The Old Testament book of Daniel contains some of the most incredibly accurate predictive prophecy found in the bible.
But that isn’t the only reason the true and living God included this amazing book in His written word.
Whether you’ve ever viewed it in this light before or not, the book of Daniel also unpacks real-life tested essential truths and principles that can equip a follower of Jesus to navigate in a God-honoring way in the midst of any type environment that God permits them to live within.
In fact, I some times refer to it as the Daniel manual for God-glorifying cross-cultural living.
For those that are unfamiliar with it, the book of Daniel is the true story of Daniel and three other teenage Jewish boys that were specially selected and forcibly removed from their own people and their own country.
Chapter one tells the reader that they were resettled to the capitol city of the Babylonian empire, immersed into a three year indoctrination program, and then assigned to serve in different capacities within the king’s palace for the good of the empire.
The first point of conflict with a government approved cultural practice they were now living under and required to participate in came soon after their arrival.
The three year intensive indoctrination program that was designed to produce well educated and kingdom-perpetuating monarchy officials, included the royal diet that the king himself and his closest advisors had the pleasure of eating.
The king and his advisors believed that since they were brilliant and wise and their diet helped contribute to them being so, then by graciously providing their trainees with the same diet, they would increase the likelihood that these future leaders would also be brilliant and wise and as useful as possible for the good of the kingdom.
When Daniel and his friends were told about the diet they would be required to eat, they immediately recognized that the diet included food and drink that their God had forbidden them and their people to eat.
Daniel and his friends resolved in their hearts and minds that they would not eat the diet that was required, regardless of the consequences of that decision.
Daniel humbly asked asked their program overseer for permission to not eat the required diet and told him the reason why.
He wanted the overseer to know that by eating the prescribed diet, he and his friends would be defiling themselves in the eyes of their God.
He then asked the overseer to permit them to eat an alternative diet for 10 days, and then invited him to compare the results produced in them with the results produced in those that ate the required diet.
The overseer did compare them at the end of the 10 days, discovered Daniel and his friends were in better shape to accomplish the end game purposes of the diet, and gave them freedom to eat in accordance with what their God dictated for them to eat.
The bottom line is that because Daniel understood what the ultimate purpose of the specific practice was, he was able to offer an alternative that would accomplish the same purpose without him or his friends violating a clear command of God.
Although other factors were involved, the alternative was actually more effective in accomplishing the end game purposes than the practice that already existed.
In my next post, I’ll unpack the principles Daniel employed in a bit more detail, apply them specifically to abortion as it exists in America, and then introduce a few ideas regarding the many organizations that are already an example of these principles taken from the Daniel manual.