Daniel not only survived in Babylon, but he thrived... by uncompromisingly obeying
God and playing
by the rules.
He didn't try to be a maverick or an ultra-spiritual zealot. He simply kept his priorities
straight and never wavered. He honored God first, then, as long as there was no contradiction, he honored the King.
His career was astounding--he was promoted early, was given great wealth and
held a prominent position in the politics of his government his entire life.
He was even appointed to the position of Prime Minister when he was in his 90's.
He enjoyed the affection and confidence of the most powerful men of his time. What a heady experience that must have
Daniel walked in high cotton most of his career—as a slave to the king of Babylon.
How did he keep all that from going to his head?
Aside from Joseph, Daniel was the most powerful slave in history, and his career was, if
possible, even more spectacular, because, like Joseph, Daniel made a commitment from the get go that he would not defile himself.
That commitment included being willing to sacrifice his very life, if necessary, before
he would allow himself to compromise his faith or sin against his God.
So fear of losing his job was never even an issue.
If your commitment to God
is not that strong, don’t waste your time reading the rest of this section—It’s not what you're
Go ahead and commit yourself to the God of corporate success and all that will bring.
You may well end up making lots of money and enjoying status and prestige.
You might end up having every material thing you ever dreamed of...
But you won't have peace—I guarantee it.
Daniel followed protocol. He learned, and followed, all the rules of the palace—as long as they did not require him
He not only refused to sin—but he generally made no secret of refusing to sin.
However, it behooves us to pay close attention to his very first opportunity to compromise
his faith and obedience to God when he was still very new to Babylon.
It's tough when we’re new on a job, and we haven’t yet been given the opportunity
to prove our worth to our employers, to be asked, at that point, to take what could be
an unpopular stand, and very possibly negatively affect the rest of our career there.
But God doesn’t always call
us to take the zealot, as Butch calls it, the "two by four" approach. Diplomacy, at times, is OK, and frequently—very
When Daniel (and his “fellows”) were required to eat the King’s meat
(possibly meat sacrificed to idols, and therefore unlawful for a Jew to eat) and to drink the King’s wine, Daniel approached
his immediate supervisor and tactfully suggested an alternative—then left the final decision up to him.
If his supervisor had ultimately refused to go along with the suggestion—knowing
Daniel's record for standing firm—Daniel and “his fellows”, at that point, would most likely have taken
a firm, public stand.
But why jump straight into martyrdom if we don’t have to?
As it turned out, they didn’t have to. God had already given Daniel supernatural
favor and opened the lines of communication between him and his boss.
He made it possible for Daniel and his fellows not to commit sin. They chose
to go the diplomatic route first.
And we all know how the rest of that story goes....
(if not, you can read
about it in Daniel chapter 1)