When a Lion’s Den Became a Petting Zoo

“So at last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions.” (Daniel 6:16a NLT)

During the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Jerusalem was defeated. It was in that context that Daniel was chosen to be among those trained for the royal service of their new King. Daniel excelled and over the years when King Darius became ruler, he placed Daniel over his entire empire. As often happens, there were those who became jealous of the king’s preferential treatment of Daniel and schemed to get him removed. As a result, the king issued a decree that anyone who prayed to anyone, divine or human, except to himself would be thrown into the lion’s den.

Obviously, Darius had no clue of the implications, but after learning that Daniel was praying to the God of heaven, he had no choice but to have him thrown to the lion’s. He sought every way to prevent it from happening, but when all efforts proved futile, the king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.”    

There’s a song I heard on “The Message” recently called Crazy Love, by Casting Crowns, that has a line that refers to Daniel being in the lion’s den and God turning the lion’s den into a petting zoo. It caused me to think about how God turns what Satan intends for evil and harm into something good, positive, and helpful in our lives.

What are you facing? Does it feel like you’ve been thrown into the proverbial lion’s den? Are you frustrated, feeling helpless and hopeless as you focus on the surrounding circumstances? So many today feel crushed as they struggle “under the circumstances” of their lives, but God never intended for us to live with that pressure.

That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 11:29-30: “Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

In my mind’s eye I see Daniel, no longer a young man, stepping into the lion’s den without a care in the world. The worst thing with which he concerned himself was having to sleep on the ground instead of in his comfortable bed. The lions paid no attention to him and he, very likely, paid little or no attention to them. But in contrast, the king had Daniel’s accusers thrown into the same lion’s den and the Bible says: “before they even hit the floor of the den” the lion’s had torn them apart. What’s my point?

If you’ve placed your trust in Jesus and are seeking to live faithfully before Him, God will protect you and deliver you from those who are seeking to harm you. Why would He do that? Because God gains glory, honor, and fame through your submission and faithfulness to His holy authority in your life, regardless of the circumstances.

As a result of Daniel’s faithfulness to God, King Darius issued a decree throughout his kingdom that said: “I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God.” He wrote much more, but, hopefully, you get the point.

God is our everlasting Father, and He will allow nothing to touch your life as His child, except it passes through the filter of His permission. So, if you’re experiencing a trying time, be assured of at least these two things: First, God is with you and has allowed this difficult season in your life. And, secondly, He intends to use this circumstance for your good and His eternal glory. “But what if He lets me die?” you may be thinking.

Even if we’re killed for our love for Jesus, in my mind, that’s the best thing that can happen. How so? Because it leads to our eternal home with Jesus.

Therefore, walk in confidence that you are not alone, and nothing will come against you that you and your faithful Savior cannot handle together.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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