Who is Daniel? Who is God? Who am I? These are the questions we will continue to ask while reading the book of Daniel.
Who is Daniel
- Daniel lives according to God’s words (Daniel 1:8, 6:10)
- Daniel gives all the glory to God (Daniel 2:19) and proclaims it without fear (Daniel 2:28, 4:27, 5:22)
- Through Daniel, the world (the king) praises God’s greatness (Daniel 2:47, 6:26-27)
There are many characters of Daniel (and Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah) that we should see in our lives. First, he lives according to God’s words. He does what God says to do and he does not do what God says not to do. When he (and his friends) was captured by Babylon, he decided to not take the food that was provided to the captives because the food provided was defiled according to God’s command. This could have ended risking their lives as well as the commanders. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah) refused to serve king’s gods or the golden image which resulted in being cast into a furnace of blazing fire. Daniel did not worship the image of the king but continued kneeling to God which resulted in being cast into the lions’ den. Regardless of these consequences, Daniel (and his friends) knew whose words he should listen to. They were eventually saved from death; yet, it was not because they were saved or they knew they will be saved that they continued to serve God and no one else. It was only because they knew exactly who God is. (Daniel 3:16-18)
Second, Daniel remembers to give all the glory to God. When the king Nebuchadnezzar ordered to kill all the wise men for there was no one who can tell him what he dreamt and its meaning, Daniel (and his friends) prayed to God. God revealed the dream and its interpretation to Daniel. Daniel praises God and gives thanks to Him. Also, he states clearly that the interpretation comes from God. Through these events, God is glorified by the king of Babylon. The king who serves many gods and whose pride reaches high praises God because of Daniel. Also when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were about to be cast into the furnace, they stated clearly about God. So when they were unharmed, the king of Babylon again praises God. When Daniel survived the night in the lions’ den, the king Darius, knowing who Daniel is and God Daniel worships, praises God.
Lastly, Daniel does not fear whom he speaks to when delivering God’s words. When he was speaking to the kings that he served throughout his life, he sometimes had to speak of things that are unpleasant to the ears of the kings. Sometimes, his life was at stake. Even then, he spoke of it without fearing the kings. Daniel was not afraid of consequences that came from the kings. The only fear he had is fear of God. We should take these characters of Daniel seriously. Do we frequently compromise the determinations that we made in faith because of external forces? Do we deliberately not speak of God because it feels awkward to say it even when we know that God deserves to be glorified? Do we fear other people more than we fear God? We should stop, evaluate, and make adjustments. If we are living with a direction not given by God, we can never reach the place that God prepared for us. From Daniel, let’s remind ourselves to find a right direction of our daily choices.
Who is God
- God provides. (Daniel 1:9, 1:17, 2:19, ch 7-12)
- God delivers. (Daniel 3:25, 6:21-22)
- God punishes the evil and takes the praise that he rightfully deserves. (Daniel 4:30-33, 5:5-30, ch 7-12)
It is important to learn about Daniel and learn from him. However, let’s not forget that God is the one who led the life of Daniel. Daniel had characteristics that fit well to serve God, but he is not greater than God. First, God provides. From the beginning, God grants Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander. When Daniel wished not to defile himself, it was possible because the commander allowed the favors asked by him. When Daniel was to be killed with other wise men of Babylon, God revealed the dream of king Nebuchadnezzar and its interpretation. It could have never been known by any human skills. Later, Daniel sees visions which God provided.
Secondly, God delivers. Daniel and his friends faced death so many times. How God delivered them was something no person on earth could do. The friends of Daniel survived blazing furnace which was so hot that it burnt those men who carried them up. Daniel survived the lions’ den overnight with the lions that crushed those men who had maliciously accused Daniel even before they reached the bottom. The power and authority of God are so high that His ways of deliverance are beyond our thoughts.
Lastly, God is just. He punishes the evil and puts everything in the place where it should be. If a man takes the glory that God deserves, He will not let it happen. When the king Nebuchadnezzar said to himself ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty,’ the prophecy of punishment was fulfilled immediately. Until the day the king recognized God, he suffered living like a beast. Belshazzar, who did not humble his heart before God even after knowing what had happened to the previous king, was punished with death. Unless we remember that the glory should be returned to God, our lives will be like that of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar.