I’m writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay Area.
n the movie Black Hawk Down, the U.S. colonel was trying to rescue his men who who had been ambushed by gun fire while trying to intervene in the civil war in Somalia. He had Humvees picking up the dead and wounded all around. After loading a Humvee with several wounded soldiers, he told a private to drive the Humvee. “But I have been shot,” the private replied. “Everyone has been shot!” The colonel sternly replied.
Sometimes when we are treated wrongly and wounded, we are tempted to think we are the only one such a thing has happened to when, in reality, everyone has been wounded. In my last post I talked about the fact that Daniel was able to make friends in pagan Babylon, but that did not mean he did not have enemies, and even though he had friends, they let him down. Down into a den of lions!
The other administrators were jealous of Daniel so to get rid of him they buttered up Darius, who was supposed to be a friend of Daniel.
So the administrators and high officers went to the king and said, “Long live King Darius! We are all in agreement—we administrators, officials, high officers, advisers, and governors—that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions. And now, Your Majesty, issue and sign this law so it cannot be changed, an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked.” So King Darius signed the law. Daniel 6:6-9 NLT
They knew Daniel would pray to God, and they knew Darius liked Daniel, so they made a law that could not be reversed once Daniel prayed. And of course Daniel prayed.
But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. Daniel 6:10 NLT
Today many are protective of their privacy and worry if a third party could be spying and listening in on their phone conversations or reading their emails. Daniel knew good and well people were spying on him, but he kept doing what he always did. He prayed right in front of the window. If you knew people were spying on you, would you change your behavior or routine at all? Daniel didn’t. So the other administrators reported him to King Darius and reminded him that the law about being thrown in the lion’s den could not be changed. But Darius could have thought of his friend Daniel before he even made the rule. He did none of that. He let his friend down … into the lions den. By the way have you ever wondered where Daniel was in Daniel 3 when the three Hebrews were thrown in the fiery furnace? One theory is that Nebuchadnezzar knew good and well Daniel would not bow to the idol, so sent Daniel on a business trip to avoid the embarrassment of having Daniel defy his order. If that theory is so, Darius failed to calculate Daniel’s integrity, which embarrassed Darius himself.
I remember a while back working with someone who was not treating her co-workers right. She bragged how she was friends with the boss so she could get a way with whatever she wanted. Just a few months later her boss lost his job, and she lost her job right after he lost his. Sometimes people feel confident knowing someone “powerful” has their back, but all humans are just mortal dust in the wind. You can’t trust them. They can only do so much. Darius, as powerful as he was, could not save Daniel. Thankfully Daniel trusted God who could save him.
A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den. The king sealed the stone with his own royal seal and the seals of his nobles, so that no one could rescue Daniel. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night. Daniel 6:17-18 NLT
Darius could not sleep that night, but I am sure Daniel could. He probably used a lion for a pillow. Funny how a clear conscience allows you to sleep.
Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions’ den. When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “Long live the king! My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.” The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God. Daniel 6:19-23 NLT
Darius in his human sphere could not save Daniel though he tried. Fact is the only one who can save us is God. Daniel had no hard feelings towards Darius, because he knew Darius was only human. Daniel knew to trust no one but God.
Years later Pilate tried to rescue Jesus and failed. On the third day the Father raised Him from the grave. Both Daniel and Jesus stood for what was right. Both Daniel and Jesus had people who tried to save them but could not. Both Daniel and Jesus were saved by God alone. Likewise in the last days we need to stand for what is right knowing full well no man will be able to save us. God will. We all have been wounded and let down by people. Praise God He alone can save us all!