Continuing our “Before They Were Conquerors” series, Danny was class president. Voted most likely to succeed. He was large and in charge. His name topped the list. Yes indeed, he out-shined them all. And they hated him for it. In fact, Danny’s enemies resented him so much that they looked into his past to find at least one skeleton to bust him; just one scandal to try and ruin his reputation and bring him down a notch or two. But alas, not a scratch on him. The bullies in his life couldn’t find one bad thing about him. No dirt. So they figured the only way to bring down this “goody two-shoes” was to trap him and find him breaking the law; a law they were about to write.
THE DECREE: “For the next thirty days no one is to pray to any god or mortal except you, O king. Anyone who disobeys will be thrown into the lions’ den.” (v. 6-7)
THE RESPONSE: “When Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and posted, he continued to pray just as he had always done. His house had windows in the upstairs that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt there in prayer, thanking and praising his God.” (v.10)
This is where this gets good for me. Walking out of the lion’s den without a scratch on him, Daniel said, “God sent his angel who closed the mouths of the lions…” Yes sir. He praised God. The first thing he did was the very thing that got him thrown down there in the first place. And as far as his enemies, the decree that was meant to shut the mouth of Daniel did not have the effect they had hoped. (You have to read the rest of the chapter six to find out what I mean.)
Maybe you’re taking a stance. Could be for better health, maybe it’s your stance on humility, your decision not to gossip, or your inability to quit on a dream you know God inspired in you…either way…you will not flinch. Is that you? Are you praising God despite the rules? Maybe Daniel is your Biblical counterpart. Before he was a conqueror, he worshiped. My, what company you keep.
- Jimmy Peña
For Discussion: Eventually, Daniel even had king Darius himself worshiping God. Can you think of a better legacy?