Nebuchadnezzar (from now on--Nebbie) takes siege of Judah and requests that 4 natives be brought in a indoctrinated into the Babylonian way of thought to make them leaders. Daniel and 3 others are taken and given Babylonian names. You may know the others as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. What I didn't know was that Daniel also receives a new name--Belteshazzar.
Daniel does not want to defile himself with the royal menu and convinces the guards to feed the 4 only veggies and water. The guards are afraid that they will become scrawny and the king will notice, but the realize that the 4 are actually healthier and in better shape that the rest! The king loves them and puts them as leaders in the kingdom.
Nebbie starts having disturbing dreams and is enraged that none of his enchanters can't figure them out. Daniel says he'll take a crack at it, and in an amazing stunt, tells the king that he is not interpreting the dream, but there is a God who is doing it through him (gutsy move). Daniel interprets the dream (a statue of Nebbie falling, symbolizing the collapse of his kingdom) and Nebbie is so amazed that he appoints him in high honor.
The rest is pretty well known--Nebbie builds a statue to be worshipped, the men refuse and are thrown into a fiery furnace. An angel comes and protects them.. Nebbie is impressed and the men are appointed again.
Daniel interprets another dream that Nebbie will be driven out--it come true a year later. He is forced into the wild for 7 years to learn that God is sovereign. Meanwhile his son takes over and does a knock-up job. He throws lavish parties and lives boldly against God. During a party, God has a ghostly hand write on the wall ::For a moment, please imagine you are at a party and all of a sudden a hand (think "Thing" from Adamms Family!) just appears and starts to write...ho-lee-crap:: The writing is : mene, teqel, and peres which means his days are numbered, he has been weighed and a Mede will take over his kingdom. He died later that night and Darius the Mede took over as king.
Darius loves Daniel, but his officials try to conspire against him. They make a law that everyone must only pray to Darius. When Daniel disobeys and continues to pray to God, Darius must follow the law and throw him to the lions. He is relieved when God saves him--having his angels close the mouths of the lions...I tell ya, Daniel has seen and been through some pretty amazing things!
Daniel continues to have visions. Some of which scare him, but God sends angels to comfort him.
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