Reading from the Book of Daniel 6: 3, 10-23
3 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.
Daniel was a man of excellence and because of that, the king promoted him to a position of great influence and authority. Daniel was also a man who refused to compromise. Even if his choices endangered his life, he would not compromise. He believed strongly in keeping his commitments, promises and vows and he was willing to endure personal discomfort to do so. The Bible says we should swear to our own hurt and change not. In other words, we should do what we say we are going to do even if it is hard or brings negative consequences.
10 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. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?”
The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”
13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” 14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.
15 Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.”
16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.
19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”
21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
In Daniel chapter 6, the king signed a decree stating that anyone who asked a petition of any god or person besides the king for thirty days would be cast into a lions' den. Daniel refused to stop praying to God and was indeed sent into the lions' den. However, no harm came to him because God miraculously shut the lions' mouths. The king was so impressed with Daniel's decision and the miraculous way God took care of him that he issued a decree that all the people had to fear and tremble before Daniel's God, for He was indeed the living God.
Daniel continued to pray as he always had. He apparently knew that God's protection could render men's threats totally null and void. If we believe we are doing God's will and then run into opposition, we need to be like Daniel and boldly continue to do as God has instructed us, trusting Him to protect us.
Our God is an excellent God, and He has called us to be excellent too. To be excellent is a decision we must make, and it means we should always go the extra mile to do things the very best way they can be done. And, we should strive to do what we believe God would do in a situation similar to the one we are in. Make a decision today to be excellent!