Updated: Dec 23, 2019
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, (also know as Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) were taken into captivity by the King of Babylon along with all the people of Judah. Because the people of Judah had sinned against God for many generations God allowed them to be overtaken by their enemies as a judgement. But even in a land where it seems that every one is dishonoring God and living in sin, and disobeying His commandments, God always has a remnant. God always has a few people that stay true to His Word and serve Him. This is the case for these men.
The King commanded that all the young people who were strong, healthy, skillful, wise, and proficient in math and science, be separated from the rest of the captives and taught the language of the Chaldeans and all of the intellectual knowledge of the then known world. Daniel and his friends were among this selected group. The King appointed them the best meat and drink in the kingdom. However, knowing that the meat and drink provided to them was sacrificed to idols Daniel and his friends purposed in their hearts (or made up in their minds) that they would not defile themselves by eating it. Instead they asked to be given vegetables, beans and seeds to eat instead. At the end of that time they were fatter, stronger, and had a clearer complexion than all the other boys and thus continued the diet for the remainder of their training.
After this Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were faced with the choice to bow down to a giant 90 foot statue every time certain instruments were played or to be put to death by being thrown into a furnace of fire. Because they truly loved God with all their minds they did not fear this excruciating death instead they spoke these finely crafted words to the King, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18)
Daniel had yet another opportunity to love God with all his mind. Evil men who knew that Daniel prayed openly three times a day tricked King Darius into making a decree that for 30 days no one in the land could pray to any other god accept the King himself. The punishment was death by lions. Daniel was undaunted by this decree for he had never served God based on man’s law or what other were doing around him. He served God based on what he knew of the Law of God. He opened his windows wide and prayed to God in the sight of all the land. Reluctantly, the King had to throw Daniel into the lion’s den for he could not change the law he’d made. God kept the Daniel alive and in the morning he said these words to the King, ”O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” (Daniel 6:21-22)
Dear Sister, Do you love the Lord your God with all your mind? When you make up in your mind to obey God according to what you know His Word requires you too will be elevated, protected, and richly blessed like these men of God. Give God your all and He will bless you!