When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions? Daniel answered, “May the king live forever”! Daniel 6:20-21
The simple definition of faith is believing something is true. Biblical scholars will tell us however that faith is two-fold. We must not only believe that something is true, we must commit our lives to it. In the case of Christians that belief is that we have a God that created us and loves us. God loved us so much that He sent is only Son into this world to save us. This is an easy concept to believe when life is good but what about when things are not going as we intended?
God’s servant Daniel is a great example of holding on to your faith regardless of the circumstances. Daniel did not deny God even when his own life was at risk. Daniel’s faith was unwavering. When he was told he had to break the dietary laws of his people he refused to do it. When he was told he had to pray to another god, he did not do it. Daniel understood that he was created to serve and magnify God and he did this even though it would cost him his life. He was thrown into the lion’s den and came out unscathed because of that faith. This story reminds us that a mere king’s seal cannot stop the power of God. Darius sealed the lions pit just as Pilate would order the tomb of Jesus to be sealed many years later.
As a vocalist one of my favorite genres of music is the Negro spiritual, sometimes referred to as slave melodies. Spirituals were created by the enslaved Africans that were brought to the United States. Although they were deprived of many things, i.e., their language and culture, their music could not be taken away from them. Through the singing of the spirituals they could tell this new world about their unwavering faith.
Daniel, Daniel, Servant of the Lord was written for chorus by Undine Smith Moore, a prolific writer of this genre of music. Professor Moore was the granddaughter of slaves. Upon her graduation from Fisk University she attended Juilliard and graduated from there cum laude. Undine taught piano, organ, and music theory at Virginia State University from 1927 until she retired in 1972. The arrangement is a fast-paced so I chose one that has the lyrics and one that is a recording of the Fisk Jubilee Singers.