Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known.

Do you remember that old Sunday School tune?  Actually, I don’t remember it very well.  I had to look up the lyrics.  Daniel, of course, is known to thousands of Sunday School children as the man who survived the lions den.  He was set up.  King Darius had put Daniel in charge of the whole kingdom, but the other supervisors and governors were jealous.  So they set a trap.  They tricked the king into signing a law that said no one could worship anyone except him for 30 days.  They knew Daniel would not obey this, and they were right.  He prayed to the God of Israel openly every day, 3 times a day, at the upstairs window in his home that faced Jerusalem.  The trap was set.  All the governors had to do was sit outside Daniel’s window and wait.  Sure enough, there he was, down on his knees.  Long story short.  Daniel was thrown into the lions den, but God closed the mouths of the lions and he walked out the next morning without a scratch.  Daniel was indeed brave for the Lord!

Did you know that Daniel is one of the few men of the Bible that nothing bad is recorded about?  Pretty impressive!  There is much to be learned from Daniel beyond the story of the lions den.  Here are 7 lessons we can all learn from Daniel.

Lesson 1:  Obey God’s commands.  Daniel 1:8-16 tells the story of who Daniel and his friends requested to not eat the food given to them by King Nebuchadnezzar, their captor, because it would cause them to become unclean…it would be breaking God’s commands.  They were allowed to eat only vegetables and water on a trial basis.  But after just 10 days, they were so noticeably healthier than all the other captives who were given the king’s food that the guard put everyone on the same diet!  God blessed Daniel’s obedience.

Lesson 2:  Praise and thank God for answered prayers.  Daniel 2:19-23.  King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream.  Not only did he want his wise men to interpret the dream, he wanted them to tell him what the dream was!  Of course, none of them could do it, so he sentenced them all to death!  Nice fellow.  Anyway!  Daniel heard about the situation.  He went to his friends, the now famous Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and asked them to join him in praying that God would reveal the mystery to them and the meaning.  During the night, God showed Daniel the dream, and gave him the interpretation.  The first thing Daniel did in the morning was praise God and thank Him for the answers to their prayers.  Daniel went to the king, and the king made him ruler of the whole area and over all the wise men.  And Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were made leaders over the area of Babylon.

Lesson 3:  Word hard, and don’t be lazy; be trustworthy and honest.  Daniel 6:3-5.  Remember the trap set by the jealous governors and supervisors?  They had to resort to setting a trap because they could find nothing wrong with Daniel.  He did his work as a governor better than any of the others, he was trustworthy and not lazy or dishonest.  There was no reason for them to accuse him, so they had to make something up that had to do with the one thing they knew he was faithful to do and would not stray from, praying to the God of Israel.

Lesson 4:  Be loyal to God.  Daniel 6:10.  As we have already seen, Daniel refused to bow and worship any other god than the one true God of Israel.

Lesson 5:  Pray regularly, faithfully.  Daniel 6:10…again.  We are told that Daniel knelt down 3 times a day, every day, to pray and thank God.  I’m guessing it wasn’t a pat “Thank You for this food, amen,” kind of prayer either.

Lesson 6:  Serve God always.  Daniel 6:16.  Daniel was known as a faithful servant of God Most High.  In the later years of his life, while governor for King Darius, his reputation was well known.  Before booting him into the lions den, King Darius recognized Daniel’s faithfulness to God in saying, “May the God you serve ALL THE TIME save you!”

Lesson 7:  Worship God always.  Daniel 6:20.  Again, an acknowledgement of Daniel’s character and faithfulness to God, was when King Darius went to the lions den the morning after and called out, “Daniel, servant of the living God!  Has your God THAT YOU ALWAYS WORSHIP been able to save you from the lions?”

Daniel 6:28 sums up the incredible life of Daniel in a neat little package…”So Daniel was successful during the time Darius was king and when Cyrus the Persian was king.”  Of course, we could also add Nebuchadnezzar.  Seems to me that being recognized by God in His Word as being successful is a pretty good thing.  The example Daniel set, the lessons taught in the way he lived his life, are well worth learning!