The accounts of the greatest businessmen throughout history aren’t found in the classrooms or libraries of prestigious business schools or on the shelves at Barnes and Noble. I submit that they are found in the Bible.
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah managed Babylon as skillfully as the best Wall Street has to offer today.
After a hostile takeover of their country, these four refugees were enrolled in the Babylonian school of management. (Daniel 1:1-6) God’s hand of favor rested upon them, not because of what they could do but because of who they were. (Daniel 1:8-9)
For three years they studied. God gave them exemplary skills in all literature, languages, and wisdom. (Daniel 1:17) Finally it was time for their job interview. The boss found them intellectually head and shoulders above their peers. (Daniel 1:20)
Daniel and his three colleagues outperformed all others as they climbed the corporate ladder. (Daniel 2:48-49) The employees hated taking a back seat to these Judean outcasts. They schemed for any damaging evidence against Daniel’s exemplary record. But they found no legitimate charge. So the disgruntled employees made a very interesting statement that initiated one of the most famous scenes in the Bible…
Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for compliant against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for compliant or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground for compliant against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”
(Daniel 6:4-5, ESV)
The employees tricked Daniel’s boss into making a bogus rule that conflicted with Daniel’s faithfulness to pray three times each day. (Daniel 6:6-7) Daniel would never stop praying therefore he was cast into the mailroom aka the Lion’s Den. In this pit, we find the only act of faithfulness greater than Daniel’s, that being, the faithfulness of Daniel’s God. (Daniel 6:16-23)
The boss witnessed the power of God to save his faithful servant Daniel. He also saw the deceit and wickedness of his employees. They were immediately discharged along with their families. (Daniel 6:24)
The dramatic image of Daniel surrounded by fierce lions was not the main point of this text. The strongest and most feared force was, and still is, FAITHFULNESS.
It was the faithful relationship Daniel had with his God that secured Daniel’s position in the Babylonian empire. This relationship would remain strong as long as Daniel lived. This truth enraged the employees. The fear of knowing they could never rise above this godly manager was the cause of their murderous scheme.
As Daniel spent time with God in prayer, his trust and faith grew. That faithfulness spilled out to all aspects of his life, including his management position in the kingdom. Daniel’s office walls most likely were covered with Employee of the Year plagues.
I imagine Daniel turned away from those accolades and on bended knees looked out the eastern window while he prayed to his God. God’s faithfulness to Daniel, and to us, is a power beyond understanding. Like Daniel, our faithfulness can only grow as we encounter God in prayer and His Word.
It’s not about what we can do. It’s about who we are. Be faithful to the Gospel and see faith shut the mouths of lions, aka our enemies.