Daniel has been one of my favorite bible characters since I was a teenager.
Originally, it was because of what a rebel I thought he was. Defying edicts and officials. Flipping the bird to the man.
More recently, his story has taken on a different meaning. Particularly, the lion’s den.
Daniel knew the ordinance cast down from his friend, the King. He knew the consequences for bowing down to any other God for the next 30 days. And Daniel went to a place full of windows, got on his knees and worshipped anyway. Much to the king’s distress- as the king really loved Daniel- he was thrown into a den full of lions to become dinner, if not for the grace of God. The king fasted and prayed all night to Daniel’s God in hope that his friend would emerge from an impossible situation unharmed. It would be a miracle. And it was.
Two things have stood out to me about this story this week. Firstly, Daniel’s death, by all intents and purposes, was imminent. He was going to die. He was tossed into an enclosed area with a bunch of hungry predators. It was imminent and yet- God trumps the imminent. There are things I am positive are imminent all the time according to my past history or experience, weighed against all the facts I have- but nothing can change the fact that God laughs at what we think is imminent. Nothing is outside of his hand. Daniel knew that. He knew walking in that by all facts and the laws of the earth, he would die. But Daniel also knew that his God is not confined to the laws of the earth. That his God made those laws- and can change them. Daniel trusted that God meant only good to come to him, and so, he slept comfortably with massive beings that should have massacred him, and walked out unscathed.
The second thing is how the king stood watch, all night, fasting and praying. I know that when I am in something that feels imminent, there is nothing like knowing that people are outside of my cave praying and fasting on my behalf. I bet Daniel knew his friend was sweating tears and throwing up prayers all night long when his face dwindled in the face of very large teeth.
1. God trumps what we think is imminent
2. It is necessary to our survival to gather those who pray outside of our cave.
I want to be as bold as Daniel, as steadfast as King Darius.