Friday, November 29, 2013

Lessons from the Lion's Den

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Friday, November 29, 2013:  Daniel 6:1-28

As a child, I learned the story of Daniel and the lion's den.  The lesson is still clear to me today:  Nothing can stop God's Kingdom.  The power of faith in God can overcome any obstacle.  In the words of Hebrews 11:33, it can even "shut the mouths of lions."

King Darius, who rode an emotional roller coaster through this story, summarized the lesson best when he decreed:

26 I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.  For He is the living God, and steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end.  27  He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth,  who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.  Daniel 6:26-27 (NKJV)

We need to once again hear lessons from the lion's den.

Devious men sought to entrap a godly man into violating laws about public prayer.  We need to be just like Daniel.  The moment he heard the prohibition against prayer and worship, he went straight home, opened his windows, knelt down, and PRAYED (Dan. 6:10).

Forces tell us today that we cannot pray.  Severe penalties are threatened.  I do not think we should be offensive with our faith, but that is not the case usually.  The forces against faith are not satisfied with neutrality.  They seek removal of God from the public arena.

Daniel remained loyal to God despite the threatenings of evil men.  Therefore, God defended Daniel by protecting him against physical harm.  The safest place in the world is square in the middle of God's will.

In Daniel's case, technicalities of the law forced a reluctant Darius to carry out what appeared to be a death sentence.  Evil men manipulated the system trying to rid their culture of Daniel's godly influence.

We have a similar story at work today.  Arguments are made that prayer is unconstitutional. An ambivalent populace stands by watching the drama play out.  With each step, the godly influence of men and women like Daniel lessens.

What kind of lion's dens lie ahead?  I suspect that one weapon Satan seeks to wield is FINANCIAL.  It doesn't really matter.  Daniel is for today.  If we remain faithful to our god, He will sustain us.  The final book of the Bible is considered the New Testament twin of Daniel.  There we read, "And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death" (Rev. 12:11)

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