I'm part of a women's Bible study that meets every other Wednesday night, and right now we're working our way through Daniel. We don't do any written study or anything; we just read a chapter each time we meet and discuss. This week we read Daniel 6, AKA Daniel and the Lion's Den. I grew up with this story. I was the epitome of a Sunday School kid. I love reading Bible stories straight from scripture as an adult, because I see so many things I missed.
Daniel was a man of great character. He was very disciplined. He regularly prayed three times a day, and he fasted and watched what kinds of food he put in his body. He had a great grasp on the fact that no matter what human king was on the throne, God was in charge of all. He seemed to be pretty unshakeable. King Darius says no praying to anyone but him? Daniel goes home and prays to God. Business like clockwork.
There are at least four kings in the book of Daniel. The pattern is like this: king does something stupid, Daniel (or Daniel's friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abegnigo) stick to what he knows God's commands are, God performs miracle, king realizes who the true God is and declares it to the land, king does something stupid and loses the throne. It's not exactly the same for each king, but the point is that Daniel remains consistent. He doesn't pursue a high office; his character and excellence speak for themselves and he ends up in a very high office anyway. In chapter 6 it says that the king's advisers wanted to get rid of Daniel, but they couldn't find any fault in him, so they had to set up a trap using his religion against him. I don't know about you, but I want to be the kind of person who is so in tune with God that my character reflects that. I'd love it if the only way someone could get me in trouble was to make a law specifically targeting my faith.
A few of us commented that we see how obvious it should have been to the kings. Daniel's God is tops. Daniel is the man who is on the right track. Oh...wait...this could apply to our life, too? We should be able to look at the examples in the Bible and some things in our own lives should be pretty obvious? You mean the Bible can apply to us, too? ;)
I don't think I'll ever be at the point where I have faith like Daniel's. But I can do the best that Brenda can do. Faith as big as a mustard seed can move mountains. God seems to do some of his coolest miracles when situations are toughest, when it seems the most hopeless.