9/16/14 “Into the Lion’s Den” (Daily Bible Reading: Daniel 5-8)

“So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, ‘Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.’ ” (Daniel 6:16).

How do you feel about politicians? Many politicians are not looked very favorable upon by many in our society. However, try to imagine a holder of high political office whom you could fully trust what he or she said. Imagine a governor who had unquestioned integrity. This is exactly who Daniel was.

Since entering into Babylonian captivity, Daniel had served before the king of Babylon (Daniel 1:5, 19-21). Following his interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, he had been promoted by the king of Babylon to ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon (Daniel 2:48). Following the downfall of the Babylonian Empire to the Kingdom of the Medes and Persians, Daniel is promoted to one of the 3 governor positions which are over the whole kingdom (Daniel 6:1-2). In fact, Daniel had so distinguished himself that the king gave thought about setting Daniel over the whole realm (Daniel 6:3).

However, the other governor and satraps became jealous of Daniel and tried to come up with a plan to bring a charge against Daniel. Daniel was such a man of integrity that could not find any kind of sex scandal, inappropriate financial dealings, or other matter in his life that could bring him in disfavor with the king (Daniel 6:4). “Then these men said, ‘We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God’ ” (Daniel 6:5). They come up with a plan and get the king’s approval that no man may petition any god or man for 30 days or else they will be thrown into a den of lions (Daniel 6:6-9).

How did Daniel react to this? As a holder of government office did Daniel hold his finger up in the air and see that the winds of change were blowing against him? Did he decide that it was too risky for him to take a stand for God at this time? No, instead we read, “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days” (Daniel 6:10).

Daniel knew he had to pay a stiff price for his decision to stand up for His faith in God. As the opening verses above indicate, he was cast into the den of lions. However, he had so glorified God by his actions over his lifetime that even the King expressed his belief that the God whom Daniel served would deliver him: “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you” (Daniel 6:16). God shut the mouths of the lions and the next morning Daniel is released from the den of lions while his accusers are cast into it (Daniel 6:19-24). Regarding Daniel’s accusers this could be said of them: “Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity; yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood. He made a pit and dug it out, and has fallen into the ditch which he made” (Psalm 7:14-15).

I certainly wish more politicians would seek to follow Daniel’s example. More importantly, Daniel is an inspiring example for all of us to follow. Am I willing to stand up for godly principles as did Daniel or do I keep my mouth shut under the threat of being persecuted or humiliated by others? Today, I will follow Daniel excellent example and stand up for God’s principles in a way that glorifies God!

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).