There are a lot of different things the Bible can tell us about obedience and disobedience. Many of which have the same outcome. Others have a very different outcome. In the book of Daniel, there are plenty of ways that the Bible can show you that there are some bad things that come out of obedience and some good things that come out of disobedience.
Obedience is part of life. obeying God is a big part. But obeying God doesn’t always work out the way we want it, or it can work out better then we want.
This is shown many times in Daniel. Two of these different ways obedience can have an effect are shown in Daniel. One in verse 1:8-10. This is where Daniel is denied his obedience to the law even though he wants to be obedient. He is given royal food and wine to eat but asks for something different because it goes against God’s law.
Even though God makes the official sympathetic, he is still denied something different to eat. He received nothing for being obedient. The next part of this shows that the outcomes can be very different. In verses 12-17, Daniel asks to be tested for ten days and to be given nothing but fruits and vegetables, then to have him and his friends compared to the people given the royal foods to eat. After ten days, Daniel and his friends were in better health then the other people. Because of the way Daniel handled the situation, God gave Daniel superior knowledge and the ability to understand dreams. Daniel had been put down by obedience and then glorified by obedience shortly after.
This same type of situation happens again in the next chapter when the king has a dream that he can’t have interpreted. In chapter 2 verses 10-13, the king has all the wise men in his kingdom hunted down and killed, because none of them can explain his dream. This included Daniel and his friends. Once again, by the obedience to God and the king, he is being punished. After finding out what was going on, Daniel had a vision from God. He then was taken to the king and explained to him what his dream was about. The king had thanked him for being so good and obedient by making him ruler over Babylon (vs. 24-48). He was once again glorified for being obedient. Obedience can go to a higher level still as shown through Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The king had them thrown into a fire for not obeying him by worshiping his statue (vs.20), but because they were obedient to God, they were saved from the blazing fire and came out completely unharmed (vs.25).
God saves us by our obedience, but he will also punish you for your disobedience. In chapter 4, the king is admiring his kingdom for all its glory, and claims that it was all his doing. As he is saying this, a voice from heaven told him that because he doesn’t worship God, he was getting everything taken away from him until he was going to acknowledge that God was almighty (vs.28-32). The king then went and lived like a wild animal. He lived like this for quite some time before he finally admitted that God reigned supreme over everything (vs. 33-34). He was then, after being obedient to God, fully restored to his sanity and royal rank..
One other point shown is when Daniel was thrown in the lion’s den. The administrators and satraps that ruled the kingdom with Daniel got so jealous that he was the most distinguished one of them all, that they tried to have him arrested so he could be killed. They couldn’t find any grounds to have him arrested on, so instead they convinced the king to have an edict saying if anybody does not worship him for the next 30 days, they would be thrown in the lion’s den. Daniel was not going to be disobedient to God so instead, he disobeyed this edict (6:1-11). The king tried to save him since they were friends, but could do nothing. He was unable to repeal his own edict, so Daniel was thrown in the lion’s den. Because of his obedience to God, however, Daniel was not harmed in the lion’s den. God had protected him from harm.
There are a lot of stories in the Bible to show that obedience is good. You may not be rewarded because of your obedience to God right away. You may even get punished by man for it. By being obedient to God you may disobey your ruler. In the end though, God will always reward you and give you eternal life.
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