I read the Book of Daniel this morning ... it's not a long book, and quite readable.
I found myself chuckling at any number of places, as, I'm sure, the original author(s) might have done, and surely those who heard it read.
The kind of chuckling one does ironically, or with the shake of the head ... a grim sort of chuckling, as the Book of Daniel lays out before the reader the vanity, the foolishness, the cruelty, the arrogance of the powers-that-be. "No, none are righteous."
But chuckling as well about survival - "Be clever," says the Book to its reader. "Know your stuff ... learn from your enemies ... don't waste your time wishing your were living somewhere else, or in another time - you're not. Be where you are, and God is with you!"
But don't think your life will be easy.
Life isn't easy for anyone - surely not the powerful: they live in fear, constant fear, of being upended by someone more powerful than they. And they're right. There is always someone more powerful coming along the pike, and they will win the next round. Until someone else, more powerful, comes along.
So it goes ... until the end.
As for the end? Don't worry about it ... just go on your way ... do your best ... remember the Covenant ... be mindful of your sins, and if your wise, good and faithful, you'll find a place, even in a strange land; folks will see your abilities and come to rely upon you.
But don't ever rely upon them - they're loyalty is a passing fancy. They quickly forget their promises; they live in the land of lies.
Life will be good, life will be hard; God is faithful, but no guarantees are given.
I love the Book of Daniel ... a simple treatise, if you will, on how to be faithful in the worst of times, how to survive, mostly, if you can; how to compromise, but not go too far. How to get along, and even thrive, but not be fooled by the gods of gold and power.
As a person of the Holy Covenant, you have skills to make a difference; you have insights that can guide and offer sane counsel to the confused and frightened. You may well get thrown into a fiery furnace, and maybe you'll make it, and maybe you won't. You may be thrown into a lion's den, and maybe you'll make, and maybe you won't.
But don't give up!
The times and the places of all such things belong to God.
And so do you.