Daniel, found in the old testament was a truly exceptional man: the king was well pleased with him, he was loyal, and he was righteous. But most of all… He was fearless!
In chapter 6 of the book of Daniel, we can read all about this Daniel back in history, and become so wrapped up in awe of this man! You see, King Darius noticed the exceptional qualities of this man, and He planned to appoint him over the whole kingdom! Can you imagine? Your boss, the king, planning to hand over such a role?!
Yet as we continue to delve into this wonderful truth of a story, we discover how out of jealously, the administrators tried to prevent this from happening… They searched and searched, trying to find something worthy of charge and imprisonment – except they couldn’t! There was no corruption in Daniel. Daniel was so loyal, and had such integrity that nothing could ever be against him! Only the will of God would have power over his righteousness…
And the will of God is entirely wonderful…
However, just because we say that nothing can be against such a righteous man, this doesn’t mean to say that he will not experience challenges. In this case, the administrators persuaded King Darius to pass a decree, stating that Daniel was no longer aloud to worship God – in other words, his obedience was now lawfully disobedient! What?!!! Imagine how Daniel felt! How could he live for God, when all around him were persecutors? His authority had vanished.
But this is not the end – Daniel, in all of his trouble turned to God. To the lord who (although it seemed was far from the earthly kingdom) had all authority – the Most High. Daniel, by remaining faithful, and praying 3 times a day, found peace, and he was able to seek God’s help. In fact, when the administrators came looking for him, he was found praying.
Daniel wasn’t afraid to openly worship. He was fearless!
Fast-forward a bit, and Daniel is thrown into the Lion’s den, but Daniel who had continually served the Lord, was saved – his loyalty even convinced the King to have faith, that God would save him! Daniel trusted, and he was untouched – the starving, predators had been calmed!
After this, the administrators are thrown into the den instead (in their unwillingness to accept God as their Father, they rejected the shield of faith that would have saved them), and the King responds to his encounter with God, by telling his people how awesome God is!
“For he is the living God
and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
his dominion will never end.
27 He rescues and he saves;
he performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions.”
You see, the righteous and obedient are shielded by faith! This Christmas, come to know the hope that is in the Son of God – by his blood we are made righteous, like Daniel, and not by our own works – but by the grace of God. Our salvation is a gift! When we accept this, and root ourselves in the word of God, He writes His laws on our hearts… What we read becomes a habit, leading to obedience. We may stand in His power, and the Holy Spirit will help us to worship freely – so that as we worship, we open up to others, and just like King Darius, others may see God at work within us, and come to faith through us…
But most of all, this Christmas, we are reminded that as God’s children, we are fearless! Even when we find ourselves in the lion’s den, we trust that we will not be overcome!