Most of us, if not all, have grew up either hearing or have read the story of Daniel and his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, in the book that is named after him in the bible. Daniel along with his friends along with most of the people of Judea were taken to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar when they rejected God. However, when everyone was turning to idolatry, Daniel and his friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego found favor with God and men because they stood for God.
Now we all have heard the story, but wouldn’t you want to be like Daniel? Many of us heard the story but very few of us really stop to think about the different attributes and characteristics of Daniel. Do you want to know the attributes and characteristics of Daniel that made him so special? Well keep reading.
Characteristics of Daniel
- Daniel stood up for God even when others were not. Even though Daniel was a captive (slave) in a new country without the temple of God in sight; and even though his fellow Israelites were turning away from God and following the idol worshipping practices of Babylon, Daniel did not forget that the all-seeing eyes of God where watching him, neither did he forget the law of God that was taught to him while growing up. Additionally, he and his three friends decided that they will not compromise their relationship with God by eating the kings food and drink the king’s wine as it was food that was offered unto idols (Daniel 1:3-8). Because of their uncompromising behavior, God gave them favor in the eyes of the person who was set over them who yielded to their request of eating only pulse and water. The result? They looked much better in appearance than those who eat that which was from the king’s table. Moreover they were chosen to stand before the king (Daniel 1:17-21)
Do not allow the system of the world to influence you to sin against God or to compromise your relationship with him. If you stand for God then he will not let you down but will give you favor in the eyes of even your enemies. Is there anything God will not do in his righteousness for his people?
- Daniel developed a close relationship with God and as a result God could have used him to interpret the writing on the wall when Belshazzar was king of Babylon (Daniel 5). Some scholars believe that the wise men of Babylon (astrologers, Chaldeans and the soothsayers) could have read the writing on the wall as they understood languages, and were well educated, however, only an uncompromising man of God who knew God as the revealer of secrets, through daily communion with him, and allowed himself to be use by God, could have both read and interpret the writing on the wall.
Man (and woman) was created in the image and likeness of God, because of this God aches for his creation to develop an active line of communication with him, and to develop a close and personal relationship with him. It is the will of God to be active in the lives of his creation. Because Daniel developed a close relationship with God and allowed the Lord to use him, he was elevated to the position of the 3rd ruler in Babylon under the kingship of Belshazzar.
- Daniel did not allow the dictates and system he was put in to stop him from having a daily fellowship or walk with God (Daniel 6). Due to the fact that Daniel was favored by both God and man (even by King Darius) and that an excellent spirit was found in him, the princess (Administrators) in Babylon got jealous and thus wanted to destroy him. To do this they, they used the very thing they knew he would never stopped doing, praying three times everyday, and went to the king asking him to make a degree that for three days no one should make any supplication to any god or man except to the king, the consequence of disobeying this command would be a night in the lion’s den. What did Daniel do when he heard about the degree? Instead of bowing to the decree of the king as soon as Daniel heard the decree he went up as usual in his room and prayed (Daniel 6:10). His enemies seeing what Daniel had done had him thrown into the lion’s den thinking that this would be the end of him. Isn’t it amazing how much God blesses and protect those that follow and obey him? God seeing the unjust treatment meted out to Daniel intervene by sending an angel to close the lion’s mouth.
There will be times when men will want to dictate how you should worship, live your life and how or who you should worship. It will be at these crossroads in our lives where our faith will be tested. God is depending on each one of us to stand for him despite of persecution and tribulation we may go through; even to the point of death. We must know and worship God for ourselves; it is he that hath created and redeem us. Because Daniel stood for God he was delivered from out of the lion’s den and his enemies were destroyed. Not only this, but the king and all the people in King Darius kingdom knew and worship the true and living God, all because one man decided that he will not compromise his relationship with God but will continue to seek and worship God (Daniel 6:19-28)
- Daniel was persistent in prayer and fasting (Daniel 10:1-4). When Daniel saw a vision from the Lord he went to the Lord in prayer and fasting seeking him for answers. On hearing Daniel request, God sent an angel with the answer immediately, however, Gabriel the angel who was sent to give Daniel the interpretation and understanding of the vision was resisted by the prince demon in the country for 21 days. Despite of this delay, for 21 days Daniel fasted and prayed to God. It was Daniel continual prayer and fasting that helped the angel to win the battle against the prince demon of Persia and Daniel was now able to received the answer to his request.
I must hasten to say that no one can withstand God from giving someone a message unless He God allows it to happen. Sometimes when we pray our answer(s) are blocked by the prince of the powers of the air and God is expecting us to fight for our answer in prayer and fasting. We should not relent in prayer and fasting as God is expecting us to fight against the enemy; we cannot expect the angels to fight all alone on our behalf. Heaven and earth MUST agree for anything to happen upon the earth. Many times we miss our breakthrough, blessings or answer not because God deny our request, but because we were not persistent enough for what we ask for. The devil will always tries to block, delay or stop the will of God for our lives and it is up to each one of us to use the weapons God gave us to fight. What are some of these weapons? Prayer, fasting, using the blood of Jesus, and commanding the enemy. God has given us the power over the enemy, it is therefore time for us to use what he has given us.
- He prayed for his people (Daniel 9). When Daniel understood the captivity of his people and their sins, he went to God in prayer and fasting, not only for his sins but also for the sins of his people.
As a people we should not only pray for ourselves; but we should also make petition and supplications for our fellow human being (1 Timothy 2:1; Philippians 4:6). We all need each other, as a result, the bible said we should bear each other’s burden (Galatian 6:2). I strongly believe that we could have won much more victories in our lives if each one of us were praying for each other’s well-being and blessings, not only for ourselves. Why should we expect angels to help us if we won’t even help each other by praying a simple prayer for one another?
- Last but not least, Daniel tried to live holy life and obey God. With all the accomplishments of Daniel outline in the book of Daniel, if he wasn’t obedient to God and living holy he could not have been blessed by God. Daniel had an excellent spirit and found favor with both God and man because he did that which was pleasing in the sight of God.
There is blessing in obeying and living for God. “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his haters be at peace with him.”- Proverbs 16:7 (BBE)
When you remain true and faithful to God even in the midst of your enemies who were sent to destroy you, God will bless you, he will even use your own enemies to bless you like he did with Mordecai and Haman (Esther 5:13-14; 6:6-11). There will be many things that will come to distract us from serving God, but God is depending on each one of us to choose him above everything else, even if you are persecuted and hated, and even if you are the only one standing for Him. There is a blessing for those who do not compromise their relationship with God and serve him with a true heart. Do not forget that even when your friends, family, or church family is not seeing you, that God is always watching. Finally, when you follow the principles of the bible you too, like Daniel, will develop an excellent spirit
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Do not allow the system of the world to influence you to sin against God or to compromise your relationship with him. If you stand for God then he will not let you down but will cause you to find favors in the eyes of even your enemies. Is there anything God will not do in his righteousness for his people?