"I issue a decree that in every part of my Kingdom, people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and endures forever; his Kingdom will not be destroyed, and his dominion will never end." Daniel 6:26 NIV
According to the Book of Daniel, Chapters 5 & 6, no matter how much authority we believe we have on earth, we learn that God is ultimately in control. He is supreme over all creation.
A message for the King of Babylon appeared on the wall during a lavish feast. Daniel was called to interpret the message, which told of the impending fall of Babylon. “The Most High God rules in the kingdom of men and appoints over it whosoever He chooses.” Daniel 5:21 NIV
After Daniel interpreted the writings on the wall, he was appointed the third-highest ruler in the Kingdom of Babylon. The interesting thing about Daniel was his integrity and faithfulness to his One true God. Daniel never accepted gifts or rewards for his ability to interpret dreams since he knew that God alone had bestowed this gift upon him. He never boasted about his abilities but rather about who God was.
“You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your reward to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell what it means.” Daniel 5:17 NIV
Although Daniel was aware that his actions might have consequences, he never compromised his trust and belief in God.
Daniel found favor in the eyes of Darius, who succeeded Belshazzar as king, because of his integrity. But sadly, the king’s administrators were jealous of Daniel, and since they could not find any fault in him, they chose to use his faith against him.
“We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his god.” Daniel 6:5 NIV
So they went to King Darius and persuaded him to issue a decree that anyone who prayed to any god or person within 30 days—aside from the king—would be thrown into the lion’s den. (Daniel 6:6-7)
The amazing thing about Daniel is that while he was aware of the decree and its consequences, he refused to compromise his faith and continued to pray to God. (See Daniel 6:10-11)
As a result, the king’s administrators accused Daniel and asked the king to uphold his decree. Although the king did not want to harm Daniel, he was forced to uphold his law. “May your God whom you serve continually rescue you.” (Daniel 6:16 NIV
Daniel trusted in God despite the circumstances. The following morning, King Darius went to the lion’s den to see if Daniel was still alive. “Daniel, the servant of the living God, has your God whom you serve continually been able to rescue you from the lions?” (Daniel 6:20 NIV)
Daniel responded, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before your sight.” Daniel 6:21-22 NIV
Despite his alarming situation, Daniel trusted God; even if the lions had devoured him, he knew who God was. He refused to compromise his trust, faith, and belief in the One true God.
Like Daniel, all of us have encountered difficult situations and been given the same choice Daniel had: do we compromise our faith and trust in God, or do we let the circumstances or the outside world’s influence dictate our path and change who God created us to be?
I don’t know about you, but I have shamefully compromised my faith and trust in God many times throughout my life. But the Lord has been so kind, patient, and merciful that He continues to guide me and lovingly shepherds me back to the right path.
A song by Clint Brown called “If Not For Grace” reminds me constantly of who God is and what He has done for me.
“Where would I be? You only know. I’m glad you see through eyes of love: a hopeless case and an empty place if not for Grace. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound. I once was lost, but now I’m found. A hopeless case and empty place if not for Grace.”
Yes, Lord Jesus. Where would I be if You hadn’t found me? I am no longer a “hopeless case or an empty place” because of Your Grace. Thank you for loving me so much that you left everything to save a wreck like me.