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Being an exile is very difficult. The people we live among don’t share our beliefs. Our strict laws about food made me ask for vegetables instead of the rich food the ruler was providing for us. My request didn’t go down too well with the authorities. But God is good. Those of us eating vegetables are now healthier than the others!
It is right to obey God, rather than a human ruler – even Nebuchadnezzar. That is why I refused to worship the idols Nebuchadnezzar set up. My life and the lives of my three best friends were at stake over the stand we took. When Nebuchadnezzar threatened us with being thrown into the fiery furnace, we told him that our God was capable of saving us. But even if he did not, we would not worship Nebuchadnezzar’s gods.
God rewarded us beyond our wildest dreams (and dreams are something I know about, thanks to God’s guidance). The soldiers, who threw us into the over-heated fiery furnace, died. We were protected in the fiery furnace, because God was with us.
When Nebuchadnezzar called us out of the fiery furnace, we were unharmed. He promoted us in his service.
Nebuchadnezzar ended by believing in our God. His son, Belteshazzar, was a different customer altogether. He soon had his come-uppance.
Then Darius was the ruler. He was taken in by his other advisers to pass a law, which could not be repealed. No-one was to pray to any god or man other than Darius for 30 days. Why should I not continue to pray to the God, who had been good to me?
I carried on as usual, kneeling by my window three times a day to pray to God. When Darius heard of it, he had no choice but to have me thrown into the den of lions. As he did so he said, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
Thanks be to God! He did. What’s more, Darius passed a new law that everyone must fear and reverence “the God of Daniel”.
God later showed me all sorts of things, which will come to pass, in dreams.
This year for the A to Z Challenge I have taken my 2013 Challenge as a starting point for most of the posts. I have written a post based around something or usually someone from the Bible. Sometimes it is a fictional story, for example when I have added some back stories (as a writing exercise). Sometimes it is a summary.
I hope my readers will be challenged to consider the original texts in more depth. (If only to discover what liberties I have taken with them!)
The background to this post is the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament. (Update: Having studied he Book of Daniel with a group of friends in 2018, I know now that it was Daniels’ three friends, and not Daniel himself, who were thrown into the fiery furnace.)