AN EXCELLENT SPIRIT
Daniel in the lions den is a bible story that I have heard often. Daniel was thrown into the lions den, but God sent his angel to shut the mouth of the lions and they did not hurt him (Daniel 6:22). But why was he thrown into the lions den in the first place, what did he do wrong?
Daniel’s life was that of excellence, from the time he was young till he became the King’s governor. Daniel lived such a life of excellence that his rivals could not find a fault in him, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.” Daniel 6: 5 NKJV Daniel’s character did not just come upon him at once, but it was something he developed since he was young.
Daniel was among the many Jews taken into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. Along with his friends (the three Hebrew boys – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego), Daniel was called to serve in the Kings palace, but they refused to be defiled by the Kings choice foods and wine. After their training when they stood before the king he saw that they were ten times better than their peers.
Daniel then went on to interpret dreams and the writing on the wall for Nebuchadnezzar and he was described as “a man in your kingdom in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God” (Daniel 5:11 NKJV). And eventually in the time of the new King, Darius , some of Daniel’s rivals plotted against him. King Darius was tricked into signing a law that forbade the worship of anyone but him. Daniel was then sent to the lions den because he prayed to the living God. Darius however knew that Daniel had a good heart and said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” Daniel 6:16 NLT
WHY DID DANIEL HAVE AN EXCELLENT SPIRIT?
God was number one
Daniel put God first in everything and he prayed often. God is a giver of good gifts and Daniel and his friends were not exempted from receiving these gifts. “As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” Daniel 1 : 17 NKJV. God had given Daniel these gifts and he used them to the glory of God, letting the kings he served know that there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets. Daniel 2:28.
“Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” Daniel 6 : 10 NIV
Even in times of trouble he knew God will protect him and see him through, Daniel 6:22. Also Daniel didn’t take the glory for himself and he was not self-seeking, when the king Nebuchadnezzar offered him rewards, he did not accept them.
He surrounded himself with like-minded people
Daniel and his friends chose not to defile themselves with the Kings food. Although they were in a different society and country they did not compromise who they were and abided by their own principles. Daniel and his friends were ten times better than their peers and outstanding in the eyes of the King Cyrus. In later years when the king Nebuchadnezzar had ordered that everyone in Babylon bow to the golden image he made, they refused to do so as they served the living God (Daniel 3:13). Their refusal caused them to be thrown into a fiery furnace, they however were not consumed by the fire and the king decreed that no one should speak against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Daniel and his friends were all on the same terms they served God in spite of the circumstances they were faced with. These same principle allowed them to keep each other grounded in their faith.
There is a lot to learn from the life of Daniel; excellence in every area of our lives is attainable and the same God in the time of Daniel is the same God in our time. This excellent sprit set Daniel apart and granted him favour with God and man. You don’t have to look far for the spirit of excellence, it’s already in you.
Ifeoluwa Jaiyesimi ©
The Revolutionary Righter ©