SLEEPING WITH THE LIONS

    I’ve learned through the years that God’s provision of various stories in His Word is divinely designed to fit anything that happens in life, whether good or bad.

    In both the Old Testament and New Testament, God provides timeless examples of the conflicted condition of His beloved creation ~ innocence/sin, truth/deception, surrender/struggle, friend/foe, victory/loss, faith/doubt, obedience/rebellion, turmoil/peace, life/death, etc…

    Admit it! We all love a good story, especially a story  with a happy ending!

    Enter Daniel…

    The Babylonians captured the Israelites and carried them off to Babylon. Daniel, due to his youth and aptitude to learn, was chosen to be part of the king’s service. Daniel was smart. He respected his captors, worked hard and after a while he gained respect from the king…

    Daniel 1:18-21:   At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so, they entered the king’s service.  In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.

    And so the drama begins! I like to call it “As the Kingdom Turns”

    From Nebuchadnezzar to Belshazzar — There are dreams, interpretations, a fiery furnace and strange writing on a wall. After an appointed  stint in the “wild”, Nebuchadnezzar raised his eyes toward heaven and exalted the Lord. Sadly, Belshazzar rebelled against the Lord, but right before he died, he made Daniel the third highest ruler in the kingdom. Then king Darius took the throne, He restructured the kingdom, but still appointed Daniel to a position of high authority. Of course, the king’s decision angered others who felt that they should be in charge. Thus, they set a trap for Daniel… prayer to anyone or anything other than King Darius was outlawed. As we know, Daniel didn’t care about this new law. He openly prayed to his God--the one true God. In short... Daniel prayed, and at the chagrin of a king who foolishly made an unchangeable decree, Daniel ended up in the den of lions.

    The story does not indicate the number of lions in the den. It only says that Daniel was thrown in with the lions, and then a stone was placed over the opening. Lions and darkness. What a great way for God to reinforce Daniel’s faithful prayer life! What a way to cause a worrying king to become a believing king, as well.

    At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have  not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight.  Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” (Daniel 6:19-22)

    Notice this… Daniel didn’t say, “My God sent an angel who stood between me and the lions…” Instead, he said, “My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions.”

    My point… Daniel didn’t have to worry about the lion’s teeth that threatened to tear him from limb to limb and chew him up. He didn’t focus on the lions. On the contrary, Daniel kept his eyes on the power of God.

    As Christians, we don’t have to focus on anything that threatens to chew us up. We need not worry if God will protect us. God promises to protect us and He always keeps His promises. Because of this… we can fix our eyes on Jesus… the author and perfecter of our faith and then, without worry, we can sleep in a world full of lions.

    Remember this… you are loved, and you are always in my prayers.

    In Christ,  Cheryl

     

     

     

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