What would it take for you to walk away from God? Is there a line you wouldn’t cross to deny your Savior or break fellowship?  We may think that kind of pressure couldn’t happen in the United States, but there may come a time when your allegiance to God is challenged.

So far, we are still free in America to worship and pray to God, but for the Jews in sixth century Babylon, it was forbidden for a time. After they were taken away from their homeland in the Diaspora and made to live under foreign rule in captivity, an edict came down from King Darius that prayers were not to go to anyone but him for 30 days. Despite the forbiddance from the king, the prophet Daniel continued to devote himself to prayer to his Lord. And we all know what happened next…

Thrown to the lion’s, Daniel and his story describe a man of immense spiritual strength. He was sent to the den because he prayed to the Almighty God. He didn’t bend or sway to the king, nor did he fall away for fear of wild animals. In Daniel 1:8: “He purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself or commit a blatant act of wickedness such as worshiping a false god.” His story is akin to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace where they were cast for their devotion to the Lord by not bowing down to the image of King Nebuchadnezzar.

In both stories we learn that the jealousy of the non-Jews toward those who wished to honor God ultimately led them to near-death events. In both situations, the intended result was thwarted. Both in the lion’s den as well as the hot oven, the Jewish men overcame their enemies and were delivered by the hand of God. What’s even more interesting is that God changed the hearts of the kings who ordered them to suffer. By not compromising their faith, the greatness of God shone forth and his name was magnified.