This story begins with the power of God being made known without the help of man! When God set up plans of action for Daniel, they were never destroyed. No king such as Nebuchadnezzar or Darius could have overpowered God’s work through Daniel. At one point in the history of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar worshipped Daniel as the messenger of God. Eventually Daniel was promoted to being ruler of the entire province of Babylon. Did he accept this honor alone? Did Daniel forget his friends and their support in their earlier captivity? He definitely requested the promotion of Shadrach, Meshach and also Abed-nego, his special friends. Their faith was certainly tried and they refused to fall down at the King’s command and worship a golden image which he had set up (Daniel 3). Even in the fiery furnace they were not injured because the Son of God walked with them and prevented all harm. Remember what happened to the king’s helpers who tried to destroy them? They were killed by the same flames! With great faith in God, we have nothing to fear. God is all powerful. He is an awesome promise-keeper and a heavenly Father who watches over us every day. What affect did the fiery furnace deliverance have on Nebuchadnezzar? He was humbled by what he saw of the power of God. He learned to trust God eventually and demanded others to do the same.
God can warn us in many ways of dangers and possible downfalls. Daniel saw a vision of a flourishing tree cut down in a dream with a stump left for seven years surrounded by grass and beasts of the field (Daniel 4). Nebuchadnezzar called on all the great thinkers of his time, but they could not interpret this dream of a tree. These were men of every language. The king described God’s great signs and wonders. He continued by telling about his comforts and prosperity with contentment. God gave Daniel this gift to explain to the king, to make him see himself as great to people, but helpless before God to whom he must acknowledge that the MOST HIGH is sovereign over men and their kingdoms and gives them to anyone He wishes! Daniel continued by telling the king how the vision of the command to leave the stump of the tree with roots meant that his kingdom would be restored to him when God was recognized and that heaven rules! He was also asked to admit his sins and to do what was right that his prosperity would continue…
The king probably had no idea that the answers he needed could have come from Daniel who was only interested in pleasing God. Daniel was a teenager, a hostage in Babylon when he had to decide to stand up for what he believed or join in pagan ways. His obedience to God paid off. Did Daniel forsake the prayers three times each day or the worship of his God? He knew the consequences but still trusted God at all times.
Daniel never asked for wealth of prestige. As we read of the loyalty of Daniel to God, does this cause us to walk so close to God that unbelievers recognize it? Our convictions can be hard to follow at times. We can witness or say no when asked to join in questionable activities. How can we earn respect and honor from others? What did Daniel’s three friends say when they were threatened with death? “The God we serve is able to save us – even if He does not – we will not serve your gods.” When we face tough situations, we know that God is able to create most needed miracles. We must continue to remember that God delivers and rescues us according to His will. Let us forever praise His holy name!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.