The backstory of the story of Daniel is that he was living as a captive slave in Babylon. God had warned His people that they would suffer dire consequences if they didn't begin to live the way He had instructed them to live. Truth is... God's warnings to them became like, "Right.. God.. blah.. blah.. blah.. Judgement.. blah.. blah.. blah.. You keep sending warnings.. and then nothing happens... " They weren't so concerned with being God's people. Or concerned with God. They just lived like the world around them, unwilling to be set apart. So, He removed His protection from them and badda bing! - they were conquered and led away as slaves to heathen Babylon.
So we know the story. The King is talked in to signing a law that specifically targeted Daniel. A law forbidding anyone to pray to anyone but the King for 30 days. THIS IS WHO DANIEL WAS WORKING FOR --- A HEATHEN KING WHO HAD NO PROBLEM SIGNING A LAW REQUIRING EVERYONE TO PRAY TO HIM. AND TO HIM ALONE.
Here's what Daniel DID:
- Daniel decided to be diligent in his work... even though he was working for a heathen. HIS LIFE gave glory to God even though the people he worked for did not. (This story can be found in the book of Daniel, Chapter 6)
- Daniel's life was SO trustworthy that the people who hated him could only find HIS RELIGION as something to trap him with. Daniel was diligent to live according to God's design even though he was surrounded by Babylonians who HATED HIM.
- Daniel's exemplary life caused the KING to encourage Daniel to trust God - "May your God whom you serve so faithfully rescue you." (v. 16) DANIEL'S LIFE BEFORE THE LION'S DEN WAS SEEN AS FAITHFUL TO HIS GOD EVEN BY THOSE WHO DID NOT TRUST GOD.
- God delivered Daniel. "Not a scratch was found on him for HE had trusted in HIS GOD."
Here's what Daniel did NOT DO:
- He did NOT stop praying or practicing his faith in God even though the world around him hated him for doing it.
- He did NOT defend himself against those who hated him.
- He did NOT start a mass boycott against the Babylonian super store.
- He did NOT post rants on Facebook about the fact that the Babylonians were acting like.. uh... uh... heathen Babylonians. He kept looking to and praying to GOD. His eyes were on God. NOT the Babylonians. NOT the LIONS..
- He acknowledged that the current situation of God's people was the fault of God's people turning from God rather than God turning from His people. (Daniel 9). His prayers were NOT "God this is NOT FAIR." but.. rather.. "God you are right to have done this to us. We neglected and rejected you.. yes. .WE your people did."
- He DID NOT try to get out of the lion's den, but rather trusted God to take care of the lions.. and his enemies.
- He DID NOT blame the heathen King. He DID NOT blame God. He just continued to live righteously.
So.. for those of us who are existing in "Babylon"... we can learn from Daniel that while you're living in Babylon keep your focus on the God of Heaven. If Daniel had lived a cushy life with no resistance from the heathens.. there would be no glory being given to His God.
God received glory from Daniel's life.
If being hated will bring God glory.. then... maybe we will be like our LORD.. who was hated.. killed.. and RESURRECTED. And is coming back to get this planet back to square one.. He will rule in righteousness.
People around us are watching us. Some watch to accuse and criticize. But others are watching to see if what we say about God.. is real. Some are watching to see if the "God of ________(insert your name) is the One True God. " Your life - the way you live - will bring others to acknowledge God as God. And be delivered also. And be saved. And be children of God.
In our flesh.. we want to protest. Scream. Lash out.
In the Spirit... we give all things to our Lord.
We are living in Babylon. Someday we will be home. Someday our Homeland will became reality. Until then don't expect the Babylonians to act like God's people.
God's people need to act like God's people.. and let the Babylonians do what Babylonians do.
God will deliver us.
From the mouths of lions.