Daniel was a prophet of God in the Bible who was taken into captivity together with the people of Israel in Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. In the Bible, Prophet Daniel proved to be faithful to God despite all the hardships he faced in captivity. This essay explores the life and ministry of Prophet Daniel.
After the Babylonians had captured Jerusalem, King Nebuchadnezzar picked noble, handsome men from Israels royal family who exhibited an ability to learn and taught them the Babylonian ways. They were to undergo training for three years, after which they became the servants of the king (Daniel 1:1-6). Among the men who were chosen included Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. After finishing the training, Daniel together with his compatriots turned out to be wiser, and they were subsequently taken into the kings service. The first sign of Daniels faithfulness to the Lord became evident when the four refused to eat and dine the rich food served at the kings table and instead became vegetarians because they felt that eating at the kings table would amount to defilement. Surprisingly, their health improved and the king allowed them to continue to eat whatever they wanted. Daniel and his compatriots gained more knowledge in every Babylonian matter, and God gave Daniel the skill of understanding all types of visions and dreams (Daniel 1:17).
During the second year of Nebuchadnezzars reign, the king had a dream that troubled him because he was unable to remember or interpret it. The king summoned his astrologers and magicians, but they could not interpret the dream nor even know what it was about. This angered the king, and he ordered that all wise men, Daniel and his compatriots included, to be killed. However, Daniel prayed to God, and he revealed the dream of the king to him. Daniel went before the king and told him that the dream meant that there will come a day when God will set up an everlasting kingdom that will destroy all the other kingdoms (Daniel 2:44-45). Consequently, the king honored Daniel by putting him in charge of all the Babylonian wise men. Daniel also requested the king who placed his three compatriots in authority as Babylon administrators. Later on, the king constructed a big golden statue and issued a decree that everyone bows down to worship it and whoever refused to do so be thrown into the fire (Daniel 3:6). However, Daniels compatriots, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, refused to worship the statue and were thrown into the fire. The king saw four men walking in the fire without being consumed by it, and he ordered them out of the fire and was shocked to see that they were all fine.
King Nebuchadnezzar had another dream, and Daniel interpreted it. The fulfillment of Daniels interpretation of the dream came to pass after the king became insane and later on his kingdom was restored and the king honored and praised Daniels God (Daniel 4:34-37). After Nebuchadnezzars reign, his son, Belshazzar, succeeded him as the king. During a feast, Belshazzar ordered that the silver and gold goblets, which were stolen from the Jerusalem temple be used. As a result of this defilement, the new king saw strange writings on the wall that he could not interpret. His astrologers failed to interpret them too, but Daniel did. This made the new king promote Daniel to be the third in authority in the kingdom (Daniel 5:29). As a fulfillment of Daniels interpretation of the writings, the king was killed that night in a battle and Darius became the king.
Daniel was successful in his responsibilities under the new king such that the king contemplated making him the overall head of the kingdom. This angered other administrators who plotted to bring him down. As such, they convinced the king to forbid his people from praying to their gods for thirty days and whoever disobeyed would be thrown into a den of lions. However, Daniel disobeyed the decree and openly prayed to God, and this angered the king who ordered that Daniel be thrown into the den of lions (Daniel 6:16). The following day, Daniel was alive and unharmed, and this prompted the king to send out a decree that all people should worship Daniels God. Daniel prospered throughout the kings reign.
The Holy Bible, King James Version. Cambridge Edition: 1769; King James Bible Online, 2016. www.kingjamesbibleonline.org
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