Daniel in the King's Den
|The story of Daniel in the Bible is certainly one of those fascinating examples of how God protects someone from death. In fact, this Jewish prophet is most popularly known as "Daniel in the Lion's Den." There is one important virtue of Daniel that is often overlooked: his faith before a pagan king. Daniel was taken into captivity by the Babylonians at a very young age. However, he did not lose heart or give up on life. Instead, even as a youth, he rubbed shoulders with the big wigs of Babylonia as a consultant of the king. In fact, Daniel and his friends were considered ten times better than the astrologers of the day (Daniel 1:19-20).
The tranquility as a royal consultant was shattered when the king of Babylon had a dream that troubled him (2:1). The king first questioned the astrologers and soothsayers to give him an answer for his dream. In "polite" kingly fashion he mandates, "The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb and your houses will be made a rubbish heap" (5). Sound reasonable?
Realizing the difficulty of interpreting the king's dream, the soothsayers give a sixth century spiritual Babylonian response, "Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh" (11). This "spiritual" response of these soothsayers did not satisfy the king who demanded that all of these "dream interpreters" be executed.
The pressure was on Daniel. Word came to him that the king of Babylon had ordered the death of all of the wise men in his kingdom. However, Daniel did not lose heart. Instead, he wisely asked the king for time to interpret the dream (16). The king knew Daniel as someone having "wisdom and understanding" but there is no clear evidence that he (nor Daniel) knew that God would give Daniel revelation regarding the dream (1:20).
Nevertheless, Daniel trusted God. He and his three comrades prayed that God would give them the interpretation of the dream. Eventually God replies and gives Daniel the needed revelation. Daniel quickly is escorted before the king and he boldly declares before this glorified pagan, "As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king." He then states, "However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days...(2:27-28)."
I suppose the rest of the story is history (or His story as some say). Daniel tells the king the dream and he and his buddies get promoted in the Babylonian kingdom. However, this Scriptural examples was written for our edification (cf. Romans 15:4). Do you have enough faith in God that you would trust Him to deliver you from death? Would you trust Him even before the most popular people of your day? Do you have faith that "there is a God in heaven?"
If you don't have an answer, then pray and ask God to work one in you. It may take time, but God is faithful to complete in you the good work which He has begun (Phil. 1:6).
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