The narratives in book of Daniel are some of the most recognizable in all of scripture. They have even yield axioms such as “the writing on the wall” or in the “Lion’s Den.” The fact that the stories and characters within are so familiar is both a benefit and a detriment to those who know them well. These accounts aid in speaking to standing strong and resting in the sovereignty of God. Yet, because they are so recognizable, we often miss the truth that those who stand strong did not decide to do so in the moment. We see Daniel, Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego each living for God in a pagan, godless environment. Yet, these moments only reveal choices made by each long before the beginning of the book of Daniel. Each of these men chose to follow the God of Israel before the exile… before being brought into the court of the foreign king.
A glimpse of this truth is seen in small, seemly insignificant comments. One such statement is spoken after Daniel was placed in the den of lions. King Darius, ruler of Babylon and all of its providences, declared, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” A similar declaration, made by Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego, proclaims this truth when they told Nebuchadnezzar, “If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us…” What allowed three men to enter the fiery furnace and another to not fear the hungry lions? It was a choice made long before each event. Those who stood resolute decided to do so before the time of testing. These men chose God and this choice change every other choice.
As Christians, this is a truth that we must keep in mind. If we want to stand strong when temptation arises we must choice to do so before it arises. Our actions… our choices… our decision making only really uncovers our underlining nature. If we are Children of the Light, then that which is driving our decision… that which makes answer what should we should do must be our undying commitment to Christ as Lord and Savior.
Therefore, chose today whom you will serve!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6