Give me a word, Lord: IN THE LIONS’ DEN

Daniel 6:16-23 So at last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, “May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.” A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den. The king sealed the stone with his own royal seal and the seals of his nobles, so that no one could rescue Daniel. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night. Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions’ den. When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “Long live the king! My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.” The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.

We are studying the book of Daniel at church, and it just so happens that we are reading through the book of Daniel currently as we draw near the end of our one year through the Bible reading plan. Last night, we read the old and familiar story of Daniel and the lions’ den. What an awesome reminder of God’s faithfulness to his servants.

Darius was the current king, and he cared for Daniel. Daniel had been promoted to a high position in the kingdom, and there were quite a few men that didn’t like this. They tried to find fault in Daniel to criticize or condemn him, but they could not. Daniel was completely trustworthy. So they plotted against him. They realized that the only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel would be in connection with the rules of his religion. They talked King Darius into an agreement which states that for thirty days anyone who prays to anyone or any thing other than the king would be thrown into the den of lions. King Darius signed the agreement not realizing that it would mean certain death for Daniel. Daniel knew about the new law, and he didn’t loudly fuss or admonish anyone. Instead, he continued doing what he had always done. Three times a day, every day, he went to his room and he prayed to the one true God. The men naturally knew that Daniel would be doing this, and after catching him in the act of prayer, they brought charges against him before King Darius.

The king was fond of Daniel, and he wanted to change the law, but in this time, a decree signed by the king could not be revoked or changed. The scripture says that the king spent the rest of the day trying to get Daniel out of this predicament. After realizing that he could not change the law, Daniel was thrown into the den of lions. The king spent the night fasting and did not sleep all night. Very early the next morning, he got up and hurried to the lions’ den, and asked “Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” And Daniel answered, “Long live the king! My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.”

There are quite a few take home messages from this chapter in Daniel, but the one word that jumps out at me is the word faithful. Daniel was faithful in his prayer life. Although he was ordered not to pray to his God, he continued to faithfully pray. He didn’t cause a scene. He didn’t throw a fit or make a loud commotion or even start a riot in the kingdom. He prayed faithfully prior to the new decree, and he continued to pray faithfully following the decree. The circumstances around him changed. The law of the land changed, but Daniel’s faithfulness did not change. He continued his faithful prayer life.

When we look at King Darius, we also see faithfulness. The scripture tells us that the king spent the day trying to figure out how to revoke his new law when he saw that it was going to affect his friend and faithful servant, Daniel. He had not found any fault in Daniel, and he did not want to throw him in the den of lions. However, he had to be faithful to his decree as that was the way things worked at the time. Yet, even though he followed through with putting Daniel in the lions’ den, he remained faithful in his affection to his faithful servant, Daniel. He fasted all night and stayed awake with worry over Daniel’s situation. He ran to the den the first thing the next morning to check on the well being of Daniel.

Finally, we see the faithfulness of God. Daniel was a righteous man. He wasn’t merely a religious man. He was a spiritual man. He didn’t merely follow the religious rules of the time. He followed his love for God, and he faithfully prayed despite orders to do otherwise. Daniel models how we should respond when we face a threat. He continued to obey the Lord despite the governing authorities orders. He remained faithful to God, and God remained faithful to Daniel. God shut the mouths of the lions, and Daniel did not receive so much as a scratch while in the den of lions.

There are days that we may feel like we have been thrown into the lions’ den and forgotten. It may feel that our world is falling apart, and we may feel like there is no way out. There is a way. There is a Light in the darkness, and we only have to remember that He is forever faithful to His children. He may not rescue us immediately. Sometimes we need a little discipline even though we may not like it or want it. God may be using the situations that we find ourselves in to grow us closer to Him or to teach us to lean on Him. The thing we must not forget during the trials of life is that our God is a faithful God, and this is only our temporary home. We are promised eternity with our heavenly Father. Nothing, absolutely nothing, that we endure here can compare to the glory we have in store for us. Everything works for our good and His glory. Whatever lion you are facing today, don’t give up. Cling to Christ. He is forever faithful, and He will conquer that lion at exactly the right time! God is faithful always! We must remain faithful to Him!

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