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Songs in the Night 3 — Daniel’s Song

Songs in the Night Day 3: Daniel’s Song

You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. (Psalm 32:7 NLT)

The God whom we serve is able to save us. … But even if He doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you … that we will never serve your Gods. (Daniel 3:17-18 NLT)

Read the stories of Daniel and his friends in Daniel chapters 1-6.

In these passages, we read about young men who were taken from home and family. Attempts were made to reindoctrinate them—change their names, change their diet, change their culture. But from their earliest days exiled in Babylon, Daniel and his friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, made up their minds not to be defiled by the pagan practices around them. 

God granted them favor in the eyes of those who oversaw their training and specially gifted them with wisdom and aptitude in their studies. Each was given high levels of responsibility by the king, who recognized their abilities as being far above his other advisors.

I have no doubt these four young men served the king with diligence, integrity and loyalty. Until… that loyalty was set in defiance of their deeper allegiance. All four of them faced certain, torturous death for refusing to bow down to an earthly king, for refusing to abandon their worship and prayers to the only truly worthy Almighty God.

These men believed God could rescue them. But they didn’t know if He would. Their boldness is remarkable—even if He doesn’t act, we will only bow down to Him!

Isn’t this a common wrestle of ours? We pray boldly for what we know our God is capable of doing (even more than we can imagine!), but we are not privy to His heart or His plans. We aren’t sure if He will. And in our moments of honest questioning and doubt, we really struggle with why He often chooses NOT to act. Why doesn’t He step in and prevent more tragedies and especially atrocities from occurring at all?

This is one of the age-old difficult questions to answer. As I have wrestled it on more than one occasion, one simple thought comes to mind, expressed in this quote: “Would these accounts of the unbelievable have the same impact if they were more palatable? What else (WHO else) could win the hearts of men and women (and children!) and cause them to claim their allegiance and offer their obedience, even when that testimony of faith costs them their lives or means the loss of someone dear to them? ONLY the living God, transcendent beyond anything we can even imagine, could have made Himself real enough to them to cause them to trust Him beyond the grave!” (coverofHisPresence.com/2016/02/10/yet-will-I-trust-Him).

For Daniel and his friends, the LORD did not immediately rescue them from their dire circumstances. They were not given any prior knowledge of how He would move and work on their behalf. They were called to face the heat of the fire and the den of hungry lions. And they were courageously willing to do so, leaving their case in the hands of the One who judges rightly (1 Peter 2:23).

Not one of them seemed to battle fear. They were only human, but neither fear nor dread is described in Scripture. Their view was eternal—they trusted God’s plan even when they didn’t know what it would be. Each of them lived the unthinkable, stepping out of the fire and the lion’s den untouched, completely whole. The LORD Himself was seen walking in the fire with three of them, and Daniel proclaimed that God sent His angel to shut the lions’ mouths and grant him safety.

Perhaps this promise was written with their future experience in mind: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2 NIV).

The pagan kings (and countless others) who witnessed these miracles had no choice but to acknowledge the power and sovereignty of God, proclaiming praise and honor to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—and the God of Daniel. They effectively said, “Now I know!” 

There is no other God who can rescue like this!” (Daniel 3:29). 

For He is the living God, and He will endure forever” (6:26).

A chorus of praise from pagan nations! What could be more marvelous? These stories never grow old. They embolden our own faith again and again. As we walk through our own trials, we are reminded to look up, to ask the question again, “Where is God, my Creator, the One who gives me songs in the night?” What is He working to accomplish in me and around me? How will He make Himself known through these hard days? Our life is a series of lessons that will hopefully draw us to worship the One who walks through it all with us.

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