This is significant because he had, in fact, been given a new name after he was taken captive and made a slave: Belteshazzar. If you recall Daniel, as a captive living in Babylon, purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the kings delicacies Now Daniels Hebrew name signified something central to his worldview, he believed that there was but one true God to be worshipped. His new name, Belteshazzar, represented a different worldview altogether, one that embraced a wide arrange of gods and a thoroughly immoral approach to worship. So what we know of Daniel is that he was purposing in his heart, most likely as a teenager, to do nothing inconsistent with his nameor rather inconsistent with the idea that he was a follower of the one true God! It was his name and identity that would guide his decision making throughout his life, whether it be with eating and drinking in Daniel 1 or standing over the pit of lions because he refused to simply not pray for a month in Daniel 6. In fact the Daniel in the lions den episode should serve as a case study for all of us in how do deal with uncertainty. Therefore, in an effort to be prepared for the moments of uncertainty, we learn the following from Daniel 6:
- Execute with excellence because you are spiritually sensitive to God.
Daniel distinguished himselfbecause an excellent spirit was in him (6:3)
- Build a reputation that speaks for you in your absence.
Then these men said, We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God. (6:5)
- Continue on in faithfulness until your life is carried out to Gods satisfaction.
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. (6:10)
Daniel begins and ends his journey for us on the edge of uncertainty. Could you imagine standing there looking down at lions who hadnt been fed for a while so others could have a good show while you were torn apart. Would God deliver or would this be the end? Though the Bible doesnt give us a backstage pass to Daniels thinking in that moment, I chose to believe he was clinging to the one bit of certainty he had always known: he was follower of the one true God. And there is something comforting for all of us who follow Jesus, that when circumstances are uncertainthat which defines us is crystal clear.
By Brent Crowe