“But Daniel made up his mind not to defile himself.” Daniel 1:8
“Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion.” Daniel 2:14
“[Daniel] urged [his friends] to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret…Then Daniel praised the God of heaven.”
“Blessed be the name of the LORD forever and ever.” Psalm 113:2
My best memories of Sunday School are the class’ enthusiastic singing of the refrain to “Dare to be a Daniel.” We all aspired to be so brave and live up to the incredible faith that the stories of Daniel told.
Let’s consider who Daniel was and what set him apart. First of all, Daniel was a child of Israel well-versed (v.4) in the law of God given to Moses. When he chose not to defile himself (v. 8), we see complete obedience to the command, “Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy” (Leviticus 19:2). This was a key verse from the Hebrew’s book of instructions to holy living. In addition to the laws, Daniel possessed knowledge of his people’s song book, the Psalms. It is here that worship and prayers formed within him. The Psalms reassure us that when we call on the LORD and seek His face, He is merciful and answers (Psalm 27:7,8).
Secondly, Daniel was from the royal family of Israel and was gifted with knowledge and good sense (Daniel 1:4) that qualified him to serve a king. Daniel’s nobility training gave him a tempermant of self-control and extraordinary humility to stand before a king. This expression of tact and honor toward the king’s court was received with favor and grace in key moments of Babylon’s history.
Daniel was a young, God-fearing Jew who had been trained in the wisdom of God’s Holy Word and had a focused purpose to remain holy, pure, and devoted to God in the midst of an ungodly society. He dared to stand alone, have a purpose, and make it known, no matter the cost.
How about you? Are you well-versed in the Holy Word of God in order to face the idols of our time? Do you believe in a God who answers prayers and gives wisdom in life’s circumstances? Are you willing to live holy and humble before the LORD when no one else is doing it? Do you have a God-given purpose to serve God no matter what demands the culture places on you?
Prayer: Eternal God, you hold all wisdom and power in Your hands determining the course of world events as well as my life. I ask that I will trust in You, walk obediently to Your commands, and pray on all occasions that threaten to undo me. In Jesus’ name, Amen