Daniel: 1, Lions: 0

September 7th, 2007 • Category: Book of Daniel
by Julie Benson

Today’s scripture: Daniel 6:19-28 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Julie Benson):

Daniel responds to King Darius, saying, “My God has sent an angel and shut the lions’ mouths.” This scenario is quite similar to the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, for there we witness an angel of the Lord protecting God’s faithful.

The angel appears in this story to save Daniel for he, too, was faithful in giving thanks to God, using “uncommon sense” as we examined in yesterday’s thoughts. Daniel’s steadfast spirit comes to fruition when he is used as a vessel to illustrate God’s mighty power. He is spared from the lions, retrieved by the king, and acknowledged for his faithfulness.

But, as quickly as Daniel was rescued in the morning, his conspirators were thrown into the den. Now the lions had been fasting just like the king. So as if Daniel’s survival was not enough proof of God’s power, scripture emphasizes the voracity of the lions: “Before they reached the bottom of the dens the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.”

For me, this story of Daniel in the lion’s den puts my faith back in check. Sometimes weary from all of the day to day boxing in life — ducking a driver with road rage here, gently de-escalating a friend’s stress there — I remember the mightiness of our God and little ol’ Daniel. For “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen!” (Hebrews 11:1)

Thought for the day: I’ll remember Daniel’s faithfulness — and God’s power.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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