Focal Passage: Daniel 6:3-7, 10, 16-23
I am a hardheaded person. Now, all of those who know me and are reading this will be shouting “amen” right now and that’s okay because here is the point of making that statement. I don’t ever want to give up. It’s the challenge that drives me to keep going and to meet the obstacles head on until the challenge is complete. Many have that kind of drive when it comes to the physical realm, but what about the spiritual realm?
Daniel was a young man who not only met the challenges of this physical realm with tenacity and drive, but he was also a young man who rose to the occasion when spiritual challenges came his way. In Daniel 6 we find Daniel excelling in his service to the king and the kingdom. Now remember that Daniel was the exiled outsider whom the king had grown to respect and whom he had given much responsibility. As a matter of fact he had plans to “set him over the whole realm” (v. 3). Because of this upward movement of Daniel to the top many were becoming very jealous and looking for ways to subvert Daniel’s rise to the upper echelon of the kingdom. They were looking for ways to attack his character in the matters of the kingdom, but could find nothing to charge against him. What a testimony to those who are and those aspiring to become involved in politics; it can be done with Christ-like character. Not finding a way to attack him in his earthly responsibilities, they looked for a way to attack his faith. They knew that Daniel served, prayed, and worshiped Yahweh God and Him alone. It would be this undivided loyalty that would propel Daniel through the challenges that lie ahead.
Because they knew Daniel was a man of prayer, the jealous administrators proposed a way to entrap him in his faithfulness. They proposed to the king that he enact a prohibition on prayer to any god or man other than himself. The penalty for violation of this prohibition would be certain death by being thrown in a den of lions. This prohibition could not be repealed by even the king himself as it would be the law for 30 days. Daniel did not change his habits even though he knew the law had been enacted. Daniel knew that prayer was direct communication with God and nothing including violating a law that could end in death would persuade him to give up on prayer.
Daniel was spied upon and found to be in contempt of the king’s order not to pray to any other gods or man except the king himself. The charge was brought before King Darius and he was compelled by the law to give the order to place Daniel in the lion’s den even against his own personal feelings concerning Daniel. Even in the face of death, Daniel’s testimony of his faithfulness to God and God’s faithfulness to him was obvious even to an unsanctified king. Darius sealed the den with his signet ring to hinder any attempts of a mortal rescue, but all the while the king hoped that Daniel’s God would make a supernatural intervention on behalf of his trusted servant Daniel.
Daniel surely kept his regimen of prayer to God active while he was in the den of hungry lions. I remember seeing pictures as a child of Daniel standing boldly with eyes lifted to heaven praying while lions encircled him. That’s a picture of never giving up if I’ve ever seen one. Daniel’s faith and the supernatural intervention of God on his behalf is a testament to us to never give up on prayer and to trust in God at all times.
— Allred is pastor of First Baptist Church, Bruceton.