Expectant Prayers ®

Jennifer Jo Weiss

Become a "Daniel"

This topic of Daniel came up on Saturday evening, but it's really been on my heart.  Let's look at Daniel and see what we can learn.....

Daniel was a servant of God from the time he was young.  He was faithful to the Lord and put his trust in Him.  When times of trial came his way, he was not shaken, but rather proven.   As he grew in life, he continued to prosper because of God... even in the face of adversity.  He was a man who prayed three times a day!  Now that's commitment!   Oh, may we rise up as Daniels in this day we live!


Israel had been captured by Babylon (think of the middle east area - specifically Iraq/Iran).  King Nebuchadnezzar had ordered his staff to bring some of the young men of Judah's royal family and other nobles to the palace.  The king said, "Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men,” he said. “Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good judgment, and are suited to serve in the royal palace. Train these young men in the language and literature of Babylon". The king assigned them a daily ration of food and wine from his own kitchens.  They were to be trained for three years, and then they would enter the royal service.

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men chosen, all from the tribe of Judah.  The chief of staff renamed them with these Babylonian names:

   Daniel was called Belteshazzar.
   Hananiah was called Shadrach.
   Mishael was called Meshach.
   Azariah was called Abednego.

Daniel decided not to be defile himself with the King's food and wine and asked for the staff to test them for 10 days while they ate only vegetables to see how they (the four) looked in comparison to the others.  Sure enough, they were healthier and so the order went out to put all those in training on the same diet!

The Word says, "God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams."  In the second year of King Nebuchadnezzar's reign, he began having dreams, which Daniel interpreted. Many years later, he also interpreted the writing on the wall at King Belshazzar's drunken party.

I love what Daniel said about the dreams in chapter 2, "“While Your Majesty was sleeping, you dreamed about coming events. He who reveals secrets has shown you what is going to happen.  And it is not because I am wiser than anyone else that I know the secret of your dream, but because God wants you to understand what was in your heart."     Very telling!

The king found no equal to these four.  They were full of wisdom and balanced judgment. They were impressive and four times more capable than any of the king's magicians and enchanters.   The Word also says that Daniel remained in the King's service until the reign of King Cyrus.    Even when captured by men that they did not want to serve, God's will was being accomplished regardless of how things appeared to the physical eye. 


One of Daniel's interpretations seems eerily similar to what we face in our own nation today.  Read these words:

"The feet and toes you saw were a combination of iron and baked clay, showing that this kingdom will be divided. Like iron mixed with clay, it will have some of the strength of iron.  But while some parts of it will be as strong as iron, other parts will be as weak as clay.  This mixture of iron and clay also shows that these kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other through intermarriage. But they will not hold together, just as iron and clay do not mix.


The book of Daniel also gives the account of what happens to God's children in the face of evil governmental decrees.  Chapter 3 gives the testimony of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.   Nebuchadnezzar wanted the kingdom to bow to him and worship him (his power and authority had gone to his head), but the three Hebrew children would not bow.  He had them thrown into the fiery furnace.  The guards perished because of the heat, but the three men walked around in the fire and were not destroyed.  In fact, God walked in the midst of them! 

In the midst of the fire, God will prove us, protect us, and bring glory to His name!  Those who witness what may happen will be in awe and praise our God because of God's hand on us.

In the case of King Belteshazzar, God wrote on the plaster wall...

means ‘numbered’—God has numbered the days of your reign and has brought it to an end.
 Tekel means ‘weighed’—you have been weighed on the balances and have not measured up.
   Parsin means ‘divided’—your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

God does have a say whether or not He allows wicked kings to rule.  Belteshazzar was killed that very night.

What happened to Daniel?  He was dressed in purple robes, a gold chain hung around his neck, and he was elevated to the third highest position in the kingdom!

King Darius followed.  Listen to this passage.  It is also strikingly similar to modern events:

"Darius the Mede decided to divide the kingdom into 120 provinces, and he appointed a high officer to rule over each province.  The king also chose Daniel and two others as administrators to supervise the high officers and protect the king’s interests. Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire."

 Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy. So they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.”

The evil administrators and high officials came together in agreement (hmmm...that sounds familiar too) to create legislation that would entrap Daniel.  Darius listened to the bad advise of his officials and also wanted his people to pray to no one but him for 30 days.  It was signed into law.  Bad LAW!    Of course, Daniel did not listen and continued to pray three times a day!  We all know what happened to him... He was thrown into a den of lions. 

What happened to God's child, Daniel?  God sent an angel to shut up the lions mouths and he was not harmed in the least.   The Word says,

"The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.

 Then the king gave orders to arrest the men who had maliciously accused Daniel. He had them thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. The lions leaped on them and tore them apart before they even hit the floor of the den.

 Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world:

   “Peace and prosperity to you!
  “I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel.

   For he is the living God,
      and he will endure forever.
   His kingdom will never be destroyed,
      and his rule will never end.
 He rescues and saves his people;
      he performs miraculous signs and wonders
      in the heavens and on earth.
   He has rescued Daniel
      from the power of the lions.”

And what else happened to Daniel?  He continued to prosper even to the reign of Cyrus.


We need to have the tenacity and strength that Daniel had in our lives today and it only comes by serving God.  As in many respects throughout the Bible, those who had the most influence in the kingdom/nations were not the kings themselves, but those who worked alongside the rulers...doing whatever it was they did to the best of their abilities.  This is true for Daniel, Joseph, Deborah (and many of the judges), and Esther.

In the days ahead, we may want to pinch ourselves and wake up from the nightmare that is now reality in our country... but God says,  DO NOT FEAR!  I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD AND I WILL NEVER LEAVE OR FORSAKE YOU!   Do not fear what man can do.  Let's learn a lesson today from the Bible and concentrate on the content of our own character and relationship with God and not look to rulers to dictate whether or not we serve Him.    Be steadfast in prayer as Daniel was and true to your God.   

Prayer puts us on God's terms, not us putting God on OUR terms.  Friends, we need to learn the difference!

When you've done all you can do... STAND.

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