How should you respond when put into a situation that is totally out of your control, and completely unfair?
After reading the book of Daniel, I would say…Keep Calm and Trust God.
You see Daniel was taken from his homeland of Israel as a young man as part of the exile to Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem and took the wise and intelligent young men of Israel to serve him in his royal courts. Daniel and his friends were among those taken against their will to serve the Babylonian king.
But Daniel quickly stood out among the captives. From the beginning, the scripture says that God caused the king’s official to show favor and compassion to Daniel (Daniel 1:9). And that God gave knowledge and understanding to Daniel and his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 1:17).
In the middle of dire life and death circumstances, Daniel stayed calm and trusted God.
Daniel and his friends, along with the wise men of Babylon were to be put to death because King Nebuchadnezzar was frustrated that no one could tell him about the disturbing dream he had, or its interpretation. But the scripture says in Daniel 2:14 says “…When the commander of the king’s guard had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact”.
Daniel boldly requests a meeting with King Nebuchadnezzar and asks for more time to give the king an answer. The king grants him his request, and what does Daniel do?
And he asks his friends to pray.
And the very night they prayed, God revealed to Daniel the dream and its meaning.
And Daniel’s response? He humbly gives thanks to God and attributes all of his wisdom and understanding to God.
In this situation where it would have been so easy for Daniel to take the credit, he stands before the king and says it was not him who is giving the answer to the dream, but it is God in heaven who reveals all mysteries that has given him the answer to the dream.
Daniel uses his big moment in the spotlight to not shine the light on himself, but to humbly point others to God.
And as a result, King Nebuchadnezzar falls to the ground and declares “Surely your God is the God of all gods, and the Lord of kings, and the revealer of mysteries…” (Daniel 2:46-47).
And later on in Daniel’s life, we continue to see him being praised for his faithfulness and integrity.
Daniel 6:3-4 says “Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.”
The Bible never talks about Daniel returning back to Israel. But instead, he faithfully served under three major kings while in Babylon….Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, and Cyrus. And the Bible says that he prospered under their reign.
Daniel had every reason to be angry and bitter and to shake his fist at God for the situation he found himself in. But instead he placed his faith and trust in the God of the universe, and as a result, he prospered…even in captivity.