Daniel must have been a bold man. He made up his mind to violate his captors’ rules while living in their hostile land. What’s more, he resolved to not defile himself because of his devotion to God.
It wasn’t that he was scared of what the Jewish rabbis would say back in Jerusalem. There were none left there. It wasn’t that he was afraid of what his own people thought of him because he had already lived as a favored servant, residing in the household of the king. And, it wasn’t as if he thought he would benefit from refusing to obey the orders of his captors. We’ll see in a few verses just what the penalty for disobedience was.
No, Daniel must have been bold to resolve to follow God and God only no matter what this cost him. That’s leadership. That’s boldness. Even better, Daniel was fearless to present himself to his captors and ask for their permission to do this. Imagine it: you’re being given the most favorable treatment among a nation of hundreds of thousands of slaves. You’ve been brought to the house of the king to be trained as his servant (when the king could choose anyone he wanted to be a servant). Your life has been spared, and now you have the bold resolve to not only defy the orders of the king (and his minions) but for their permission, their blessing, to do so. “Sir, I mean no disrespect to you, but the best food in your kingdom is an abomination to the Lord, and I cannot in good conscience eat it.”
Boldness. Such boldness comes only from deep, abiding faith in the living God. He’s the God Daniel followed. He’s the God of our fathers today.
Now’s the time to ask a question of yourself. Have you ever been as bold as Daniel? Have we ever truly displayed such deep faith in such a way as he did? And if we haven’t, then what’s stopping us now? Indeed, now’s also the time to remember that this life of blessing could end at any moment. That our world isn’t so different from Daniel’s, and that hostile actors earnestly work to deny the truth of our God. If we haven’t been as bold as Daniel yet, our time for boldness may be coming very soon. We may not have to stand tall, but with God’s help, we can stand up to anything.
For further reading: Ezekiel 4:13-14, Daniel 1:9
Sovereign Lord, may I always follow only You. When I’m weak, give me Your strength.
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