December 17th – Daniel 6

 

 

lion-of-judah

Prayer in the Face of Lions

Daniel 6 is not a soft and fuzzy children’s bedtime story. It truly is the gruesome stuff of nightmares. In this chapter we have an evil plot to trap Daniel, who is singularly devoted to God, and throw him into a pit full of hungry lions. Daniel’s enemies want him dead. BUT… in the end we see a dramatic plot twist because Daniel’s enemies, their wives, and children are thrown into the pit and mauled by the lions.

 

Yikes! The story reminds us of the risks of obedience to God in a world with an alternate agenda.

This is a story of jealousy. Daniel had found favor with the King and had been given authority over many others. This Hebrew man and His God were a thorn to local leaders and other high officials. They tried to find ways to dishonor him but they could find no fault in his character. Daniel’s faith was strong and reflected the character of his God. The men believed this would be Daniel’s downfall, and they set a trap knowing Daniel would remain faithful to his God.

 

Sometimes our faithfulness brings us promotion in the world, just as Daniel found favor with the King.

 

At other times, our faithfulness makes us public enemy number one.

“EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO LIVE A GODLY LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS WILL BE PERSECUTED. ” 1 TIMOTHY 3:12

 

God does not abandon us in our battles. He invites us into prayer. Prayer pierces our humanity with His holiness. Just think about that…

 

Prayer is where we ask courageously, wait patiently, and surrender faithfully to God’s goodness and wisdom.

And that’s just what Daniel did. He prayed.

He prayed knowing who his God was…

He prayed even as the King signed the ordinance forbidding prayer to any other “god” but himself for 30 days.

 

Daniel did not change his habit of prayer… for anyone…for anything.

I am convicted by this. How faithful am I in my daily devotion to God?

Not Daniel-faithful apparently…

But for Daniel, it was business as usual. He turned his face toward home, Jerusalem, got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to God. He did break his habit, reasoning that God would understand.

We do this, don’t we? When the circumstance is uncomfortable and “our” best interests are at heart? Surely God wouldn’t want me to be inconvenienced?

 

So Daniel was put in the pit…

BUT Daniel’s God deliverer delivered His faithful servant and He made his glory known to an unbelieving King and nation.

God’s power prevailed and He shut the mouths of the lions and the enemy.

 

The God who rescued Daniel is the same God who rescued us. Scripture tells us that Jesus is the Lion of Judah who becomes the Lamb of God. (Revelation 5:5-6)

Jesus took our pain and our suffering upon Himself.

He was pierced for our transgressions, and crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:4-5)

AND THEN HE ROSE FROM THE PIT VICTORIOUS!

When we suffer in the name of Jesus, we do not suffer alone!

We will never face a lion’s den without the Lion of Judah by our side.

 

Mighty God,

Your kingdom is not like the kingdoms of the world. You flip the usual power systems upside down because you change the parameters. Living in your kingdom puts me at odds with the world, but even when I feel under attack, YOU are with me. You never abandon me. Thank you!

Amen

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