"So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions.
But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, "Your God, whom you serve continually,
He will deliver you."
Many times I hear people speak of leaving a legacy. You hear that politicians make certain decisions because they want to leave a legacy politically. There are athletes that try to accomplish certain feats so that they will leave a legacy in their particular sport and be inducted into the hall of fame. We even use this word when we refer to some of our Christian heroes that have passed off the scene but left us an example to follow. The only thing that bothers me about all of this is that we usually only thing of someone's legacy after they are dead. It is my belief that God desires for us to live so much for Him that we have a living legacy. Better yet, He wants us to live a legacy that is more about Him than it is about us.
Daniel lived that kind of life. He had been carried captive into a strange and foreign land. He had been introduced to pagan gods. He had been given every opportunity to turn away from the true and living God. However, he purposed in his heart that God and God alone would be His guide. He now found himself underneath the leadership of a third king. God had used him to unashamedly declare the truth to King Nebuchadnezzar until he humbled himself before the true God. He interpreted the writing on the wall to King Belshazzar before he died in his stubbornness and idolatry. Now he stands before Darius condemned to die, because he chose to pray to God instead of the king. The Bible tells us that Daniel was good-looking, but this is not what Darius noticed. The Bible tells us that Daniel was very intelligent, but Darius made no comment about his intelligence. Darius knew the one thing that made Daniel who he was: Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you. Daniel followed God consistently. Can you imagine Darius saying things like: Your God, whom you serve on the Sabbath; or Your God, whom you serve when things are going well; maybe Your God, whom you serve when you are facing difficulties? No, of course not. Darius recognized Daniel's life of consistency with God. The world notices that about our lives too. They notice when we are living for God and when we aren't. They notice if God is just a convenient excuse or the Lord of our lives. You are living and leaving a legacy of some sort every day whether you realize it or not.
To show you how much they notice and what effect it will have on them, listen to this passage. After Daniel had been thrown into the lions den, the king could not sleep at all. Early the next morning he quickly ran down to the den to see what had become of Daniel. I believe he knew what to expect, because in our passage above he said, "He will deliver you." Maybe it was because he had seen the other three Hebrew men walking around in His kingdom that had survived the fiery furnace. Whatever the reason may be, he arrived at the site and called to Daniel: "Daniel, servant of the living God [How would you like to be known that way?], has your God, whom you serve continually [That word continually is important.], been able to deliver you from the lions?"
Daniel's testimony before this day was what was important. It was not his faith during the trial that makes him a great servant of God. It is his faith before he ever went through the trial that brought such great respect. He was a man with a Godly living legacy.
May you serve God continually!