A couple of Sunday’s ago Mary and I got to cross out another item on our bucket list. We’ve always wanted to attend a hundredth birthday, and our friend, Ella, celebrated in style. From 1:00 to 4:00 her friends and extended family filled the new Midlothian Senior Citizens Center. We’ve known Ella for more than forty of her hundred years.
Through the years we’ve helped Ella and her family work through the loss of her husband. We’ve laughed with her in the birth of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Through it all she’s trusted in Jesus. At her party when I knelt down to give her a kiss on the cheek, she said, “Dave, you need to keep on keeping on because I expect you to do my memorial service when the Lord does call me home, just like you did Virgil’s.”
Daniel might not have made it to a hundred like Ella, but in the first chapter we meet him as a young teenager in 605 BC and the chapter closes by telling us that he outlasted even the Babylonian Empire.
“Now it came to pass that Daniel continued into the first year of Cyrus the king.”
At night on October 12, 539 BC Guburu, Cyrus’ general, marched his troops in the riverbed underneath the massive walls of Babylon, and on October 29th Cyrus, himself, entered the city and was crowned the new king. If Daniel was about fourteen in 605 where our text began his story, then he’s now eighty as we close the first chapter. He not only outlasted Nebuchadnezzar, but also his four successors, and is still going strong as Cyrus begins the Persian domination of the Ancient Near East.
Our author began the chapter telling us that the Lord gave Jerusalem into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. Then Daniel and his three friends decided to devote themselves fully to the Lord even when Nebuchadnezzar tried to brainwash them. Now the chapter ends proving that Daniel made the right choice.
LORD, thanks for the encouragement that Ella continues to pour into our lives even at one hundred. Thanks most of all that she’s only just begun to live because of the Messiah Daniel will later prophesy about.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!