My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. (Daniel 6:22-23 ESV)
One of the main themes of the book of Daniel is the sovereignty of God over the kings of the earth. In chapter 6 we see where King Darius unthinkingly causes Daniel to be thrown into the den of lions. This king that God had placed over Babylon, this king who was ready to put Daniel in charge of the entire kingdom, signed an order that demanded idol worship. Daniel refused and therefore the stated punishment was applied; to the lion’s den he went.
God allowed the situation to demonstrate to king Darius who He (God) is.
I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.” (Daniel 6:26-27 ESV)
Just as God had shown king Nebuchadnezzar back in chapters 3 and 4, He again reveals His sovereignty to the new pagan king reigning over His people.
But from Daniel’s perspective, this Daniel who was faithful to the point of death, I’d be thinking, “Enough already!” He was 80 years old for goodness sakes. He’d been taken from his family and his homeland when he was young, he’d been almost murdered when the wise men couldn’t tell king Nebuchadnezzar what his dream was, he’d been placed in charge of all the magicians, he’s served king after king in this pagan country, and he wasn’t going to stop praying to the Most High God, his God, now. But they keep trying to take him down. And God keeps protecting and exalting him.
I admire Daniel’s quiet confidence in God. He was committed to God unto death. He never tried to exalt himself. He humbly served where God had taken him. He got along with those in charge of him, even when they were doing things that almost got him killed. He was respectful and trustworthy; a man of integrity.
And as a result of Daniel’s faithfulness to God, God was able to use him to humble kings and glorify Himself. Daniel was faithful to God and God was faithful to Daniel.
I’m pretty sure that Daniel would not have chosen that life. He didn’t sign up to be taken captive and to serve foreign kings. He was part of his country’s royalty. He was strong, smart, and very capable. AND he was obedient to God’s will in his life. He walked with God. He talked with God. He kept his eyes focused on God and not on his circumstances. Daniel feared God not man.
When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. (Daniel 6:10 ESV)
I’m betting he was also praying to God in that lion’s den, giving thanks as he had done previously.
When we are faced with difficult circumstances, are we quick to go to our homes, get down on our knees and give thanks to God?
Long suffering, faithful Daniel. Servant of the Most High God – whom he served continually. I dare say that God desires more Daniels for His kingdom!
Where has God taken you that you would not have chosen? You can faithfully serve God there as Daniel did. Fear God and not man. Give thanks for God’s faithfulness to you. He will send His angels to shut the mouths of the lions around you. Stay focused on Him.
Be encouraged. Press on.
So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian. (Daniel 6:28 ESV)