The DEEP

Bravery

Doubt is the enemy of courage.

Daniel 2:12–16

For this reason the king was angry and very furious, and gave the command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. So the decree went out, and they began killing the wise men; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them.

Then with counsel and wisdom Daniel answered Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon; he answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, “Why is the decree from the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the decision known to Daniel.

So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation. 

It really says, “angry and very furious.” Modern translation, “he totally lost it.”

Recall how ticked the king was with the psychics’ stalling tactics. The king answered and said, "I know for certain that you would gain time, because you see that my decision is firm.” — Daniel 2:8

So Daniel shows up and what’s the first thing he does? Ask for time! Prophet got chutzpah, no?

Actually, because it’s a sincere request instead of a stall, the king’s response is not angry and very furious. Still, the king’s (or his captain’s) perception is commendable. As we’ve seen with other prophets, Daniel has that signature fearless honesty. He almost seems disconnected.

He is, literally, hearing a different drummer.


It’s easier to memorize the right thing to do than it is to do the right thing. We’re expected to be willing to be martyrs for the Lord. No one expects that to be easy, but Daniel almost makes it look easy. How can anyone be that brave? Is it really bravery that Daniel and the great martyrs exhibited? Or something else?

It depends on the definition of bravery. Here’s how Merriam-Webster.com defines it:

the quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty

Moral strength? What’s moral strength? How did that get into the dictionary?

This gets back to the opening line above about doing the right thing. Moral strength is what Daniel and the great martyrs had. (So it was bravery after all.)

Faith is the difference between just memorizing the right thing to do and actually doing it. If you are absolutely certain that something is the right thing to do, then you won’t decide to do something else. The decision is sure.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. — Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

Doubt is the enemy of courage.


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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.