Daniel in the lion’s den
Daniel 6:16-17 “Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, He will deliver thee.
And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.”
That Daniel entered the lion’s den, willingly (Daniel 6:10),.....because he would not give up prayer for God’s people in Jerusalem and Judah.....is an amazing witness of the power of God,.....in Daniel’s courage concerning HIs Word (1 Kings 8:46-49).......and in his belief in prayer to God!
(And this is a lesson we all need to learn. If God has placed a person/people, or place, or church upon our hearts for prayer……we need to be faithful in fulfilling our duty to God in it….claiming the promise He gives)
I also want to mention the witness of Daniel’s life beforehand. For we can not pass through the things of tomorrow, without going through the trials and things of today with God. Daniel, since first being taken to Babylon,....chose to stand with God and His Words....even though it put him at odds with those in authority there. He chose to seek God and the good of others....even the heathen king and those around him....though his life was often in danger for speaking what God wanted. Daniel was serving a heathen king. He was in a place of power and position.....and I might add, that most in these positions, embezzled some money from the kingdom. This is what made the king love Daniel so....he was faithful in keeping all the accounts:
Daniel 6:2, 4 “And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.
Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.”
So when the king, at the mouth of the lion’s den, said…..”thy God whom thou servest continually…”
…this faithfulness to the duty the king gave him, was what he meant.
The king knew Daniel was faithful to God in all things. In the things which were personal....and the things of his homeland, Judah....and the things of the kingdom of Darius, money included.
(This is amazing! What does our everyday life show others?)
But now Daniel is in a lion’s den….”cast into the den of lions”.
(Daniel was an old man by this time….he had come to Babylon when he was a youth….and had served Nebuchadnezzar for years….through to the Medes and Persians attacking and taking the city. Darius was set upon the throne and Daniel served him for years.)
But now, because of the trickery of others, the king has given in to vanity....and Daniel pays the price. He is brought and thrown in with lions. I do not know the eating habits of lions.....but they do attack and kill anything which intrudes into their den....and these lions were often starved ...or just fed enough...in case of an enemy which needed to be destroyed in a brutal fashion for an example to others, was cast in. And I do not think Daniel knew what was going to happen....his confidence and trust, was in the Lord to do what was best.....
Daniel 6:19-22 “Then the king arose very early….and went in haste to the den of lions.
…he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel:….O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?
Then said Daniel….O king live for ever. (The usual greeting to the king)
My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me:…”
I will pause in this last verse, and say: Hallelujah! Both men rejoiced in the goodness and mercy of God.
“….forasmuch as before Him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.”
Daniel had a whole night of praying and waiting before the Lord.....among lions....and God had revealed that Daniel’s prayers for Judah were right,....done for the glory of God, and the good of his people. And, though the enemies of the kingdom were usually cast into this den....Daniel had not done anything to hurt the kingdom of Darius...to deserve this at his hand.
Though the right way is often persecuted….God is the justifier of all motives and actions.
He weighs our thoughts and intents of our hearts….and that of our persecutor’s.
And, of course, there is one other thing to mention concerning that lion’s den.....perhaps the most important....especially for Daniel (or anyone who has to face the viciousness of any enemy)....
….and that is that….God was with Him.
God had sent His angel to shut the lions mouths…..God was there in the darkness in a peace and Presence that Daniel knew.
What a wonderful promise to us…..especially when we face things alone!
Daniel 6:23 “Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.”
We know that to believe is to put the whole weight of our lives upon. Daniel did that….”he believed in his God.”
What of us? To believe is a continuing journey. We know Christ Jesus, and believe…and are saved.
We come to know more of Christ….and believe and by faith live a life which is….in the world, but not of it….”…and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
I have never been in a lion’s den. I have never been betrayed by people I have worked for as desperately as this. But I am not Daniel....I am me....with the problems, trials, and enemies that God has placed in my way. It is how I witness to Him in the way He has given me....that will make the history of my life a glory, for Him.
And it is the same for all of us: we have our own trials….and “lions” to face…..
…but God is with us. Let us believe on Him….and in His Word….and pray like we do.