Faith Like Daniel :: By Nathele Graham

“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11).

Daniel must have been a very special man. He was an attendant in the Jewish Temple and knew the requirements of the Law. He and three friends, among others, were taken captive when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, besieged Jerusalem. The friend’s names were Hannaniah, Mishael, and Azariah. Daniel and his friends may have been young when taken to the pagan city of Babylon, but these four young men loved God Almighty. In Babylon, the king attempted to change their hearts and turn them into pagans. First, their names were changed. Daniel was renamed Belteshazzar, Hannaniah was renamed Shadrach, Mishael was renamed Meshach, and Azariah was renamed Abednego.

Nebuchadnezzar had told Ashpenaz to bring him young captives. “And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans” (Daniel 1:3-4).

And so, Daniel and his friends were taken to Babylon. We aren’t told how old they were, only that they were “children.” They were young, and Nebuchadnezzar thought he could brainwash them to follow the ways of the Babylonians. Nebuchadnezzar had no idea of the integrity of Daniel and his friends. They loved God and had unshakable faith.

Nebuchadnezzar started their training by providing them the best food and wine. He didn’t count on the strength of the faith Daniel and his friends had. Daniel would not defile himself. “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8).

How many children or adults do you know who would put honoring God above their own desires? God blessed him. Daniel and his friends weren’t able to return to their beloved Jerusalem, but they prospered in Babylon without becoming a part of the culture. Their faith wasn’t lip service, but they lived it. Christians could learn a lot from these young Jewish boys.

As we read further in the book of Daniel, we find out more about their faith. They wouldn’t eat the king’s food, and Melzar, their overseer, finally agreed to allow them to eat less fancy food for ten days. “Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse” (Daniel 1:16). What is pulse? Vegetables! They ate vegetables and drank water. God blessed them because of their faith.

Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that troubled him. So, he called the magicians and astrologers and sorcerers to tell him about his dream. The king had an incentive plan. “The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream and the interpretation thereof” (Daniel 2:5-6).

He didn’t remember his dream, so he wanted them to tell him the dream and interpret it, or he would kill them. Their response was, “Are you nuts?” Well, maybe they used more tact, but that’s what they meant.

When the decree was told to Daniel, he asked for more time, then he and his friends prayed. I’m sure their prayer was from their heart because their lives depended upon God’s answer. God answered by giving Daniel a night vision as to what the king’s dream was all about. Daniel earnestly thanked God. It wasn’t a quick “Thank God” but a heartfelt prayer of praise and gratitude. Daniel was taken before the king, where he first made known to the king where the information came from.

“Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed are these” (Daniel 2:27-28).

Then Daniel proceeded to describe the dream. The king had seen an image with a head of gold, his breast and arms of silver, his belly and thighs of brass, and its legs of iron, and his feet were part iron and part clay. Then, a stone that was cut out without hands struck the image. The interpretation was that the various kingdoms on Earth are represented by the metals in the image. The final kingdom will be the one that is set up by God. It shall never be destroyed.

Daniel’s faith was rewarded. “Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king” (Daniel 2:48-49). Daniel had great faith, and he never denied God. There is still a God in Heaven who answers prayers. Jesus Christ is always willing to hear prayers of Christians.

Even in a nation where idol worship was common, Daniel and his friends were faithful to God. They wouldn’t bow down before any idol. I admire these four young men for their integrity. Their faith was tested when Nebuchadnezzar erected a huge statue. It was decreed “That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up” (Daniel 3:5). The punishment for not bowing to this idol would be death by being thrown into a fiery furnace. Of course, these young Jewish friends refused to bow before any idol. Brothers and sisters, we should never bow before idols no matter what the threat is if we don’t bow.

Some men noticed that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would not bow. I can’t imagine that Daniel would have bowed his knee to an idol, so he must have been away on business. The king called them before his throne to explain why they didn’t bow before the king’s gods. “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O King. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image when thou hast set up” (Daniel 3:16-18).

These men honored God in spite of a government decree to bow to idols. If only our faith was as strong as theirs. They were thrown into an exceptionally hot furnace, but God protected them. Brothers and sisters, we need to encourage each other. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego helped each other to stand firm in their faith, and we need fellow Christians who won’t compromise to please the world.

Government rulers come and go, and eventually Darius became king in Babylon. Daniel continued to be a part of the government of Babylon, and he never compromised His faith. His faith wasn’t a show put on to draw media attention. It was true faith, and he wouldn’t compromise to please the world. His faith pleased God but didn’t make any friends among other government officials. “Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom, but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him” (Daniel 6:4).

Things don’t change much over time. Evil government officials care nothing about God’s truth and persecute those who serve the Lord.

All the members of the government conspired to get rid of Daniel. “Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God” (Daniel 6:5). They knew that Daniel would not compromise his faith in order to please the evil government. It seems we have the same evil over nations today. All manner of perversion is legal, and any god can be publicly worshipped except the one true God. Our schools teach evolution, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, and libraries carry books that are pure filth, but the Bible is banned. What is the school board and government afraid of? Are they afraid a man like Daniel might ruin their agenda?

Well, back to Babylon. The government officials decided that a law must be made “…to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions” (Daniel 6:7b).

I’m always amazed that laws can be easily passed as long as the right people are flattered. Darius had a huge ego and went along with the plot. Where were the men of faith like Daniel a couple of years ago when the government of the United States forbade Christians to gather to worship God? Will there be any men like Daniel when they try to do it again? When God-fearing men keep silent, evil grows stronger. The American Constitution seems to be being torn to shreds. Shame on Godly men who won’t stand firm against tyranny and ungodliness.

What did Daniel do? “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime” (Daniel 6:10). Daniel didn’t change his habits. God ruled his heart, not evil men. The evil men could make his life tough, but they couldn’t make him compromise his faith. “Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God” (Daniel 6:11). They went and tattled to the king. Darius liked Daniel but realized his mistake too late. The law was established, and there was no choice but to put Daniel in the den of lions. Darius should have been smarter than to sign that law, but his ego was puffed up.

In America, as well as other nations, evil people are pulling the puppet strings of government leaders.

“Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee” (Daniel 6:16). Daniel had been a strong witness for God. He never compromised, nor did he allow human government to dictate his faith. I admire Daniel.

Darius spent a sleepless night concerned for Daniel, and very early in the morning, he went to check on Daniel. When he got to the lion’s den, he called out, “…O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?” (Daniel 6:20b). Daniel was an amazing man. He showed no bitterness but was respectful to Darius. “Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt” (Daniel 6:21-22).

Daniel honestly and continually honored God. It wasn’t something he only did when he was facing lions. Daniel lived his faith daily. The king knew of Daniel’s faith, but his enemies also knew. That’s how they trapped him. Daniel didn’t allow evil men to dictate his worship habits. Daniel’s faith is an example to all of us.

Babylon was filled with pagan idols and was a cesspool of wickedness. It’s not a city to be admired. The world today is very much like Babylon, with evil rulers and sin running rampant. Where are the men who will stand firmly upon the word of God? We need men like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who refuse to bow before idols. We need men like Daniel who worship God Almighty openly in spite of what they may face. We need Godly women who won’t settle for less than Godly men.

Christ entered His creation knowing full well that he would be persecuted and put to death. The evil men could only kill His body. Because of Christ, death has been conquered for all who believe in Him, and we need to live our faith and not just give lip service to Him. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Don’t compromise your faith.

Christians need open and true faith like Daniel. God will see us through whatever persecution we may face, but our faith must not waiver.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

Recommended prophecy sites:

All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

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“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee” (Psalm 122:6).