Facing the Lions
“He knelt down on his knees . . . and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.” Daniel 6:1-10
Daniel was known for successfully interpreting dreams for the king and being made an administrator over most of his kingdom. But he is probably more famously known for being the guy who was thrown into a pit of lions and survived. How did he go from one extreme to the other?
In a nutshell, envy. The other administrators were so envious of Daniel’s position with the king that they set out to trap him so that he would be removed. They actually convinced the king to make a rule that they knew Daniel would never keep. They laid a trap for him based on his consistent practice of daily prayer to God. Daniel fully knew of their plot and could have easily prayed privately for a month. But that was not the kind of person he was.
Daniel knew that praying to his God would not only get him in trouble, but he also remembered the persecution his people faced under Nebuchadnezzar and he knew that the Persians could be just as ruthless. But instead of hiding, Daniel walked up to the upper floor of his house, opened the windows that faced Jerusalem, knelt down on his knees three times that day and prayed and gave thanks before his God.
Daniel didn’t just know the dangers he faced, he also knew the promises of his Lord. He knew the stories he had learned as a boy, the stories of God’s hand protecting Noah, Moses and David. He also remembered when three of his friends had been thrown into a fiery furnace and emerged unharmed! Now Daniel was older, and he could look back on his own life and see God’s guidance and protection.
He knew that the same God who had sustained him to this point would not fail him now. After he was thrown into the lions’ den with no way to escape, an angel protected him throughout the night. Daniel walked away without a single scratch. Because of that, the Lord was worshipped all through Persia.
Have you ever thought to yourself, but what if God didn’t protect Daniel? What if the lions had attacked him? Would he have been any worse off? Think about it. If God had chosen that moment to bring his faithful believer to heaven and chosen someone else to proclaim God’s power to the Persians, Daniel’s eternal fate would have been the same!
The miracle here wasn’t the angel who shut the lion’s mouth. The most important part of this story was the strength of Daniel’s faith to face certain death in order to proclaim the Lord’s name. That faith came from God, the God that Daniel wanted to please every single day.
God doesn’t promise us a trouble-free life, but He does promise that he will be with us every step of the way. When Daniel was hit with a crisis, he didn’t need to change his daily practice to meet it. He simply stayed committed to his God.
I pray that God will grant and strengthen my faith for whatever daily challenges come my way. God closed the mouths of lions for Daniel, and He can do the same for us.
Have a blessed day!