The next time you’re gazing into the night sky, consider that the closest star beyond the sun is more than forty trillion kilometers away. To reach that star you’d need to travel at the speed of light for more than four years! Incredibly, we can still see its light from earth.
Scientific data like this wasn’t available when Daniel penned his book some 2,600 years ago. Our modern-day knowledge, however, heightens the power of his simile in Daniel 12:3: “Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.” An expanded way of stating this is: Those who lead many to righteousness will be like bodies in the heavens that shine their light across countless distances, illuminating worlds and providing beacons in the darkness. What a powerful image!
Daniel brought God’s message to His people exiled in Babylon, a culture where worshiping God alone could be a life-threatening proposition (Daniel 6:13-17). The prophet described the mysterious future of the world and encouraged them to see beyond their present troubles while focusing on the lives of others. Two millennia later, I struggle with doing the same things.
It’s encouraging to remember that we’re made right with God—led to righteousness, as Daniel would say—through faith in Jesus (Romans 3:21-22). His sacrifice and resurrection give us hope for the future the prophet described. By believing in Jesus and reflecting Him we become “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14; Philippians 2:15).
Our task today is to illumine the path so others can clearly see Jesus. Instead of being flickering stars, may we radiate the God of light who lives within us by His power (1 John 1:5).
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 19:15-29
Read Daniel 1 and notice God’s work within his situation (Daniel 1:2,9,17). Even in an oppressive culture, God was in control.
How have others illumined the path for you to Jesus? How can you be a similar light to others today?