Steadfast in the faith – 22 June 2021
By Ben Fourie
Every time I read the book of Daniel, I visualise the picture that was in my Children’s Bible when I was a little boy. It depicted Daniel in the pit of lions with a lot of lions all around him. If this was the full story about Daniel, it would have given us a lot of information about Daniel’s faith in the power of God who was even able to shut the mouths of the lions. But the story of Daniel, and his faith in God, is much more than this. Daniel was, after all, a very capable young man who was chosen by God to bring the message of the God of Israel to the court of the most important kings of that time in history up to the time of the Persian king, Darius.
Let us put ourselves in Daniel’s place. He was very young when he, and others, was abducted and taken to Babylon, away from his country and people. Worst of all was that he and his friends were taken to a country that did not know or worship the God of Israel. Nebuchadnezzar even ransacked the temple and carried away the holy treasures. Amidst this displacement, they were given a unique opportunity to become part of the people serving in the palace. They were to be instructed in the language of the Chaldeans, taught the court protocols and even their food and wine were to come from the king’s table.
What a temptation, but they decided to eat only vegetables and drink only water as Daniel “made up his mind not to let himself become ritually unclean by eating the food and drinking the wine of the royal court.” Eating and drinking that food and wine would have infringed on his relationship with God. As we read the full story of Daniel, we see that he never wavered in his service of the God of Israel, even on the mouth of the lion’s pit. I think we can all confess that we do not have the courage of a Daniel every day. We are afraid to speak up when someone misuses the name of God and we do not talk about God among people we do not know well.
Prayer: Lord, please give me the courage of a Daniel to be steadfast in my faith in all circumstances. Amen