For those who have grown up in the church when they hear the name Daniel they typically think next, “Lion’s Den.” As children many grew up hearing Daniel and the lion’s den as one of the recurring and popular Bible stories. Why? Because Daniel was a man who showed incredible faith even when faced with death. What we forget sometimes is that the lion’s den wasn’t the only time Daniel faced possible death. In Chapter 2 Daniel faces the possibility of death along with all the other wisemen in the land. Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that bothered him and he wanted to know what it meant. He was so desperate to know the meaning, he threatened death to all the wisemen if no one could interpret the dream. One thing interesting that came from this threat was the secular wisemen making the statement in verse 11, “the thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.” Though these wisemen did not know the one true God, they at least recognized that what the king wanted was beyond their ability. They recognized their need for God even though they did not know God. Truly some difficulties come to show people their need for God. This response didn’t satisfy the king who then responded with the order to have the wisemen destroyed. Cue Daniel, who acted with prudence and discretion according to the Bible. He asked for a time to respond and it was granted.
What did Daniel do? First, he shared the matter with his friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (you might know them better as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). Which, by the way, reminds us that a life of faith is not meant to be lived alone. It is always a good thing to have godly friends to walk with you. Daniel asked his friends to seek God’s mercy on the matter so their lives would be spared. As a result, God revealed the dream to Daniel and Daniel told the king. What is the result? Daniel had an opportunity to give witness to God and he did. Daniel makes a statement very similar to the secular wisemen, but with an important difference. What did Daniel say? Verses 27 and 28 records Daniel’s words. “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in your latter day.” Daniel agreed that no one on earth could do what the King asked. But he gave witness that there is one God in heaven who can and, in fact, did what the King asked. It is important that we recognize that Daniel took the opportunity to witness for God. Daniel could have just stood before the King, given the interpretation and taken credit for a job well done, but he didn’t. Daniel took the opportunity to give a witness for God.
Let’s consider the next time, or even now, as we face difficult moments to look and see how God is at work. Then, as we see His hand move, let’s be sure to give God the glory He deserves. There is a world full of people who are being pointed to their need for God through the difficulties they face. It is up to God’s people to help them see that God is at work, that he deserves their praise, and that he wants to work in their lives. Let’s be God’s witnesses in our difficulties.