King Nebuchadnezzar was the ruler of Babylon, a fierce and mighty kingdom. One day, he turned his eye to Israel and coveted what the Israelites had built. So it was that the King of Israel had forgotten his obedience to their one god, building statues and icons for worship. When Babylon's armies came, God did not defend Israel. So Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem and her people, absorbing them into Babylon, one of those people was a devoted young man named Daniel.
Daniel the Advisor
Daniel, along with three of his friends, were given Babylonian names and taught the histories, writing and more that they would need to serve in Nebuchadnezzar's court. But through it all, Daniel remained devout to the aesthetic word of God. He prayed daily, ate only what God told him to ate and learned all he could.
When a dream haunted the King, he ordered all of his sorcerers, magicians and wise men to tell him the meaning of the dream. But more so, he wanted them to tell him without the King revealing the content. When none could, he ordered all of them slaughtered. When Daniel saw the great calamity, he asked the men to hold of while he prayed. He prayed to his God and God revealed not only the King's dream, but it's meaning.
Daniel came before the King, told him that the dream was of a statue with a head of gold, a chest of silver, legs of bronze and feet of iron and clay. He told him that it meant that man would pass through many ages and kingdoms before God destroyed them all and created one Kingdom. Pleased, Nebuchadnezzar made Daniel his advisor and did not kill the others.
For years, Daniel served the King. Each time revealing the meaning of his dreams as God revealed them to Daniel. But one year, Nebuchadnezzar built a statue and ordered all to worship it. When Daniel's Israelite friends would not, they were thrown into a fiery furnace, but emerged unscathed. Moved, Nebuchadnezzar against acknowledged that their god was great and powerful.
Another dream haunted Nebuchadnezzar, in this one he saw the trees stripped of its power and left to founder. Daniel told him that Nebuchadnezzar's pride would see him lose his kingdom and be left to roam for seven years, living as animals do until he acknowledged the power and will of God. After that very event happened, Nebuchadnezzar returned with a great feast and lived out his days devout.
New Kings, New Trials
Eventually, Nebuchadnezzar passed and his son became King. The arrogant young man lived on wild parties and feasts. During one such feast, where he and his courtiers dined out of holy and sacred dishes, writing appeared on the wall. He sent for Daniel. Daniel told him that God had tested him and found him unworthy. He would die and his Kingdom be divided. So it was that Nebuchadnezzar's son passed and the Kingdom was divided.
Darius of Mede set Daniel in charge of his Kingdom, but all others were jealous. They tricked Darius into signing a decree that declared no Persian or Mede could worship or ask of any other god or being than Darius. When Daniel continued to pray to his God, Darius was forced to throw him in the Lion's Den, because that had been his decree. He prayed that Daniel's God would keep him safe and the next morning, the den was opened to reveal Daniel, safe and whole. An angel of God had spent the night keeping Daniel safe.
Daniel's tale reflects the good fortune that will follow those who obey the spirit, as well as the letter of God's law.