(Click to listen to an audio recording of this article: Daniel: Faithful to God alone)
“Daniel in the lion’s den” is a story of both courage and bravery, but most of all, about true faithfulness.
Daniel wakes up and a new day is streaming in through the open windows. They are facing his beloved hometown Jerusalem. Daniel kneels humbly at the window and sends an earnest prayer up to his only Lord. He does this three times a day, and today is no exception. But now he is bending his knees at an entirely different risk than before.
It is actually life-threatening to kneel before anyone other than the king today. Like everyone else in the land of Babylon, Daniel had read the latest decree sent out from the king. Those who worship anyone other than the king during the next thirty days shall be cast into the lions’ den. It is truly an awful fate.
But Daniel does not hesitate. There is no question of him leaving his God, who has been with him from the very first day. Daniel’s God has never failed him, and Daniel will never forsake God.
Daniel served God, and God alone
The Bible tells about what happened next:
“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. . . And he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.” Daniel 6:10-11.
Daniel was arrested and thrown into the lions’ den. But the Almighty God looked after His faithful Daniel and he did not get a scratch. (Daniel 6:8-24)
Daniel continued to pray to God in poverty over himself. And God heard him. Once Daniel began to pray, God commanded the angels to go out and help him.
“At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved.” Daniel 9:23.
Imagine getting such a message from heaven, “You are dearly loved! Your words have been heard! We angels were sent here straight away to assist you.”
This is a story of both courage and bravery, but most of all, of faithfulness. Daniel was uncompromising. He refused to bow down and adapt to people and let them form him with their opinions and rules, even if it meant that he had to die. Daniel served God, and God alone, even though it would cost him his life.
Called to live in eternal glory
The day Daniel knelt down and prayed to God, he actually signed his own death sentence. But God does not think like people, and He is not limited like we are. The God who rescued Daniel from the lions is the same God today and forevermore.
So even in the face of snarling lions, or we can think in our own lives, in the face of whatever suffering we may experience, God rewards faithfulness. When we bow our knees to Him and decide that no matter what comes along, we will not abandon our God, then He rewards us richly. We become very useful to Him, and can be a real blessing and help for the people around us, just like Daniel became an invaluable adviser for the kings of Babylon.
God hears the prayers of the faithful! Let us have the same mindset as Daniel had, so that we pray to God every day for grace to be preserved in His will.
“Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard.” Daniel 10:12.
You may be interested in reading more about the heroes of faith in the Bible, or in the articles below.