Today's Bible Verse...

Dare to be a Daniel

Stepping into our time machine once again—the annals of history—we zoom back to the year 605 B.C. Nebuchadnazzar, King of Babylon, besieges Jerusalem and takes Jehoiakim, king of Judah, captive. Ravaging the city, he carries into exile to Babylon the remnant, those who escaped the devastation. In Babylon they are forced to be servants of Nebuchadnazzar, then of his sons, then of the kingdoms of the Medes and Persians—70 long years.

(This removal of God’s people from the Promised Land happened with God permission. By their idolatrous worship and disobedience to God's commands, scoffing at His prophets, they only heaped upon themselves God's wrath and their pending doom.)

Among those taken captive is a youth named Daniel, who, because of his aptitude for learning and handsome appearance, serves in the king's palace all the days of captivity— through the reigns of Nebuchadnazzar, Belshazzar, Darius the Mede, and Cyrus the Persian. And Daniel loves his God—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—and faithfully serves Him, too, all his life. He is thus a faithful witness before the governing powers that be, never compromising his faith in any way.

Yet, some administrators and other officials criticize Daniel's stance, and seek grounds for accusation against him. Finding none, they devise their own. They convince Darius the Mede, then king in Babylon, to issue a decree, "that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions' den" (Daniel 6:7)

Undaunted by the decree, Daniel continues as he has always done—in his upstairs room, facing toward Jerusalem, praying three times a day to his God, and giving thanks.

A-ha! Finding Daniel in his praying ways and asking God for help, his accusers take him before Darius. And, "in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed," Daniel is thrown into the lions' den.

Unable to sleep all night, however, and without eating or any palace entertainment, at daybreak Darius rushes to the lions' den. He is pleasantly surprised finding Daniel unscathed and safe, the angels of God having shut the lions' mouths. Consequently, Darius has Daniel's accusers along with their families thrown into that den of lions. The lions overpowering them crush their bones.

Darius then writes to all the "people, nations, and men of every language" about Daniel's God, "...He is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed..." (Daniel 6:26)

Our time machine now sweeps us home back to the 21st Century, and we realize that the spiritual warfare continues throughout the world, as in the days of Daniel, even worsening, and will continue to the end of time.

God continues His search today for faithful "Daniels" and "Danielle’s," uncompromising in their faith. Those who will bravely stand before the nations and the governing powers that be, perhaps in the face of intimidation and ridicule (perhaps in the face of actual persecution), and proclaim that our God is the living God, the one true God, enduring forever, whose kingdom will not be destroyed. (See Matthew 16:18.)

Through these dark days today let us pray as Peter prayed in the first century, "Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus" (Acts 4:29-30).

The LORD says,  
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth" (Psalm 46:10).

For further study and/or group discussion: Daniel 1, 6; 2 Chronicles 12; 36:15-23.

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