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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

June 22, 2018

Confessional courage

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

If you were charged in court with the worship of the true God, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Or would no one even know that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ?

The Prophet Daniel had this experience after the conquest of Babylon by the Persians. As a senior official in the new Persian government, Daniel had his enemies. No doubt the vast majority of his enemies were Medes or Persians who did not want to accept the appointment of one of the Jewish prisoners to high office. Of course, there was also a natural tendency for jealousy in administrative structures when better qualified people are promoted.

Daniel's enemies could not dig up any dirt on him. Knowing his reputation for faithfulness to his God, they decided this was the only area they could get him into legal trouble – by making up a law contrary to his religious practice.

We all know the story. These unscrupulous men influenced the Persian king to proclaim a law prohibiting the worship of any foreign god for 30 days. And Daniel was known for his prayer life.

No doubt he often prayed "privately," just as all believers do. But it seems that Daniel may have prayed openly to Jerusalem three times a day as as a constant testimony of God for the pagan empire of the Medes and Persians , as well as an incentive for Daniel's fellow captive Jews to be courageous in their devotion to God and their faith and not to give up. His prayer habit was known to his enemies. They knew that Daniel prayed this way because he did not hide his faith!

Despite the severe punishment imposed for disobedience, Daniel did not stop his daily prayer to his Heavenly Father. It is interesting to note that in response to the emergency situation in which he found himself after the king's decree, he could have secretly prayed to God. No one would have known that he was actually disobeying the king, and he could have justified his behavior by keeping his faithfulness to God a secret, even though he acted as if he were obeying the king's order.

But if he had behaved like that, what would his role model for his fellow Jews have been? Nothing.

Daniel proved something in his life that all true followers of Jesus Christ will have to prove in their lives sooner or later: the courage to confess their faith. And as the rest of the story shows, Daniel was well rewarded for his persistence.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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