“Daniel…still prayed three times a day.” (Daniel 6:13)
Over the years, many believers in Jesus, under peril of death, have offered a firm refusal when commanded to disobey God. The story of Daniel is one such story. When a royal edict threatened that anyone “who prayed to any god or human being except the king” would be thrown into the lions’ den, Daniel discarded safety and remained faithful. “Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” The prophet would bend his knee to God, and only God, no matter the cost.
Sometimes, our choice, is clear. Though everyone around us implores us to go along with prevailing opinion, though our own reputation or well-being may be at risk, may we never turn from our obedience to God. Sometimes, even at great cost, all we can offer is a firm refusal.
- Where are you sensing that obedience to God will require your firm refusal?
- What might this refusal cost you? What will you gain?
God, we know our loyalty to You will at times mean saying no to others’ expectations or demands. It may cost us dearly. Give us courage.
Daniel 6: 10-23
Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Then the administrators and satraps went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree.
then they said to the king, “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.”
So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den.
At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”
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 to his God.
The integrity and loyalty of Daniel echo similarities in the life and story of Joseph. About eight hundred years before Daniel was chosen to be second in command to a Babylonian king, Joseph was made second in command of all Egypt. In their younger years, both ad been taken from their homes and families and forced into captivity in foreign lands. Both eventually interpreted the dreams of emperors who served other gods. Through abandonment and imprisonment both are remembered for showing God’s care not only for those who knew him, but for those who didn’t.