This is a religious story, a story tragedy and of personal choices. How would you react? Ignite your imagination for a second. Let's take a trip down a rabbit hole and see if terror lurks there.
Imagine you're a teenage boy, probably about fifteen or sixteen - just coming into your prime. Your family is well-off, so you've never had any money worries. You move in the upper elite of the social circles of your society and have three excellent cousins you spend time with. On top of that, you're intelligent and handsome. Every morning when you look in the mirror you think how wonderful life is. And it is.
Then tragedy strikes. A powerful enemy attacks.
Your parents are killed in front of you.
You are taken captive and force-marched three hundred miles to a new city.
Because you are handsome and seem intelligent, you are not killed. You are castrated and become a slave in the enemy's household. (Every guy reading this just crossed his legs…)
They take your name from you and give you a different one.
The enemy just robbed you of your entire future.
There is some consolation. Three of your cousins are in exactly the same boat, along with a number of others you don't know quite as well. So you aren't alone in your misery.
How do you react? Do you curse God? Point out all the terrible things that just happened to you and ask how a God who loves you could do such things?
I might. Just making me a eunuch might be enough to push me over the edge, at least for a while.
You've already guessed this isn't fiction, but the beginning (not the end!) of the biography of one of the great prophets of the Old Testament.
The man we remember as Daniel of the Lion's Den (a significant story). Whose cousins were put into a fiery furnace and walked out unscathed, not even smelling of smoke. This is the same Daniel angels referred to as "beloved of God" twice, once in 10:11 and once in 10:19.
Daniel has some of the most powerful prophecies of End Times in the entire Bible. I guess I never thought about his circumstances until I started watching a Preacher last night.
I never realized his parents were probably killed in front of him. I didn't realize he was castrated, and a eunuch. Yeah, that's standard practice for the Babylonian conquerors. Yet Daniel did not despair, but held fast to his faith in his God. C'mon - those are tough times to deal with.
Is it too much to ask that I do the same?
How about you?
Side note: For those that say Daniel was homosexual - just because he was castrated does not make him homosexual. It is true the OT does not mention a family for Daniel. For those who say he was a male companion for the king - I find that one hard to fathom, or the king would have known of him as he searched for someone to interpret his dreams. Still, I'm not going to argue the point - I have my own opinion on the matter.