By Olea Gough

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Daniel has some of my favorite stories on loyalty to God. They are stories that show that no matter our age or situation, when we are loyal to Him and His teachings, we can trust in Him and in His ability to deliver us.

When Daniel and his friends were just young men, their city of Jerusalem was attacked by Babylon and they were taken captive. The smartest and strongest of these young men were trained in the king’s court. Because the training was supposed to help them become stronger and more useful to the king, every day they were given a portion of food from him. The main part of their diet was meat and wine. After three years they would be ready to stand before the king and be tested for his service.

From childhood, these Israelite youth had been taught to care for their bodies in the Lord’s way. They knew that for their best health the Lord required them to not consume the meat and wine the king was sending, but rather to nurture themselves with grain and water. Daniel and three of his friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, did not want to go against the things they had been taught and defile themselves with the king’s provisions. So, Daniel asked Melzar, the man in charge of them, for an exception in their diet. Now, God had softened the heart of Melzar toward Daniel. He wanted to help Daniel, but he was afraid the king would be angry with him if he did. He was afraid that not using the king’s food and drink would cause Daniel and his friends to be weaker than the other boys and the king would notice the difference.

Daniel understood Melzar’s concern, so he asked for a competition. For ten days, Daniel and his friends would eat pulse (a food made from seeds and grains) and drink only water. Then after these ten days, they would do a comparison between them and the other young men who were eating the king’s food. Melzar agreed to Daniel’s proposal and after ten days Daniel and his friends actually looked better and stronger than those relying on meat and wine for sustenance. Because of this they were allowed to continue the Lord’s suggested diet.

Because of their loyalty to the Lord and His teachings, God blessed Daniel and his friends with knowledge, skill, and wisdom. And Daniel was given the gift to interpret dreams. In three years’ time, when they stood before the king, he found them to be far stronger and smarter than any of their peers, and ten times better than the wisest of his current servants.

Like Daniel and his friends, when we are loyal to God and this teaching, we are promised increased strength, health, wisdom, and knowledge.

In our day, the Lord has given us a similar law for our best health. His guidance can be found in the word of wisdom. Similarly, He has told us that we will do best if we stay away from alcohol and other substances that decrease our strength and ability to think clearly. Those things complicate lives and muddy the connection with God and the ability to feel His Spirit and direction. Additionally, He has suggested that we rely heavily on the herbs, grains, fruits and vegetables that He has provided for us in abundance. Meat is not bad for us, but should be used sparingly in comparison to the other foods He has created for our good. Like Daniel and his friends, when we are loyal to God and this teaching, we are promised increased strength, health, wisdom, and knowledge. We will be given energy and protection from the destroying angel. When we are loyal to God, He is faithful in delivering us.

As these four young men grew, they became of great value to the king. Daniel interpreted a very troubling dream the king had and was set at the gate of the king and Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were given leadership positions over the affairs of Babylon.

At one point, the king had a large gold idol created. He asked all the rulers in the land to be brought together for a dedication of this idol. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were of course among these leaders. All these men who were gathered were instructed that at the dedication, when the music played, they were to fall down and worship the idol. If they did not, they would be thrown into a fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego refused to do this. They were loyal to God and would worship no other gods.

When the king found out about their rebelliousness, he was furious! He asked that these three men be brought before him. He told them that he would give them one more chance to worship his golden idol and if they would not, he was going to have them thrown into the fiery furnace. He wanted to know if their God would save them then. These brave men testified to the king that their God was totally able to deliver them from fire and would definitely deliver them out of the king’s hand.  Then they assured him that even if God chose not to deliver them from the fire, they would still not serve the king’s gods or worship his idol. They were loyal to the true God.

The king was livid! He told his servants to stoke the furnace and heat it up seven times hotter than normal, then to tie up these rebellious men and throw them into it. The servants did as they were told. They bound Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego and threw them in the furnace. The fire was so hot that they servants were burnt up as they carried out their orders. The king, standing at a safe distance watching was astonished as he noticed that there were four men walking around in the fire rather than three. The king called to them to come out of the fire. The king and all the leaders in the land who had been gathered, watched these friends come out of the fire. Their bodies were not burned. Their hair was not singed. Their clothes were not damaged and they didn’t even smell like smoke. The king was humbled. He acknowledged that their God had delivered them because they had trusted Him and been loyal to Him. Because of this experience, the king commanded that no one in his kingdom should speak against their God because truly no other God could deliver the way He could. Then he made Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego princes of Babylon.

Though we do not have kings in our land creating golden idols and demanding that we worship them, there are other things that would steal our devotion away from God. There are material things that capture our attention. There is entertainment that keeps us from worshiping and communing with our God. There are activities and causes we find ourselves sucked into. I think one of the best tests of loyalty we have is where we spend our time and what we treasure. Those things have our heart. The distractions are different in our day, but we can show the same kind of unflinching trust in and loyalty to God as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego did. When we are loyal to God, He is faithful in delivering us.

Finally, the best-known story in the book of Daniel is of his refusal to not pray. At this point, Daniel had interpreted other dreams and had become a highly trusted man in the kingdom and had been promoted to one of the top rulers under the king. A new king had just taken the throne and promoted Daniel again. The other leaders were jealous of Daniel’s position and were looking for a way to get rid of him. Daniel was a good man, a man of integrity and they could find nothing in his character or behavior to use against him. So, they went to the king and flattered him. They assured him that he was worthy of all praise and devotion, that none was above him. They suggested that a month be devoted to the king by the people. For 30 days all requests in the land should go to him and him alone, no requests should be taken to any man or God for those 30 days. If any man was caught appealing to man or God for their needs in that time, they would be thrown into a lion’s den. The king was tricked by this flattery and signed the decree.

Daniel knew about the decree but he didn’t care. Nothing changed in his routine or behavior. He loved God and was loyal to Him and Him alone. Three times a day he went into his house and knelt by his open window praying, giving thanks, and making earnest requests to God. The other rulers who did not like Daniel were watching for this and when they found him doing exactly what they knew he would do, they ran to the king to tell on him. The king realized he had been tricked. He liked Daniel and was very upset. He tried to find a loophole or a way out of the punishment he had decreed, but there was no way out. He had Daniel brought before him and thrown into the lions’ den as the law demanded. Daniel’s relationship with God had made a great impression on the king and before he left, he told Daniel that he was sure the God he served loyally would deliver him.

The den was sealed with a rock and the king returned to his palace and spent the whole night fasting and worrying about Daniel. As soon as it was morning he hurried to the lions’ den and called out to Daniel asking if his God had delivered him. Daniel blessed the king and confirmed that an angel had shut the lions’ mouths and had not hurt him. Daniel was pulled out of the den and they saw his words were true. Daniel was loyal to God and he was delivered.

The king was angry with the men who had tried to cause harm to Daniel and he had them and their families thrown into the den to be destroyed by the lions. He then created a new decree that Daniel’s God was the living and faithful God and all men should respect Him to the end.

Prayer is such an incredible gift that we have been given as a tool to use to develop a relationship with God. Because it is such a simple thing, I think we often take it for granted or don’t use it as well as we could. Prayer can bring such great power and blessings to our lives if we use it the way Daniel did. Carol McConkie said,

“We are children of a loving Heavenly Father, and we may enjoy personal communion with Him when we pray ‘with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ’ and then act in accordance with the answers we receive by the promptings of the Holy Ghost. In faith we pray, we listen, and we obey, that we might learn to become one with the Father and the Son.”

Carol McConkie

Daniel used prayer to help him develop a relationship with God, to become one with him. We can do the same thing. When we are loyal to God, He is faithful in delivering us.

The Primary Manual for Come Follow Me is perfect for families with young children!

November Week 1 Lesson: October 31–November 6. Daniel 1–6: “There Is No Other God That Can Deliver” (

Click below to download these FREE coloring pages from Rising Moon Adventures that I created to go with this lesson:

Primary Insights for Come Follow Me videos –

(46) Rising Moon Adventures Scripture Story Time – YouTube

Song 1: Another in the Fire by Hillsong UNITED

Song 2: Confidence by Sanctus Real

Song 3: Loyal (OMG) by VOUS Worship

I love the Veggietales version of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego’s story:

Rack, Shack, & Benny clip and song:


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