Talk is cheap only if actions do not follow, but otherwise, talk is a good place to begin. It makes public our heart and intention, and Daniel’s was to follow his God. Early on, Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself (Daniel 1:8) and put it into words. “He asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself, ‘Test your servants for ten days’” (Daniel 1:8, 12). This short test grew into a lifelong obedience and Daniel’s consistent character was evident through several generations of kings, always to God’s glory. King Nebuchadnezzar said of Daniel, “the spirit of the holy gods is in you” (Daniel 4:18); then came to acknowledge Daniel’s God is special, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven” (Daniel 4:37). King Belshazzar saw the writing on the wall, but did not know it spelled his doom until Daniel spoke, “God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end” (Daniel 5:26). Finally, King Darius observed that “Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom” (Daniel 6:3).
Jealousy ensued. The high officials, now below Daniel, sought grounds to discredit him and concluded, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God” (Daniel 6:5). They convinced King Darius to establish a silly statute, “For thirty days, no one can pray to any god or man except the king.” Then they sat by Daniel’s window and waited. “When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God” (Daniel 6:10-11). The wait was not long. Daniel was predictably godly.
Our talk and our walk go together. Daniel walked well and kings thought him a good guy. Daniel talked well and they knew why. Daniel followed a good God. “Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, ‘May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!’” God did and the king issued a new statute, a better one, “I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever” (Daniel 6:26).
My Savior, my God, my Friend. Yes, You call me friend. I love You so much. How can I not speak of You?
I thank You so much for Your care for me. You gave me parents and friends, a neighborhood and teachers, many people have had an incredible influence on me. But You, most of all. If I talk of my friends and family, how much more shall I shout Your Name. You are the One who gives meaning and purpose, who fills me with love and compassion, who teaches me about life. You are my God, my Father in Heaven, my Savior and Lord.