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Daniel - No Compromise Even To Death

The prophet Daniel is one of the greatest prophets of the Bible. He is best known for the prophecies he gave concerning the end days and anti-christ late in his life and being thrown into a lion's den on Darius the Great's orders.

He was carried off to Babylon while still young when the Babylonians invaded Judah and carried off the captives. He quickly rose to become one of the most prominent men in the King of Babylon's court. Daniel and 3 of his friends were chosen because of their wisdom and beauty to be trained as advisers. Daniel, Hanaiah, Mishael and Azariah, all hebrew names, were given the Babylonian names, Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Following the 3 years of royal training Daniel became known for the ability to interpret dreams. He also interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's dream of his descent into insanity and living in the wild like an animal for 7 years (Daniel 4).

When the Persians later conquered Babylon Daniel still held his position in the court. He continued to be highly respected and esteemed as he had been among the Babylonians. Daniel had a lot of influence and favor with Darius which made him virtually untouchable. Being a foreigner of the captive group and having risen to such an elevated position over the entire kingdom, Daniel began to attract jealousy. (Daniel 6) The administrators and the satraps tried to find some faults with Daniel in all of his government affairs, but they couldn't. Unable to find any corruption in Daniel or negligence they began to conspire, to use the one God Daniel worshiped and was loyal to against him.

They went to Darius and suggested the King make a law that no one could pray to any god except Darius for next 30 days. If anyone did they were to be thrown into the lion's den. Darius wasn't opposed. Darius didn't realize yet they simply did this to trap Daniel and get him out of the way. They knew better than anyone Daniel would never bow down to worship anything or anyone outside of God. King Darius wrote out the decree and once it was written it couldn't be undone even by the King.

Once Daniel heard about it, he went home to his upstairs room with the windows open toward Jerusalem, got on his knees and prayed as was his custom to do 3 times a day. The conspirators went as a group to Daniel's house and "caught" him breaking the King's law. That was the first place they went out of an entire kingdom. They immediately went to the King about Daniel and said “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” Daniel 6:13

It's not that Daniel had no loyalty to Darius, didn't care or didn't take Darius seriously. Daniel's loyalty was first to God. Darius was no dummy. What they didn't understand in their conspiracy, accusations and scheming was Darius knew better about Daniel. Darius immediately recognized, upon them reporting Daniel, the new law they suggested had actually been a trap, not for all people living under Persian rule, but specifically against Daniel. Darius had no problem with Daniel's worship of this foreign God, because that worship, loyalty and obedience to his God made Daniel beneficial, trustworthy, highly capable and loyal to Darius as it had to the Babylonians before Persian rule.

Distressed over Daniel being caught in their trap, Darius seemed to panic and immediately tried to do everything he could to rescue Daniel. He looked for every way to free him, but couldn't. Once the decree was written, by law, it couldn't be undone. Darius had no choice but to have Daniel thrown into the lion's den.

Something huge happens between Daniel, Darius and God. Before the stone was rolled over the opening of the cave, king Darius told Daniel “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”Daniel 6:16. Darius didn't have a good night. He was up the entire time frantic about Daniel. He couldn't eat, couldn't sleep and only wanted to be left alone. As soon as the sun rose, Darius hurried to the den hoping that Daniel's God had performed a miracle.

That alone says so much about Daniel's character and known loyalty to God. A God that Darius, the Persians or the Babylonians before didn't even know. They just witnessed the strong relationship through Daniel, they benefited greatly from it and it gave Darius enough faith in a foreign God that Daniel might make it. The fact that Darius ran to the tomb the next morning looking for a very much alive Daniel, is a picture of the disciples running to Christ's tomb. Darius showed tremendous amounts of faith that he even went to the tomb at all, let alone ran to it. There was no logical way Daniel would still be alive. Those lions kept in that den were always half starved purposely. There was no way Daniel could out maneuver them all night long, fight them off or keep them back. So the faith Darius displayed wasn't in Daniel, or those lions. It was in God alone.

When Darius reached the stone he yelled for his adviser “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel 6:20

Not just any god, "the living God". The eternal, all powerful, active, highly involved and righteous God. He didn't just yell "Hey! Are you alive in there?!" Darius chose to honor God and display his faith even in yelling out for Daniel. This is a huge statement in itself coming from a pagan. In essence, Darius was elevating the God of the Jews above all others including his own and himself. Rulers, in that part of the world, were considered and worshiped as gods. But even Darius knew his gods couldn't perform such a miracle or even himself. He or his gods were no match for this God. This all came to be because of one man's faithfulness and his refusal to compromise.

"Daniel answered, '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 you, Your Majesty.' The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God." Daniel 6:21-23

Of course the administrators and satraps were immediately arrested for their conspiracy. They, along with their families, were thrown into the den where they were devoured. But Daniel in the lion's den is a great lesson on faithfulness to God even though it cost us our lives. Daniel could have went home and not prayed for 30 days. By all earthly accounts he had a lot to lose. Daniel could have closed the window so he wasn't seen, but that wasn't what he normally did. Daniel continued despite the  new law to be faithful and worship God.

We compromise so much and so easily. We'll easily lie so as not to disrupt our lives, our jobs or positions and families. We're told it's ok to lie if it means we could lose our lives, families, etc. That's not what God says. It's either total devotion or none at all. Had Daniel even changed anything about his loyalty to God, even just to close the window, it would have been sin and compromise. The same as if Daniel had bowed down and prayed to the king as the new law required. Though he thought he was going to die, Daniel would not slip or give in. Because he was faithful even unto death, God rescued him from the half starved lions kept for law breakers.

Not only was Daniel spared, but what he did was a huge testimony to Darius who immediately issued a decree throughout the kingdom "people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end." Daniel would rather be put to death than to go against God. Daniel would rather be ripped apart by hungry lions than to disrespect or disobey God. Darius noticed. Though Daniel's enemies tried to use that faithfulness against him, they noticed Daniel's relationship with God too.

It was after he'd been thrown into the den that Daniel began to have his apocalyptic visions. Because he stayed faithful he's not only immortalized and known throughout the world still, he was shown things that no one has ever seen. He experienced things no one would. From Daniel do we understand so many prophecies that we watch daily coming to pass. The den was the test and gateway to being used by God in unbelievable ways. He went on to live a long life and later was laid to rest (many believe) in Susa in Iran.

Millions have been won to Christ because they witnessed someone refusing to compromise for God and not loving their lives even unto death for His sake. Persecution of any kind can be an opportunity for a tremendous witness. Even just refusing to bend by lying (even if seen as a small lie) is a strong statement to those around us. Others notice and that's the mark of true integrity, standing for what's right in all situations. Any amount of compromise poisons everything else. Whatever we face and whatever we may go through,  what's important is holding firm to our faith and standing our ground even if it costs us our very lives.
Disclaimer: I do not condone the teaching of men by women nor am I trying to exercise authority over men by using this blog as a method of teaching men. All posts are for the edification of women. For more on what I believe concerning this issue please see: Women - No Dominion Over Men
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