Since it was spoken in my heart, before the onset of the recent man made microscopic scourge, to “Be mentally prepared to live in an occupation”, that has been my mindset. It continues to be my mindset.
The book of Daniel has risen to the top in the place I read and meditate on living in an occupation. This is not to imply it is the preferred place in scripture to read about the subject, as there are many places. But it has emerged repeatedly to me in considering the matter.
Daniel lived in Jerusalem and was among the princes of Judah when the nation fell to Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon. Daniel was carried away to Babylon along with many of the royal seed, as well as many of the treasured vessels of the temple. The two things, individuals of royal seed, and precious vessels. are synonymous. They are a picture of the form that the Temple of the Lord takes in this age and world. Namely, individuals in whom the Spirit of God dwells. But suffice it to say that if one is born of the Spirit…begotten to God in Christ Jesus, and sealed with that Holy Spirit of Promise, then his/her citizenship is in heaven. His/her origins are in heaven, he/she is dead to one age, and his/her life is hid with Christ in God. Paul had to write to a group who had accepted the gospel, and ask them: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
Many may need to be told to “remember from where you are fallen”, as is shown in the book of Revelation, but what we are by spiritual birth is not what we were before. It is much more. And with it comes among many things, power to become sons of God. Jesus spoke in a place to all who were wearied in laborious seeking and observing after a religious sort, yet were unfulfilled, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me”. The word “yoke” is “zygose” or “joined”. A yoke of oxen is a good picture to reveal two joined together in the same work and endeavour. A zygote is a better picture to shed light on the saying “of both twain, one new man”. A sperm is a single celled organism. An egg is a single celled organism. A fertilized egg is a zygote. It is a single celled organism now empowered to become everything it has been made to become. It does not begin as two cells. It is created and made in the moment of conception, the new and unique single cell containing all of the genetic information it was uniquely created with. What is the easier path? to be born and grow into what you can be? or to try to imitate something you read about in a medium that can not produce it alone? His Yoke is truly easy and His burden light.
Daniel was of the royal seed. This seal is upon him for life. He stands as a tremendous example of one who did not forget this. His true heritage was sealed in him no matter that he passed through four kingdoms. His earliest test was Nebuchadnezzar’s seminary, a three year program to convert Daniel and his three fellows into useful implements in the court and kingdom of Babylon. It is worth doing a little research into the word “seminary”. It has it’s root in the word “semen”. Daniel and his fellows were compelled to go through this, but they flatly refused the daily ration of the “king’s” meat and drink. No matter what these four men endured in the occupations they lived through, they remained true to what they were born. None of them ever waived any of that in order to fit in to the occupations they found themselves in. Though pressed into service through no design of their own, they never relinquished who and what they truly were, even under threat of death. Another test of Daniel came in the first year of Darius the Median. To be cast into a den of lions, and be taken up with no form of injury the next morning because he “believed his God”, is a figure of resurrection. These men endured much in their lives, that was brought to bear via political and religious intrigues. Thankfully none of them ever abandoned who and what they were. A way was always made for them. Joseph being cast into a pit and lifted out of it, and David emerging with a company from the cave Adullam, are also figures of resurrection.
Daniel’s experience transcended several regime changes, a whirlwind of political, religious and military maelstrom. But Daniel had experiences that were chronicled as apart from and above these earthly experiences. His spiritual walk and scope of revelation spanned four earthly realms. And so does ours. In the end of the Book of Daniel, things seem, at least to me, amazingly parallel to our times. The scriptures of truth are little understood. Few stand with Christ in who, what and where He is now.
"But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and [there is] none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince." — Daniel 10:21 (KJV)
Curiously, for all that Paul would later speak and do in Asia, Paul eventually would tell Timothy that “all they in Asia have forsaken me”.
One thing Daniel saw was the Western Church given as a bride to another kingdom. It may interest some to read and think about. This takes place in an age where the art of lying is elevated to the norm.
In the final analysis, we like Daniel, do not belong to any of the things unfolding in the consummation of the age, but to the kingdom and age to come.
Daniel 12:13 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. (Dan 12)
Another thing of interest Daniel saw concerning the world system and image doomed to failure, the attempt to manipulate human genetics.
40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. 41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.