It comes as no surprise, then, that Daniel and his friends stood out as shining examples of God’s provision and blessing. There must have been a striking difference between them and all other young men in King Neb’s realm, like a neon sign in the middle of the vast Sahara. Nebuchadnezzar’s Neo-Babylonian empire encompassed an area from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the Red Sea nearly to the Caspian Sea. So when Daniel and his friends were seen as the most remarkable examples of manhood in Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom, it was clearly the hand of God.
It should be emphasized that when Daniel followed God’s commandments, God gave him supernatural ability to bypass all those things that were in direct opposition to His commandments, i.e., astrology and the black arts. Daniel and his friends may have had to learn about such topics, but God gave them the power that superseded those cultic practices, so that they would not be spiritually defiled. If we devote ourselves wholly to God and follow His commandments, He will give us ways around the world’s rules and standards; He will create doors in stone walls. This is the beauty and the thrill of living under God’s lamp.
It wasn’t long before Daniel’s gifting of interpretation of visions and dreams gave him great notoriety and actually saved his life. King Nebuchadnezzar became very troubled with a dream given to him by God (unbeknownst to King Neb), and the king expected someone among his astrologers, magicians and conjurers to not only interpret his dream, but actually describe his dream to him first without knowing its contents at all. He enforced this exacting requirement to ensure the validity of his dream’s interpretation. Of course, this would require someone to read his mind, and only God reads minds—not the devil nor a magician nor any quasi Harry Potter can perform that. King Neb decreed that all those who could not make known the dream and its interpretation would be torn limb from limb, and their houses made into a rubbish heap.
Because Daniel was able to tell the king his dream and interpret it, he not only saved his own life, but most likely deflected King Neb’s anger from the palace sorcerers as well. This is one of the lovely benefits of God’s favor—it often has secondary beneficiaries, even those who do not acknowledge God or His gifts. There are untold numbers of people who are at this moment enjoying secondary favor because a person wholly devoted to God and His commandments is in their lives.
This is not to say that anyone should hope to duck under the few wayward drops of favor showered onto a Christian, like Wendy who ducked under a sprinkling of Tinkerbell’s fairy dust and found she could fly. She was also nearly killed by a cannonball that catapulted into the cloud where she was reclining, while Tinkerbell and her fairy dust were nowhere to be seen.
God’s favor is part and parcel of the power that issues from the lamp of God. It is part of the benefit package, and those who are wise and desire the best and brightest of God’s gifts will run to Him full-tilt, throw their arms around His waist and cry, “Father God, I love you and I want your best for my life. I know you have far greater plans for me than I could ever hope to conceive, so take my hand and lead me. I will follow Your commandments and walk in Your ways, and I pray that you will bless me with your favor!”
Then wait expectantly…for He will respond. He hears you and He is faithful.
In the morning, O LORD, thou wilt hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to Thee and eagerly watch. (Psalm 5:3)
Watch eagerly. He will not disappoint you.