes. Lord I am available whenever You want to us me. I am a tool Your tool-shed to be used when You desire, how You desire, and in whatever ways You desire. In Jesus Christ, the name above all names, amen.
Ty Tamasaka is an author who hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Rim Christian University in Christian Ministry He is a Bible teacher who loves to encourage people to enjoy Jesus’ grace and extend His Kingdom. Ty just released his new book More than a Conqueror: 5 Pathways to Personal Revival.