There’s SO much great stuff in Daniel that I had to break this part of the study into 2 sections. You can read Part 1 here, then let’s pick up where we left off!
Daniel’s suffering and persecution-
In chapter 9, during the reign of the new king, Darius, we find Daniel, once again, praying. As he read the writings of Jeremiah and mourned over the condition of Jerusalem, the only thing he could do was pray. He prayed intensely for his country and his people. In light of the prophecies recorded by Jeremiah as well as the mystifying visions supplied by God, Daniel regularly interceded for Israel. Again, because of his integrity and faithfulness, God entrusted Daniel, as we read in chapters 9-12, with some pretty heavy visions of future kingdoms and deepening layers of how history would unfold.
Meanwhile, a nasty plot unfolded.
Back in chapter 6, while Daniel was again promoted to the highest position of authority just under the king, some jealous and ruthless co-workers sought to take out Daniel by using his personal prayer discipline against him.
They tricked the king into signing a decree that would certainly land Daniel a dinner date with some hungry lions.
What did Daniel do?
But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. Daniel 6:10
“As usual” and “just as he had always done”, Daniel prayed. From those early days of desperately seeking God for the interpretation of that first dream until then with calm assurance that his life was in God’s hand, Daniel prayed.
Daniel was skilled, talented, educated, and more capable with greater ability than any other of the administrators or high officials (Dan 6:3). Yet, Daniel prayed.
In the opportunity of unprecedented access and authority….
In the presence of maniacal adversaries….
In the face of certain death…..
Still, Daniel prayed.
I wonder when Daniel was down in that cave for that very long night with lions if he thought pondered the dreams and visions he’d been given.
If God could handle such terrible greatness in the ages to come as evidenced, then surely God could handle a few hungry lions! Once again, Daniel experienced God’s deliverance when the mouths of the lions were shut!
Sadly, Daniel never got to go home. He never experienced the restoration of Jerusalem and God’s people as he’d read about in the writings of Jeremiah. He completed all his days serving, with excellence, in the unexpected ministry in a strategically placed government ‘job’. He successfully fulfilled his mission to influence the reign of kings and kingdoms all the while interceding for his people and recording future events that would benefit us all.
I am amazed it all took place because of the discipline Daniel began when he was a young person which served him all through the years as a ‘high ranking’ captive in Babylon. No matter what he experienced- opportunity and authority or discrimination and oppression, Daniel never forgot who was really in charge. Daniel never forgot in whom he trusted.
Daniel’s life and ministry serve as a powerful example to us that God can accomplish amazing things through us when we submit to His Will with integrity and faithfulness! No matter what position in life we find ourselves, no matter what station of ministry we are serving. may we live and pray and serve more like Daniel!
If you want to study a little deeper about the life and ministry of Daniel (and the other prophets) and reflect on your own ministry, sign up for this Bible study here.
PS…Although the Heroes of the Faith Bible study concludes with these 3 OT Prophets, stay tuned for more modern day Heroes in the 20th century. I’ll give you a clue- WWII Nazi concentration camps!