August 3

August 3

Daniel & Lion’s Den — Daniel prays three times a day & lives blamelessly.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: Daniel 6

Reading 2: Psalm 55:16-19

Reading 3: 1 Peter 3:13-17

Do you remember how Daniel served God faithfully, despite the fickle power-focused rule of Nebuchadnezzar and his successor Belshazzar? Now we see that Daniel outlasts both rulers and is still serving God faithfully in the reign of Darius the Mede.

Faithful service to God is of great value, whether it is recognized or not, and in this case Daniel was recognized by Darius, who planned to put Daniel in charge of the whole Kingdom. Notice how serving God leads to favor because living God’s way is more fruitful.

But “office politics” come into play as Daniel’s colleagues find ways to manipulate the situation to their own benefit. Manipulation always plays on the lust for power and authority (which was satan’s sin originally). So Darius signs a law that boosts his own power – having everyone pray only to him for 30 days. There was no need for this law, except to trap Daniel. There are parallels of these circumstances today, and throughout history, but sadly the Church does not always learn from Daniel’s example.  What did Daniel do when he learned there was a new law that encroached on his religious liberty and threatened his life? He did what he always did – carried on his relationship with God by praying.

Of course the manipulative and jealous leaders reported him to the king, and Darius was forced to follow through and sentence Daniel to the penalty required under the silly law!

But we know that God shuts the lions’ mouths miraculously, and Daniel is saved. We know it was a miracle because the very same lions later devoured Daniel’s adversaries before they hit the floor of the lions’ den!

So where is our trust today? Do we face circumstances that are ungodly, maybe even designed to trap us and force us to deny our faith? Remember this: God is God. He is greater than every ruler and more powerful than any ungodly government system. Daniel knew this and proved it repeatedly. Maybe you and I will have the privilege of doing the same.

Let’s pray for our rulers (I suspect that’s what Daniel was doing both in his window at home before his arrest, and during his night with the lions). God is greater than them all, and wants them to know His love.

Have a great day!

Mark.