Daniel is an interesting man, he was eighty years old by the time he was thrown into the lion’s den. One would think that he considers himself old and would be accepting of death in a lion’s den, but God still had work for him to do.
He started out his career with Nebuchadnezzar, who had just conquered his homeland. As royalty, he was forced to serve the new king. Yet he made wise choices to follow a physical diet that honored God, which also matched his spiritual diet. At this young age, we know him as a man of integrity and faith, “Daniel resolved not to defile himself…” (Daniel 1:8) He then served under Belshazzar, where he eventually read God’s writing on the wall which signaled the end of the mighty Babylonian empire and even there, Daniel is not interested in the rewards of his position (Dan 5:17).
After the lion’s den, he still continued to serve his third king Darius and then the next king Cyrus in whose reign the exiles returned to Jerusalem. Throughout his life, he was a man of integrity and faith.
So when king Darius decrees in Daniel 6:7 that all people should pray to the king, Daniel continues in his way of faith. He goes “home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” (Daniel 6:10-11) Later, the men who wanted to trap him, would find him “praying and asking God for help,” long before they arrived.
Daniel’s character as a good and righteous man was already recognised by the king, who “was greatly distressed, he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.” When he finally had no choice, but to put Daniel in the lion’s den, he said to Daniel: “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” (Daniel 6:16)
The king also recognised that Daniel served God. The king hoped that God would save Daniel.
“At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lion’s den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, who you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” (Daniel 6:19-20)
The King was not sure that God could save Daniel, his faith was experimental. Daniel’s faith however, was certain.
Daniel replied in verse 22: “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, O king.”
Where did Daniel’s certainty come from?
Daniel’s certainty started in his room long before, when he was praying with the windows open to heaven. Daniel built his certainty in the presence of God, getting to know His Word from scriptures and spending time in prayer. Daniel had built his faith, practicing even as a young man, this certainty in the character of God, which he carried with him into his eighties.
Our victories do NOT get established in the battlefield. Our victories in life are established in the prayer room BEFORE the battle. Once we know that the victory is established there, we can go out, certain in our faith and we need not be like the king, who even though he knew of Daniel’s God, was still experimenting to see if God would be victorious.
Which leads me to ask: “My faith: am I experimenting with God, or am I certain about God long before I face lions?”
Father, I want to be certain about you, not experimental. Help me to be disciplined in spending time in Your presence, so that my life; every day; starts there; with certainty. So that the troubles of the day are already overcome in Your presence long before I encounter any “lions” in my day.
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