The History Channel is featuring a new multi-part series entitled The Bible. It is a selection of dramatized Bible stories from Genesis through the death of Jesus.
Sunday night I watched Part 3 of the series. It featured the story of Daniel and his three friends—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They did a great job portraying what might have happened.
The first scene shows the burning of Jerusalem by the wicked king Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel and his three friends were taken captive, along with the entire nation, to Babylon to be ruled by Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel’s reputation preceded him and he was made an adviser to Nebuchadnezzar. He and his friends are described in the second chapter as doing their work 10 times better than anyone else. However, Daniel's stock went way up after the king required that a dream be interpreted by the magicians and advisers, or all the advisers would die. Talk about an unreasonable boss! Daniel approached the king and said God would tell him his dream and the interpretation. That is pretty gutsy!
Daniel went to his friends and explained the situation. They went to God in prayer and God gave Daniel the dream AND the interpretation. Just like the Red Sea parting, Daniel is placed into an impossible situation, humanly speaking. But God gave a supernatural solution.
The result: Daniel and his friends, and the non-believers, were spared. They were given raises and more responsibility. And the God of Abraham was protected in the land.
Later Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to worship the golden idol Nebuchadnezzar set up. They were thrown into the fiery pit. However, instead of burning up, God protected them and showed up in the midst of the fire. Their chains were removed and they walked out untarnished. Again, God’s name is honored and they are elevated.
Later Daniel serves in the administration of the King of Persia and there is a political smear campaign against Daniel by one of the king’s men. They passed a law that no one could pray for thirty days. Daniel refused and was caught praying. He was thrown into the lion’s den, but God closed the lion’s mouths.
The king had a change of heart because of a dream he had, but got to the dungeon after Daniel had been tossed in. He was there to see Daniel walk out. Again, God’s name is protected and he is honored and his accuser is thrown to the lions, except this time they are very hungry!
The moral of these amazing stories is that great stories come from great obedience to God, and great faith and courage. You never have stories told about anyone who played it safe or did not step into an impossible situation. Where is God calling you to step into that requires courage and faith? What problem are you called to solve?
Os Hillman is author of Change Agent and Today God Is First online devotional.