Monday, April 18, 2011

That's Quite a DEN You're Making!

I have yet another story from the book of Daniel, and I'm fairly confident that you've already been able to guess what it is.  Daniel in the Lions' Den.  Again, the story is a long one, so read the full text here if you'd like more than my summary.

Daniel has already proven to be very wise and skilled in interpretation.  Though a foreigner, he constantly finds himself rising to the top of the current king's list of favorite servants/officials.  In Daniel 6, the same is true.  So much so, in fact, that King Darius plans to appoint Daniel as a president over the whole kingdom. This plan leads to the other officials seeking to find some complaint against Daniel.  Of course, they can find no complaint against Daniel, so they conspire to get the king to establish and sign an ordinance that would make it illegal to pray to anyone except the king.  Being the righteous man that he is, Daniel continues to pray to God.  The king, possibly realizing that these other officials had set a trap for Daniel, tries to defend Daniel, but cannot revoke the law he has passed.  The sentence for Daniel is that he must be thrown into a den of lions.  The end result, as I'm sure you already know, is that the Daniel came out of the den unscathed.  This leads to the king writing a decree to go out to the entire world:
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. -Daniel 6:26-27
This is truly what I like most about this story.  Yes, it's great that Daniel has such great faith and devotion that he continues to honor God even when it goes against the king's ordinance.  Yes, it's great that, because of such devotion, God spares Daniel from the lions.  What impresses me even more, however, is that all of this leads to King Darius honoring God and making a royal decree that everyone should do the same.  It is my sincerest hope that I can be that kind of example to others.  People who know me will know God, not because I have found some way to debate and convince them, but because of my faith and devotion.

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