How to Tame Lions
Truly, Lord God, Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory. All praise to You.
Read Daniel 6:1-28
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The real battle was fought and won in Daniel’s bedroom—where he prayed, giving thanks to God—not in the lion’s den.
Was it news of Daniel’s prophecy of Belshazzar’s fall that precipitated his return to public life, despite being well past retirement? The new king saw in him an ally, but though he offered the best service he could, as events showed, he was not in anyone’s pocket. It says much for his integrity that close scrutiny of his affairs yielded nothing, so when those who plotted against him failed to find any weaknesses, they had to use his strengths against him.
How susceptible to flattery are those in power! Lavish praise can blind judgment and make fools of us all. Without thinking of unintended consequences, Darius binds himself in a legal tangle from which there is no escape. Once again a king thinks that he is equal to God and that prayer should only be offered to himself. Daniel has traveled this road before and, having set his course, will not be deviated by any personal considerations of safety. He needs to keep God central if he is going to be God’s man in the city. By turning to Jerusalem, he daily reminded himself where his true allegiance lay.
The king is trapped by his own conceit, made powerless by his own pride. Daniel faces his probable death in faith, but the king had a long disturbed night. Hoping against hope, he calls out in the morning and Daniel’s voice, familiar in tone and content, replies as usual. Daniel’s God has protected him, though the lions were no vegetarians as the plotters soon discovered! Once more a decree goes out asserting, lest there be any doubt, who is Lord of the nations. The correct response of fear and reverence is therefore enjoined. Daniel is secure in his position and all thoughts of early retirement have now been firmly put to rest!
“If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live” (Martin Luther King Jr., 1929–1968). What lessons have you learned from the life if Daniel?
Dear Lord, what great faith and faithfulness I see in Daniel! He had found something worth dying for. Help me root out my unfaithfulness and address my divided loyalties.