Have any of you read the accounts of Daniel in your bible? Most Christians have at least some knowledge of Daniel. So, the back story is this King Darius appoints 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. Now Daniel was obedient to the Lord, faithful, trustworthy, and did nothing to draw attention to himself and did nothing wrong in his work or private life. He obeyed God, prayed three times a day towards Jeruselum, and God blessed and advanced him. Fast-forward, Daniel had so distinguished himself among the other administrators because of his exceptional qualities that they decided he needed to go. They plotted and tried their best to find fault in his work but could not.
Here is where the story takes a turn. The other administrators and officials knew that Daniel was faithful to God, the true and living God. They knew he prayed to God daily, so this was the basis for their going to the king to get him to issue an edict and enforce it that if anyone prays to another god or man during the next thirty days, except to the king himself, they would be thrown into the lion’s den.
Let’s pick up the story from the word of God.
Daniel 6:10-15 “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened towards Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to God, just as he had done before. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or man except you, O king, would be thrown into the lions’ den?” The king answered, “The decree stands-in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” 13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” 14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed, he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him. 15 Then the men went as a group to the king and said to him, “Remember, O king, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.
Wow! Daniel had heard what would happen if he disobeyed, yet being obedient to God was more important than his life. He continued to do the right thing, knowing what might take place. It seemed that now around 70 to 80 years old. God had been faithful to him ever since he had been taken captive around 17 years old. He trusted God’s plan. From day one of his captivity, Daniel had been faithful to do what the Lord had instructed him to do. He did not allow the enticing things around him to sway his devotion to God. Can we say the same? Are we faithful to God? Do we look at our circumstances and allow them to dictate our obedience?
Moving on: Daniel 6:16-22 “So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” 17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep. 19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.”
Daniel had no promise from God that we read that said that God would for sure rescue him from the lions’ den, but Daniel knew God had always been faithful and whether he lived or died, he was going to serve God. I am sure he must have felt some fear, at least the kind of fear that does not want pain, one’s body to be torn to shreds and eaten while still alive. But Daniel had made up his mind a long time ago that he would not serve any other God. No matter what happened. Nothing could change his mind. He had been given favor with his captors. The king respected Daniel and it sounds like he even liked him. This was a hard night for the king, sleepless, probably walking the floor, wondering what he would find. He had witnessed Daniel’s faithfulness to the living God. He had seen the blessing God had given to Daniel. We will see now that God will punish those who were wrong, and we hear these words fromencounter we hear the king.
Daniel 6:23-28 “The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in God. 24 At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crused all their bones. 25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples nations and men of every language throughout the land: “May you prosper greatly!” 26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdon people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdon will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. 27 He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” 28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reighn of Dyrus the Persian.”
God used this time to open the eyes of the king. Daniel was a living witness and testimony to God’s faithfulness. He knew whether he lived or died he would be with the Lord. His faith was strong, his mind made up! Nothing, not even the threat of death would or could sway him. Now ask yourself this question: “Is your mind made up?” Even if you thought you were going to die a horrible death, would you still be obedient to the Lord?
We are living in uncertain strange times. Christian’s are fast becoming the enemy to many; evil does not like the light. We do not know where the paths of life may take us, but we better know before we get there what our answer will be, who will you serve? I see people/Christians who are already realing from this pandemic and the changes in our way of life. Some have mouthed such mean and vile things, others live in fear. God’s word tells us that ,”He is the same, yesturday, today and forever.” (Malachi 3:6)
No matter your past faithfulness or how you are right now, you can ask the Lord to fill you with fresh fire. To grow your heart in faith and faithfulness. You can this very moment decide that no matter what comes your way, you WILL be obedient to the Lord and His word. Even if death is a possiblitly you will stay the course. God may or may not deliver you as he did Daniel, but not matter what happens you will still be with him. If your eyes close in death hear on this earth, remember the very next step is eternity with Jesus, your faith will become sight!
None of us know the paths that we will have to walk on. Some paths are harder than others, but all paths are meant to draw us closer to our Lord and Savior. They are completing the work started in us at the moment of our salvation. We are never promised an easy road, but we are promised that God NEVER LEAVES US OR FORSAKES US, He is faithful to the end! Is your mind made up?