Daniel, the Faithful
Daniel 2:26-45, Daniel Interprets Dream)
2 Kings 25:1-10 (Attack on Jerusalem)
Daniel 3 (King sees a fourth person in the furnace)
Daniel 1:3-10 MSG
Daniel 6:1-18 ESV
Daniel 6:22-23 ESV
Daniel 12:13 GNTA
Hebrews 11:1-3 ESV
As we close out our study of the book of Daniel, I am left with a deep sense of Daniel’s commitment to listening and watching for the movement of the Spirit of God. The study of the Prophet Daniel’s writings spanned a lifetime.
In 605 B.C. Daniel and his friends (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) were seized and taken from their homes in Israel to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzer must have recognized they would be an important part of his court and he made arrangements for them to learn the Babylonian culture.
In 602 B.C. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego complete their extensive training in Babylonian culture.
That same year when Daniel was around 17 years old he interpreted Nebuchadnezzer’s dream which distinguished him as a person of interest to the king (Daniel 2:26-45).
In 589 B.C., King Nebuchadnezzer attacks Jerusalem (2 Kings 25:1-10) breaking down the city wall. That same year King Nebuchadnezzer orders everyone to bow down to the Golden Statue. Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refuse to bow down to the statue resulting in a trip to the fiery furnace.
Much to King Nebuchadnezzer’s dismay they are unharmed in the furnace and the king even sees a fourth person in the fire (Daniel 3).
Throughout his lifetime Daniel served many kings in Babylon and in 536 B.C. He died in Babylon when he was 84 years old.
In 538 B.C. the Jews were allowed to return to Judea to begin rebuilding the Temple.
In Daniel 1 we are told details about young Daniel the noble boy from Israel and his three friends.
Daniel 1:3-10, “The king told Ashpenaz, head of the palace staff, to get some Israelites from the royal family and nobility—young men who were healthy and handsome, intelligent and well-educated, good prospects for leadership positions in the government, perfect specimens!—and indoctrinate them in the Babylonian language and the lore of magic and fortunetelling. The king then ordered that they be served from the same menu as the royal table—the best food, the finest wine. After three years of training they would be given positions in the king’s court.
Four young men from Judah—Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah—were among those selected. The head of the palace staff gave them Babylonian names: Daniel was named Belteshazzar, Hananiah was named Shadrach, Mishael was named Meshach, Azariah was named Abednego. But Daniel determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king’s food or drinking his wine, so he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet. The head of the palace staff, by God’s grace, liked Daniel, but he warned him, “I’m afraid of what my master the king will do. He is the one who assigned this diet and if he sees that you are not as healthy as the rest, he’ll have my head!”
Despite the “push back” from the king’s head of staff Daniel decided he would not eat the King’s royal diet offered to him.
Later when the king set up official satraps (administrative guardians) over Babylon he appointed three high officials to monitor the satraps. Initially Daniel was one of those appointed.
We read about what happened in Daniel 6:1-18, “It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; and over them three high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.” Then these high officials and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.” Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction. When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. (11) Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, “O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.” Then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him. Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.” Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.”
The other high officials devised a plot against Daniel (and others) who worshipped any other god. When that happened Daniel worshipped Yahweh God despite the warnings.
Daniel was faithful to Yahweh God. Because he was faithful to worshipping Yahweh God he was thrown into the Lion’s Den.
The king was really sad but since he signed the decree he had no other option.
The next morning when the king went to the lion’s den we are told in Daniel 6:22-23, “My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.”
In the last chapter of Daniel in Daniel 12:13, Michael the Angel told the Prophet, “And you, Daniel, be faithful to the end. Then you will die, but you will rise to receive your reward at the end of time."
In Hebrews 11:1-3 we are given a definition for faith and those who believe and have been faithful. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”
Daniel received commendation from God’s agent because of his faithfulness. Thousands of years later faith is still the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.
Today, we hold onto faith because of God’s faithfulness. Daniel was faithful because he had Faith in the Power of God.
Spiritual Practice: Faith
Tell God you believe in His Faithfulness.
In God, Deborah