King Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem in 605 BC and began his first deportation of Jews to Babylon. He chose the elect to deport first, so this group included “the king’s seed, and of the princes.” Among this group was someone who was most likely a teenager at the time, a young man named Daniel and three of his friends. They were all true and faithful to the living God. Daniel, a Jewish prophet, would serve in the courts of Babylon and then Persia until he was more than 80 years old. Today we’ll tell you the rest of the story.
Hello friends, we’re Scot and Maurine Proctor and welcome to Meridian Magazine’s Come Follow Me podcast where today we’ll study Daniel 1-6. These chapters contain some of the most familiar Old Testament stories to us. We’ve known them since we were young. But they also demonstrate the transformation we must take on our way to greater spiritual maturity.
Before we dive into our discussion, we have to tell you about our new Come Follow Me calendar for 2023. We have been traveling to Israel for years and have spent extensive time there. For me, travel always includes my camera. We’ve arrived before sunrise at the Garden Tomb to catch those first rays of morning light on an empty tomb. I’ve rowed around the shores of the Galilee in a boat not much bigger than an apple box, to photograph a fisherman, grabbing his first catch of the day. I climbed the Mount of Beatitudes to catch the sunrise as it hit a thistle. From the tens of thousands of photos I’ve taken of the Holy Land over the years, I have chosen my favorite 12 for this calendar that also includes listings of the Come Follow Me reading assignments week by week and important holidays as well as the holy days of ancient Israel which can help you make sense of what you are reading. Go to latterdaysaintmag.com/2023 to see the calendar. That’s latterdaysaintmag.com/2023
King Nebuchadnezzar chose Daniel and his friends, the scriptures tell us because they were:
4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well-favored and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
In other words, Nebuchadnezzar wanted to take their talent and make them full-fledged, card-carrying Babylonians, but that would involve a substantial forgetting of who they really are After all, they are covenant children of God. And though Babylon was so powerful and beautiful with its hanging gardens and intricate architecture, though Babylon was the essence of sophistication and wealth, though Babylon was so worldly that its very name would become ever after a code word in scripture for the world, in the end it was nothing. Its pomp and circumstance would just be left one day as vanishing stones in a desert.
So, it is fascinating that Nebuchadnezzar gives them new Babylonian names. Their Jewish names Daniel, Hanaiah, Mishael, and Azariah, each were theophoric. Theophoric means that their names each contained the name of God within it. “El”, of course, is the name of the Father, and you hear that in both Daniel and Mishael. “Iah” referred to Jehovah as you hear in Hanaiah and Azariah.
Daniel’s name means: God is my judge. Hanaiah means grace, mercy or gift of the Lord. Mishael is a form of Michael and means one who is like unto God. Azariah means: Jehovah has helped.
So replacing their covenant Jewish names, and giving Daniel the name of Belteshazzar, and the others the names Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego was an attempt to redefine their identity according to the Babylonian god.
This has been the deep pattern for centuries. The Adversary seeks to get to our very essence by redefining who we are and how we see ourselves. We are not children of divinity, but random collections of cells who crave instant gratification from our material world. In the case of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, they are not princes of the covenant, says Nebuchadnezzar but adopted Babylonians expected to worship a new god.
How you see who you are makes all the difference. In more recent times, when the Nazi’s took their trainloads of Jews to their prison camps, those who survived the selection process to live were stripped of all identity. Their heads were shaved, their names were replaced by numbers, their professions washed away. They were humiliated and it was easy in that environment, said Viktor Frankl to lose any sense of self whatsoever and become the meaningless vermin the Nazi’s thought they were.
In ancient times, who were the lost tribes. They were not just a people who had separated and wandered away from the covenant people, but a people who had altogether lost their covenant identity. They could not remember who they are. The Adversary rejoices in this.
President Russell M. Nelson spoke of identity in a worldwide devotional for Young Adults. He said:
“Know the truth about who you are. I believe that if the Lord were speaking to you directly tonight, the first thing He would make sure you understand is your true identity. My dear friends, you are literally spirit children of God. You have sung this truth since you learned the words to “I Am a Child of God.” But is that eternal truth imprinted upon your heart? Has this truth rescued you when confronted with temptation?
“I fear that you may have heard this truth so often that it sounds more like a slogan than divine truth. And yet, the way you think about who you really are affects almost every decision you will ever make.
“President Nelson continued, “In 2006, when I married Wendy, I was in for several surprises—most of them quite wonderful. One of those surprises was the number of clothing items she owned that displayed a logo—universities from which she graduated, places she had traveled, and so forth…
“Labels can be fun and indicate your support for any number of positive things. Many labels will change for you with the passage of time. And not all labels are of equal value. But if any label replaces your most important identifiers, the results can be spiritually suffocating.
“For example, if I were to rank in order of importance the designations that could be applied to me, I would say: First, I am a child of God—a son of God—then a son of the covenant, then a disciple of Jesus Christ and a devoted member of His restored Church.
“Next would come my honored titles as a husband and father, then Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“All other labels that have applied to me—such as a medical doctor, surgeon, researcher, professor, lieutenant, captain, PhD, American, and so forth—would fall somewhere down the list.
“Now, let us turn the question to you. Who are you?
“First and foremost, you are a child of God.
“Second, as a member of the Church, you are a child of the covenant. And third, you are a disciple of Jesus Christ.
“Tonight, I plead with you not to replace these three paramount and unchanging identifiers with any others, because doing so could stymie your progress or pigeonhole you in a stereotype that could potentially thwart your eternal progression.
For example, if you are identified mainly as an American, those who are not Americans may think, “I know everything there is to know about you” and attribute erroneous beliefs to you.
“If you identify yourself by your political affiliation, you will instantly be categorized as having certain beliefs—though I don’t know anyone who believes everything that their preferred political party presently embraces.
President Nelson said, “We could go on and on, rehearsing the constraints of various labels that we put on ourselves or that other people place upon us…
“The adversary rejoices in labels because they divide us and restrict the way we think about ourselves and each other. How sad it is when we honor labels more than we honor each other…
“Worldly identifiers will never give you a vision of who you can ultimately become. They will never affirm your divine DNA or your unlimited, divine potential.
Because there is a grand plan of salvation authored by Heavenly Father, does it not stand to reason that you also have a divine destiny?
“Make no mistake about it: Your potential is divine. With your diligent seeking, God will give you glimpses of who you may become,” President Nelson said.
“So who are you? First and foremost, you are a child of God, a child of the covenant, and a disciple of Jesus Christ. As you embrace these truths, our Heavenly Father will help you reach your ultimate goal of living eternally in His holy presence.” End quote (President Russell M. Nelson, Choices for Eternity, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/broadcasts/worldwide-devotional-for-young-adults/2022/05/12nelson?lang=eng).
Some of the labels we are invited to take upon ourselves may be quite alluring. Can you imagine the pressure of wanting to fit in or be admired in Babylon? After all, Babylon was cool. Yet, even with these new names like Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, these four did not forget who they were. The opportunities were many just to give in and be one of the guys. The threats were terrible, the product of a violent mind in Nebuchadnezzar, who had no regard for human life.
Yet, since they had the courage to remember who they were and seek the Lord’s revelations daily, the Lord gave them power and courage.
For example, the four friends were told they must eat the king’s meat. This was a demand, not a request. To deny this demand was to be seen as rebellious and insubordinate and to have your life endangered. The king believed he could see great health and vigor blooming on their faces if they ate this diet. Daniel told the head of the eunuchs that he would not defile himself this way and suggested that they be allowed to eat pulse and drink water instead. Pulse would be a diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. They were given ten days of this diet and at the end their countenances appeared fairer and more robust than all others who had followed the king’s diet.
The Lord blessed them for their continued faithful choices.
The scriptures tell us:
“As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams” (Daniel 1:17).
“And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm” (Daniel 1:20).
Then one night in Daniel 2, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that upset and disturbed him, but he could not remember it. So as all-powerful tyrants tend to do, he flexed some authority and called his wise men to him with this threat:
“The thing [meaning the dream] is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill” (Daniel 2: 5). You can see immediately that it is hazardous to be a wise man in this court. There is certainly no job security. Life insurance would be a must.
The wise men and magicians very sensibly asked him to tell them the dream and then they could interpret it. They said:
“And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh” (Daniel 2 11). In anger, the king ordered that all the wise men should be slain, including Daniel who had not been there for the initial discussion with the king.
It seems a dangerous and stupid tactic to murder all of the wise men in the kingdom, but Nebuchadnezzar is on this course, until Daniel goes into to see him, agrees to tell him and also interpret his dream. He requests that the lives of all the wise men be spared.
Why will Daniel be able to do this impossible task? We are told in Daniel 2: 19-22:
“Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.” Notice Daniel has great need and a problem to solve that is bigger than he is, and he knows right where to turn.
“Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
“And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
“He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.”
“There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets.” (Daniel 2: 28)
Babylon may appear important, but it is dust in the wind. It is God for whom “wisdom and might are his.” Why would we ever leave Him for something so much less?
Daniel reveals the king’s dream to him about a stone cut out of the mountain without hands, and it will be a dream for us in the latter days.
Daniel describes the dream in Daniel 2:31-35:
31 ¶ Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
32 This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. (Daniel 2:31-35)
We know, of course, that the great image represents the different kingdoms that will rule upon the earth, with the golden head representing Babylon, the silver chest and arms representing the Medes and Persians. The belly and thighs of brass represent the Greek Empire, the legs represent the Roman empire and then the many kingdoms made of iron and clay were those kingdoms that came after the Roman empire, including those of the latter-days.
What is significant here is that all of these are toppled by kingdom of God, represented as the stone that was cut without hands. This idea tells us that the stone is not made by people, but by God Himself, and his kingdom, will ultimately prevail and fill the whole earth. What a glorious image that reminds us that there is no other God.
This means that other institutions and nations that we think are permanent will ultimately fail and our sight must be directed to God’s glorious presence. I will never forget the day in graduate school when I sat in Sunday School class and heard this put in a very pointed way. We were all Harvard graduate students and our classwork and degrees were all-consuming to us. They absorbed our time, our best efforts, our most intense energies. We were attending the oldest, most substantial and tradition bound university in the United States. But our teacher said, “Harvard will fall. It will be nothing one day,” and I loved the breath of fresh air that represented—. There would be no Harvard, no degrees, no false prestige—only the kingdom of God would prevail. A beautiful eye-opener.
That inevitable day came when the covenant worship of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego infuriated that arrogant king who drank and ate his own conceit as his daily bread. He set up a towering, quite overwhelming image of gold whose height was 90 feet and had a breadth of 9 feet. Impressive, indeed. Then the king gathered all the important people of the kingdom—”the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all rulers of provinces” (Daniel 3:2) to the dedication of the image. In other words, the whole world was invited. At the sound of harp, dulcimer and all kinds of music, all of them were commanded to fall down and worship the image and whoever didn’t would be thrown into a “burning fiery furnace.”
This crowd of dignitaries knew just what to do under this threat and extraordinary social pressure. They fell to their knees, but Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego stayed standing.
To the king, this was infuriatingly personal. Others came to the king and reported, “These men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up” (Daniel 3:12).
These three knew the consequences for not worshipping the idol, that a “burning, fiery furnace” was inevitable, but they stood bold and courageous any way. How easy it would have been to rationalize and say, just this once we’ll appear to kneel down and worship the image, but keep our faith in our hearts. This wasn’t good enough, no matter what the risk to their lives, they could not, they would not compromise their faith. This was because they knew God. They had invested in this relationship and knew how shoddy anything else was, despite its golden trappings.
They said instead:
“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: 17,18).
We know the Lord can deliver us from this furnace, but if not. These three words “but if not” are important words to drill into our spirits on our journey to spiritual maturity. It is easy to love God, when we feel immediate answers to our prayers, but many times we don’t or worse—we pray in faith and the very thing we hoped for doesn’t happen. Our loved one gets cancer and we fast and pray for a miracle, but no miracle comes. Our faith can dissolve as our hope for the answer that seemed so vital to us is not given. We stand bereft around a grave, though we have prayed and fasted with great faith for our loved one to live. It is so easy to say, “You could have done this for me Lord, and you didn’t.” We hope to grow in our connection to the Lord so that we trust Him in all ways, even in our “but if not” moments. I love thee Heavenly Father and I love thee Jesus Christ even if what I hoped for didn’t happen, even if I am called upon to endure what I would never choose to endure.
Elder Brent H. Nielsen tells this story: Shortly after my mission, while a student at Brigham Young University, I received a phone call from my dad. He told me that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and that although his chances of survival were not good, he was determined to be healed and return to his normal life activities. That phone call was a sobering moment for me. My dad had been my bishop, my friend, and my adviser. As my mother, my siblings, and I contemplated the future, it appeared bleak. My younger brother, Dave, was serving a mission in New York and participated long-distance in these difficult family events.”
He continued, “The medical providers of the day suggested surgery to try and curtail the spread of the cancer. Our family earnestly fasted and prayed for a miracle. I felt that we had sufficient faith that my father could be healed. Just prior to the surgery, my older brother, Norm, and I gave my dad a blessing. With all the faith we could muster, we prayed that he would be healed.
“The surgery was scheduled to last many hours, but after just a short time, the doctor came to the waiting room to meet with our family. He told us that as they began the surgery, they could see that the cancer had spread throughout my father’s body. Based upon what they observed, my father had just a few months to live. We were devastated.
“As my father awakened from the surgery, he was anxious to learn if the procedure had been successful. We shared with him the grim news.
We continued to fast and pray for a miracle. As my father’s health quickly declined, we began to pray that he could be free of pain. Eventually, as his condition worsened, we asked the Lord to allow him to pass quickly. Just a few months after the surgery, as predicted by the surgeon, my father did pass away.”
Elder Nielsen continued, “The Old Testament teaches of an aromatic spice or ointment used for healing wounds that was made from a bush grown in Gilead. In Old Testament times, the ointment came to be known as the “balm of Gilead.”1 The prophet Jeremiah lamented over the calamities that he observed among his people and hoped for healing. Jeremiah questioned, “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?” Through literature, music, and art, the Savior Jesus Christ has often been referred to as the Balm of Gilead because of His remarkable healing power. Like Jeremiah, I was wondering, “Is there no balm in Gilead for the Nielson family?” (Elder Brent H. Nielsen, Is There no Balm in Gilead? https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2021/10/33nielson?lang=eng).
As time went on, Elder Nielsen began to see that his family had received answers to their intent prayers all along. Neighbors and friends had been endlessly kind to them. Then he began to see as he read the stories of Jesus’s healing, that it wasn’t only the body that Jesus healed, but the mind and spirit too. He saw that when his heart was hurting he found scriptures that blessed him. For example, after the destruction of the Nephite’s world by an earthquake, they heard the voice of the Lord speaking to them asking, “Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?” (3 Nephi 9:13).
Then he added, “But here is the greater lesson I learned. I had mistakenly believed that the Savior’s healing power had not worked for my family. As I now look back with more mature eyes and experience, I see that the Savior’s healing power was evident in the lives of each of my family members. I was so focused on a physical healing that I failed to see the miracles that had occurred. The Lord strengthened and lifted my mother beyond her capacity through this difficult trial, and she led a long and productive life. She had a remarkable positive influence on her children and grandchildren. The Lord blessed me and my siblings with love, unity, faith, and resilience that became an important part of our lives and continues today.”
It is when we are thrust into our own burning, fiery furnaces that we must learn to trust the Lord, that even if the outcome isn’t what we want it to be, that He will be with us. We look at some who get so easily the very miracle we are praying for, and we may sometimes wonder, “Is this just?” “Don’t I exercise just as much faith, so why must I suffer?” Why were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego spared, but not the daughters of Onitah in the Book of Abraham who are sacrificed to idols?
Why does the Lord allow us to sometimes suffer or face an entire roller coaster of events and conditions in our lives without telling us why? Our friends Duane Boyce and Kimberly White have pointed out that the Lord gives us more directions than explanations. The Lord allows more events in our lives than He gives explanations for why he let’s us face them.
The reason is that we may not have understood the explanation when He gave it. Nephi slaves with great effort over the large plates, but is told that he must also make a smaller set of plates to record the spiritual dealings of his people. This is a job that is huge and must certainly have seemed like a redundancy. He does what he has been asked, rather than resist or question the Lord. The fact is, if the Lord had told Nephi the reason could he have possibly understood? Try this, “Nephi, in about 2400 years, there will be a man named Martin Harris who will have a wife that is making life difficult for him. He will also be feeling social pressure from his neighbors and friends in a place that they will call Palmyra. He will lose 116 pages..etc.) Certainly that explanation would not have made a lot of sense to Nephi. He might have asked why must I care about what will happen 2400 years from now? Or even more simply, “What’s a page?”
Maurine once wrote, “We can be true and hopeful when prayers are answered and the crops come in, but what about when we kneel in need and seem to hear only the echo of our own voice?”
That is a test of spiritual maturity. I know God lives. I stand by Him forever, and when I come to those moments when my dearest prayers are not answered, I trust him still. I will not waver.”
“The scripture in James that we know well because of Joseph Smith, is followed by a sentence we often overlook. James tells us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask of God—but—and here is a key, ‘let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed’ (James 1: 5,6).
“Unfortunately, wavering is something most of us know well. You might even say it is the mortal affliction. Our spirituality ebbs and flows. The conditions aren’t always ripe for the flourishing of our spirits—or so it seems.
“At one moment, we are filled with the Spirit, we see the grand horizon, we tearfully promise God that we will give all we have and are to him. Yet, there is often a slow, grinding down in our lives. What we feel in the morning has been pounded out of us by the afternoon. What we resolve on Sunday, we forget on Tuesday. The world is too much with us. We are weary. Sometimes our hope is dimmed. The thing we wanted very most, is the thing we don’t receive. The effort, which cost us much and at one time seemed to promise so much, ends in failure. The child of our hopes and dreams disappoints us or rejects our teachings.
“Sometimes in our life we face trials, clearly identified and difficult–death, sickness, financial reversal, the abuse of a family member. But, often just as trying, is the long, tedious, wearing down of every day. The job that needs to be constantly redone. The relentless undoing of our dreams. All the things that work away at us may dim our intentions. We mean to be steady, like a river, and instead we dry up under pressure like a river in Arabia.
“Many moments of our life we may just feel dead inside, dead like autumn leaves that blow randomly along a gutter. We cry out to the Lord, “Breathe life into me.”
“We want to forge ahead with an eye single to the glory of God. We want to be able to step outside of ourselves and truly see the needs of others, but the struggle is real. It is hard to operate with the grace we intend under the pressure of mortality.
“We find good reasons we couldn’t be as true as we intended. I compare it to developing a habit like running. You’d like to exercise every day, but something comes up. Today it is too cold. Or it is too hot. It is too dark. Or you are busy. You have an ache. Your stomach hurts. Maybe tomorrow would be better. Excuses abound for stopping us from doing the things we really want to.”
Yet, we have the invitation—and many examples before us in scripture—of being firm, steadfast and immovable. I am not talking alone of the firmness and steadfastness of behavior, but the steadfastness of heart, might, mind, and strength, so that life does not dim our light, so that our souls are not knocked or distracted from our singleness to seek, know and serve the Lord. (Maurine Proctor, “Grace under Pressure”, https://latterdaysaintmag.com/article-1-7325/)
This is Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. In his rage, Nebuchadnezzar determined to throw them into the fire and stoked it so hot that even those soldiers who got close enough to the entrance, were themselves consumed to ashes.
The scriptures tell us:
“And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
“Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
“He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
“Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
“And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
“Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.” (Daniel 3:23-28).
For a moment, at least, an entire nation came to their senses because three men trusted God.
What matters to us in this scene is that when we are in a burning, fiery furnace, the Lord is with us. It may be to save us from the fire or it may be to teach and deliver our hearts. What matters is that He has overcome the world, and He can carry us through.
So that takes us to the second miraculous delivery in the book of Daniel. By Daniel, chapter 6, the Persians have taken the Babylonian kingdom and they are now ruled by Darius. He also depends on the wisdom of Daniel to the point that Daniel is preferred before all the other princes. This, of course, causes jealousy among them, and they seek a way to destroy Daniel.
All the princes and presidents came together to ensnare him by having the king sign this decree: They asked Darius “to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.” (Daniel 6:3)
When Daniel heard of this, “he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime” (Daniel 6:10). I just love this boldness and devotion. He opened his chamber to pray toward Jerusalem, and he didn’t cower. Of course the men who wanted to destroy Daniel assembled and accused him. When the king heard that Daniel, his favored, would, by his own law, be cast into a lion’s den, “he was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him” (Daniel 6: 14).
Even a king was powerless against the law, which by law could not be altered or struck down. Yet, as the time came to thrust Daniel into the lion’s den, the king said to Daniel, “Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.” When the stone was rolled before the den, the king sealed it with own signet, and then he spent a restless night where sleep flew from him, fasting and praying for Daniel.
The next morning when the king came in haste to the den, he cried, “Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?
“Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live forever.
“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” (See Daniel 6: 16-22).
Daniel was saved in the lion’s den by the Lord. He was completely without hurt. It’s not that he was bitten a little or clawed just once—the Lord had stopped the mouths of the lions. When we confront the lions in our lives, no matter what shape they take—and they are many, we can remember who will deliver us. Only One.
That’s all for today. We’re Scot and Maurine Proctor and this has been Meridian Magazine’s Come Follow Me podcast. Next week will study Hosea 1-6; 10-14 and Joel in a lesson called “I Will Love Them Freely.”
Don’t forget to get your Come Follow Me New Testament calendars as wonderful, affordable Christmas presents. They contain beautiful images of the scenes from the Holy Land and from Christ’s life as well as the Come Follow Me reading assignments for next year. Find them at latterdaysaintmag.com/2023
Thanks to Paul Cardall for the music and to our producer Michaela Proctor Hutchins.