Then, at break of day, the king got up and hurried to the den of lions. When he came near the den where Daniel was, he cried out anxiously to Daniel, ‘O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you faithfully serve been able to deliver you from the lions?’ Daniel then said to the king, ‘O king, live for ever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong.’ Then the king was exceedingly glad and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. The king gave a command, and those who had accused Daniel were brought and thrown into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. Before they reached the bottom of the den the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces. Then King Darius wrote to all peoples and nations of every language throughout the whole world: ‘May you have abundant prosperity! I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel:
For he is the living God, enduring for ever. His kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion has no end. He delivers and rescues, he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth; for he has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.’ So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
Certainly, Daniel got a raw deal! He was set up by jealous, lesser men who wanted him out of the way. It seemed like they succeeded, except for one thing that they overlooked: Daniel’s total trust in God. The interesting thing, however, about Daniel being thrown into the lions’ den is that God didn’t remove him before he found deliverance in it. Imagine if Daniel had fought against being thrown into the den (which he might have been expected to do) and gone into the den fighting against it every inch of the way. Chances are the lions would have torn him to shreds before he hit the bottom. But Daniel didn’t do that! He accepted what was happening to him and trusted his life to God, who shut the mouth of the lions. Perhaps, the next time that any of us ask God to save us from a difficult situation, we should be asking God for deliverance in it. Sometimes, like Daniel, God has a lesson for us to learn and before he delivers us out of it – perhaps we need to find deliverance in it.
Father, deliver us from anything that threatens to derail or throw us off your course for our lives. Give us strength to love people that are seemingly unlovable and build a confidence in us that is unstoppable and immovable but guard our hearts from pride. Deliver us from our own distorted thoughts, sickness, debt, sadness, struggles, hunger, pain, fear, oppression, conflict, and unbelief, for we proclaim your peace over our lives through prayer, today. Amen
St. Andrew's United Reformed Church - The United Reformed Church in Monkseaton and Whitley Bay
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