Though the central character of this book is Daniel, the hero is God.
Jerusalem was in ashes. The temple was in ruins and God’s people were captive in a foreign land.
To compare what he must have had to go through, think about what it would be like for a Christian in India to live like a disciple in the Gulf. Many of the Gulf States offer limited freedom to Christians. People who have visited the Gulf often talk about how they feel like second class citizens.
Daniel was raised as a captive. The people around him worshipped all kinds of idols and false Gods.
King Nebuchadnezzar was an impulsive man who was known to be extremely wicked.
Despite all these factors, Daniel is an excellent example of how a person surrounded by pagans can remain true to his principles and not compromise his integrity.
For atleast 66 years, Daniel served pagan kings with great diligence and resourcefulness.
24 Then Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to execute the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, "Do not execute the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king, and I will interpret his dream for him."
25 Arioch took Daniel to the king at once and said, "I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can tell the king what his dream means."
26 The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), "Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?"
27 Daniel replied, "No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about,
28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you lay on your bed are these:
29 "As you were lying there, O king, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen.
30 As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than other living men, but so that you, O king, may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.
The king wanted the magicians and astrologers to interpret his dream but he was not willing to tell them what he dreamt.
Since they were incapable of revealing their dream, the king issued an order to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
However, God revealed the secret to Daniel through a vision.
Now, Daniel had to face a test. He could easily have revealed the king’s dream without bringing God into the picture.
He had an opportunity to acquire tremendous prestige and advance his own life.
Let’s see what he did?
1. Conviction gives birth to courage.
He brought to light the fact that the magicians, wise men and astrologers had all failed. This took guts. Daniel was not just a man of
God with his friends, he was God’s man even among the enemies of God’s people.
Daniel was able to stand up and face the lions and the flames because he had an unshakable faith in God.
He was a 24 hour a day Christian. His statement to the king was very much like his prayer in private.
- Could Daniel have become courageous without a daily walk with God?
- How often did he pray everyday?
- What made him believe in the power of prayer?
- Could there have been some unrecorded miracles that took place?
- Could Daniel have become courageous without facing hardships earlier in his life?
Many of us want to known as godly, or dream of doing great things for God. For our dreams to become a reality, we must have a consistent godly lifestyle.
Daniel was a man just like us. His conviction was what sets him apart.
Make a decision to grow in your boldness by working on your conviction.
Choose one area that you will work on everyday to become a person of conviction.
2. Humility thrusts the focus on God
Daniel made it clear that it was God who gave him the wisdom.
This was the God whom the Babylonians did not worship.
In effect, he was making it clear they (their lifeless Gods) were useless.
Besides being humble he was being outrageously courageous.
Why is this in the Bible? Can we win the world by being ‘cool’, ‘smooth’ and ‘tactful’?
Or are all these just nice ways to stay away from persecution?
Think about your own life today? Are people getting upset because you are radically different or do you fit in very easily?
Yes, we need to have tact and be wise. But, have we gone to the other extreme under the garb of being ‘sensitive’.
Imagine yourself in a village where you are an outsider.
You are not familiar with the people, the surroundings; everything makes you feel like an alien. You are on trial for believing in Jesus.
Would you stand firm in your faith in threatening circumstances?
What would help you to be strong?
Humility helps people to be strong spiritually. Spiritually strong people are confident.
They remain strong even through misunderstandings, conflicts and threats.
How would you rate yourself today? Would others say you are humble?
Few signs of a proud person:
Does not listen to others, but wants others to listen carefully.
Does not confess his sin, but is down on people who are open.
Is critical and very opinionated.
Is not spiritual at a personal level, but is quick to offer spiritual advice.
Boasts and likes to win arguments.
Pride causes downfall. Make a decision to listen, confess, and be supportive, personally spiritual and to stay away from arguments.
Daniel was an incredible man of God.
Let’s remember that God sustained Daniel. God gave him the wisdom. God helped him develop courage and rescued him when he put his life on the line.
To be like Daniel let us learn from Jesus.