Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
There is a gospel song called “My Help Cometh from the Lord”, based on Psalm 121. In it, you find the following lyrics: No, the sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. He shall preserve thy soul. Even forever more. My help…all of my help cometh from the Lord. What I love most about these lyrics, are that they embody God’s power and His desire to be all of our strength, not just some of it. And to illustrate this promise, we’re going to take another look at the story of Daniel in the lions’ den, found in Daniel 6.
Up until this point in the book of Daniel, he’s been on the winning team. His dedication to God allowed him to interpret dreams, find favor with kings, and land him in positions of power. His favor is the kind of favor we seek today. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t gloss over the courage Daniel had already exhibited before he was faced with the lions’ den. He spoke up when his desire to follow a diet that reflected God’s guidelines was put into question. He went to King Nebuchadnezzar to ask for more time to figure out the king’s disturbing dream, after the king ordered him and his peers to be killed. For another dream, it was Daniel who had to tell the king he would suffer due to his pride and lack of acknowledgement that it is God who rules in the kingdom of men.
Daniel in the Lions’ Den
By the time we arrive at the predicament Daniel facing the lions’ den, we understand why Daniel already knew what it was like to have his soul preserved by God. His help came from the Lord, and he was vocal in acknowledging God as the source of his wisdom and discernment. As Daniel grew in power and favor, King Darius – who now ruled the empire – was considering making Daniel in charge of the entire realm (verse 3). Such an idea did not go over well with others in the governmental system.
To block Daniel’s chances, they tried to find problems with his work, but could not. Such an outcome speaks to what it looks like when we’re in complete alignment with God. We prosper in ways others, and even ourselves, cannot fathom. God isn’t just present to carry us through tribulations. He blesses us in our day-to-day choices as well, so that our lives are a reflection of His presence within our souls. Now for each of us, that reflection will look different, but there will be no denying that the hand of God is moving in our lives.
A Threat to Daniel’s Belief System
As for Daniel, when those who sought to conspire against him, could not find fault with him, they attacked his faith. They went to King Darius, who signed a written decree stating that for 30 days, that no one could pray to anyone except for to the king. If they did, they would be cast into the den of the lions. Once the law became official, Daniel went home and prayed anyway. In verse 10 we read: 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.
The threat of death wouldn’t be enough to break Daniel’s faith in God. We have to trust that if God allows us to encounter a storm, He will also provide shelter to cover us during the darkness. Daniel knew God. They had a relationship forged over time, through tribulations and with consistent communion. Daniels’ faith was based on the evidence of things not seen. Up until this moment, God had always shown up – why would now be any different? And if it was, would it still not be the will of God?
So, Daniel prayed openly, as he had always done. For those seeking to destroy him, Daniel’s decision was positioned as an act of defiance, but to God, it was one of sincerity. Daniel’s belief system held true, despite who issued the decree or the subsequent consequences. For all that he had gained, he was willing to give it up for God. Can we say the same? Or do we prioritize our need for comfort and community over who God has called us to be?
The Plight of King Darius
We all have to answer for our choices, including King Darius when he realized he could not save Daniel. A mistake had been made, but the law couldn’t be taken back. “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)
What is most significant about this scripture, is the certainty in King Darius’ statement. He does not ask if Daniel’s God will deliver him, but simply acknowledges that He will. It is the faith of a non-believer that should give us pause when reading this statement. How often are we, as believers, this sure of God’s deliverance? King Darius trusted that Daniel’s God would right the wrong that had taken place because of Daniel’s unwavering commitment. Here we learn that although faith is often conveyed as individual, and it is, it’s transferable too.
Early the next morning, King Darius hastily went out to the lions’ den, hoping to find Daniel alive. In verse 20, he cried out, saying: “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” Again, King Darius points to Daniel’s unwavering commitment to God, and this idea of deliverance. Daniel responded by saying: “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.” (Daniel 6:21-22)
All of My Help
Relief comes over the king as he commanded the release of Daniel. Yet if we look back at Daniel’s response to the king, we hear no anger. Instead, Daniel gave the king a warm greeting, and then spoke to the testimony that had just taken place. Citing, “My God”, Daniel acknowledged that it was the one true living God who delivered him from the lions, and no one else.
After Daniel was taken out of the den of lions, the king commanded those who had accused Daniel, along with their wives and children, to be thrown into that same den. From this, we learn two key lessons. First, we see that consequences are transferable too. Our choices don’t happen within silos, for better or worse. Second, God’s help includes His vengeance. Daniel did not need to seek out retribution against or protection from those who conspired against him. As a servant of God, this problem was already being handled.
Daniel’s journey reminds us that we are able to access all of God’s help, when Christ continually abides in our souls. With God as our first priority, we know that God’s divine strength will help us to be courageous in keeping the faith, no matter the situation. We find peace in knowing the Lord that keeps us does not slumber nor sleep. Even in the darkest of tribulations, I am thankful that God’s hand still covers us, just like He did with Daniel.
#GodBless from #LovesAnActionPrint This Devotional