At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 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?” Daniel answered, “O king, live forever! 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.” 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 his God.
Don’t Fear the Lions
What would you have done if you had been Daniel? The king has just issued a decree that for an entire month no one can pray to anyone except him. If anyone does pray to someone other than the king, that person will be thrown into a pit to be torn apart by hungry lions. You, however, worship the true God. And everyone knows that you pray to him in your room three times each day. Your enemies, who want you dead, are watching you to see if you will continue praying to your God in spite of the king’s decree. So, what will you do? Will you keep praying to God as you always have been and risk being thrown to the lions? Will you perhaps change your routine and pray privately rather than where people can see you? Will you even stop praying for a month so that you can stay alive?
It didn’t take long for Daniel to decide what he was going to do. Right after Daniel heard about the king’s decree, he went home and kept on praying to God just as he always had done. He didn’t change his routine. And he certainly didn’t stop praying to the true God. Even if it meant that he would have to deal with hungry lions, Daniel was determined to remain faithful to the true God. He was confident that God was able to protect him even from the jaws of lions.
Daniel’s confidence in God was not disappointed. After spending the night with the lions, Daniel was still alive. God had sent an angel to close the lions’ mouths. And the lions hadn’t harmed Daniel at all.
It’s a great blessing to live in a country where we don’t have to face the exact dilemma that Daniel faced. But that doesn’t mean we don’t face similar challenges to our faith. Daily we face pressure to hide our faith. Daily people tell us, perhaps not in so many words, that it would be better for us not to be so public about believing the Bible. Our culture makes it very clear that those who do show their love for Jesus in the way they live will face, not literal lions, but metaphorical lions of disdain, hatred, and ridicule.
But none of this gives us any reason to back down or hide our faith. Like Daniel, we can keep on living our faith and sharing it with others without any fear of the “lions” that threaten us. We know that God is more than capable of overcoming any “lion”. In fact, he has already overcome of the most dangerous “lion” of all, Satan himself, through the work of his Son Jesus. If Satan cannot harm us, then neither can anyone else. And we can boldly live our faith, confident that the God whom we serve can—and will—rescue us from any “lion” that we may face.
Heavenly Father, shut the mouths of the “lions” that threaten me and strengthen me to boldly live the faith that you have given me. Amen.
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