Why Daniel?

Jan 17, 2018

by Jason Jordan

“The year was 1863 and the the North had just won. A young Confederate solider, Henri Garidel found himself in a difficult situation. He was in New Orleans and Federal soldiers had just occupied the city. They were taking anyone captive that did not pledge loyalty to the Union and Garidel a French-Catholic, clerk in the Confederate Bureau of Ordnance, found himself in a difficult situation. Gardel didn’t pledge allegiance and because of that he was shipped off to Richmond Virgina where he would live the next 3 years of his life, lonely, away from his family in total exile, as a complete outsider.” These are the words from the preface of the book, “Exile in Richmond The Confederate Journal of Henri Garidel” by Michael Bedout Chesson, Professor of History in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. You can actually see Garidel’s original journal on display at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. 

The book of Daniel is a lot like that. A journal, personal memories of a person in exile, a people who have been taken from their homeland and submerged into an entirely different culture.

Over the next couple of months we will be walking through the Old Testament book of Daniel verse by verse at West Side. “Why Daniel? What does that Old Testament book have to do with anything relevant today?” You might be saying. Well, Daniel is extremely relevant for us as the people of God today. The Apostle Peter would right to the people of God many many years after Daniel and he would say these words, “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles…” 1 Peter 2:11 (ESV). We as the people of God have this great and precious truth: this world as we know it now, is not our home. So how can we learn to live in a place that is not our own? That’s where Daniel comes in. Over the next couple of week we will be answering some questions that you yourself have experience such as:

                • How can I have a growing relationship with Jesus in a culture that hates him?
                • How can I have convictions but still be compassionate?
                • Is it possible to be a blessing to the people around me in times such as these?

We would love for you to join us on this new journey through God’s word. My hope and prayer is that God would show us, as his people how to go from surviving to thriving in a hostile world.


Pastor Jason