Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Daniel in the Lions' Den

Sunday evening we looked at the story of Daniel in the lions' den (Daniel 6). It is a fascinating account of political intrigue and jealousy in which some officials in the court of King Darius gang up on 80 year old Daniel and try to discredit and kill him all because his work is so excellent that the king plans to put him over the whole empire. This is not the first time evil men have tried to bring down an innocent servant of the Lord, nor will it be the last.

Knowing that they will never find any reason to accuse him because of his government service they realize that they must find a way to turn his faith into a political liability. This they do when they convince naive and foolish King Darius to forbid prayer in his kingdom to any god or human being, except himself, for 30 days. When King Darius finally realizes what is going on it is too late, and even though he tries everything in his power to rescue Daniel, at sundown he reluctantly gives the order to throw Daniel to the lions for defying his written decree. But God sends his angel and shuts the mouths of the lions so they can do Daniel no harm.

Early the next morning when God's supernatural intervention is discovered by the king, he gives orders to lift Daniel from the den and to execute in his place those who conspired against him. In the end, King Darius, praises Daniel's God as one to be feared and reverenced for the following reasons: for he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.

There are many practical lessons that we can learn from the passage and I will outline some of them next time. To be continued...

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