The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.
King Darius governed and managed his kingdom by setting 120 leaders over it; these leaders were overseen by 3 presidents of whom Daniel was the greatest. We are told in 6:3 that Daniel was chosen because an excellent spirit was upon him, Daniel trusted and relied on the Lord. This trust in God created a jealousy and the other princes sought to find fault with Daniel but they could not. So they petitioned the king to create a law forbidding people to pray to anyone other than the king. Daniel, knowing that the law had been passed, still prayed to God and so he was thrown into the lion’s den. Daniel 6:23 records that God delivered Daniel, we marvel at this miraculous protection and we talk often about Daniel in the lion’s den. What we often fail to talk about is the role that trusting God played, there are some truths about trust that will tame the lions in the den of life.
- Facing the lions starts before we see them.
Those who really trust God know that they don’t face the lions when they face them. We usually focus on Daniel’s courage in the lions’ den but what’s curiously missing from the whole story is a detailed description of Daniel’s experience in the den. All we really know is what he tells the king that God had shut the mouths of the lions, we don’t really know if he was brave in the den or not. There are 153 verses on his life before the lions’ den yet little to nothing about his time in the den. Why, is it because Daniel wasn’t facing the lions when he was in the lion’s den, instead, he faced them before he faced them. We are all going to face the lion’s den at some point and we want to be like Daniel in the den but will we live like Daniel before the lion’s den? How did Daniel live before the lion’s den? He faced the lions head on even before he could see them. He prayed every day, he lived in integrity, he served God through every aspect of his life, and he courageously walked in faith. The bottom line is that Daniel trusted God with his life long before the lion’s den. Daniel’s trust is what God used to provide a platform to show off His power and faithfulness to a watching world. Why do we wait until bad things happen to try and develop a prayer life and implement an emergency faith? Is it because we don’t really trust God until we feel like we have too? Daniel’s den experience turned out the way it did because of his ordinary everyday trust, a trust that said I will walk by faith and commune with God through prayer.
I think most people want a lions’ den experience, minus the danger. We want to see God do huge things in our life, we want God to come through in big ways and we long to experience His decisive display of deliverance. We want to show people that our God is still a God who can accomplish the impossible and deliver from danger. But most of us will never get the opportunity to prove God’s faithfulness when we face the lion’s den because we won’t trust in God and walk by faith in our everyday life. We will not see an increase of favor at work because we segregate God from our work. We will not see God come through for us in a huge way financially because we won’t trust Him with 10% of what we have now. We will not see God use us in powerful ways because we live in such a way that no one knows that we even believe in God. Daniel’s courage and faithfulness was shown in the way he lived and that is what got him thrown into the lions’ den. Your ability to face and defeat the lions will be determined by how you live and prepare before you ever see them. The truth is that your victory or defeat is actually determined prior to the actual fight. You had better square off against lust before you square off against lust. You had better deal with the anger and revenge before you are given the opportunity to get mad or get even. You had better deal with pride before you are promoted. Do you know that you face the lions long before you look into their eyes, that the battle is determined long before the den? Are you trusting now in the everyday circumstances of life or are you going to institute an emergency trust when you are next thrown into the den?
- Facing the lions means living a watched life
The Bible as it reveals one of the greatest testimonies ever told tells us that Daniel’s enemies were looking for a way to accuse him “they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy” They couldn’t find anything in his life worthy of digging up, scripture makes it apparent that they were watching Daniel. So when they can’t find anything they make up a law forbidding prayer to anyone but the king to get him thrown in with the lions. Daniel keeps praying because he keeps trusting. People were watching Daniel long before the lion’s den and they are going to watch us. The question we need to ask is, If I were going to be convicted based on a visible relationship with God would I be found guilty? The problem is that most of our enemies don’t have to make anything up, we live so close to the edge, refusing to avoid the very appearance of evil, that they don’t even have to lie to get us attacked. Are you living in such a way that all your enemies have to do is to tell the truth about you and your witness and testimony will be diminished?
Jesus set the example for us, his accusers had to pay people lie about him. Today there seems to be very few who are forced to face bogus lions because their enemies have to make everything up. We may not like it but our life is on display and our testimony will either be established or destroyed based on our daily walk. You will face the lion’s den I Peter 5:8 says, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” Is God able to deliver those who trust in Him? Ask Moses who watched God’s children be delivered from Egypt or David who experienced the deliverance of God’s army with a single stone, or Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego delivered from the flames of the fiery furnace. Will you trust God and live in such a way that people have to lie and make something up? Remember, trusting God in your everyday life will get you in trouble for things that you didn’t do, but God will deliver you.