Daniel: Den of Lions

Daniel 6.  Several favorite stories come from the book of Daniel.  These stories have been foundational not only to children but for adult lives also.  Daniel and his three friends Shadrack, Meshack, and Abendigo were taken to Babylon as youth and were chosen to be trained in the Babylonian language and culture.  Yes, cultural conflict emerges!!  The Jews had strict dietary rules and Daniel dared bargain for a vegetarian diet rather than the king’s rich food.  A Daniel diet today follows this. 

         We love the three men in the fiery furnace who refused to bow down to an idol of the king. ”King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from your Majesty’s hand.  But even if he does not, we want you to know your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”  What bravery.

         Daniel, likewise, when jealous officials got the king to pass a law that all pray to the king for a month, went home and knelt before his window and prayed three times a day flaunting the officials.  He was thrown into a den of lions and God delivered him.

         These men were captives in a foreign country and required to go against their consciences.  They refused and we love those stories that remind us of David and Goliath.  Standing for our faith often requires the willingness to face a trial.  But Daniel had another talent that brought him before the king.  Daniel could interpret dreams and signs.  All the stories of these encounters are preceded by prayer and by giving credit to God.

         In our ever-active world where noise fills our days, it takes spiritual discipline to carve out time and place to focus our minds in prayer and to seek the Lord.  I found that rising before my children was a habit I had to form.  Invariably a little body would crawl into my lap!  Likewise I have “my favorite chair” where I can sit and “recharge my batteries” for a few minutes.  I do not know how you focus on the eternal to be able to tell the real from the really real but wisdom does not come automatically.  A walk, a jog, a bike ride, a Sabbath day when the family turns off electronic stimulus are all favorite aids.  Whatever works for you, will work for God as he is willing to go with it.  Blessings as you carve out time and face the flack to do it!  Not all lions live in dens! Blessings.

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