Chronicled in Daniel; referenced throughout the Old and New Testaments
Daniel faced certain death. He had been cast into a den of angry, famished lions. It would be pretty safe to say he was not going to last more than a few seconds. Sayonara, Daniel-son! It’s been nice knowing you. So, how did he fare? Stay tuned. Let’s backtrack for some context.
Daniel was a young Jewish lad who, along with Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, was among those who were taken into Babylonian captivity. Daniel and his friends were chosen because of their looks and intelligence. They were trained to be advisors to the king and therefore had to learn Babylonian customs and philosophy, although Daniel and his three compatriots never bowed their knees to any Babylonian god.
Daniel had been blessed by God with the gift of dreams and interpretation of dreams. He had many visions, some of which were apocalyptic in nature. It was through Daniel’s interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams that Daniel was promoted to Chief Governor over Babylon. After King Belshazzar (who succeeded Nebuchadnezzar) defiled several Jewish temple artifacts, a hand appeared and wrote a cryptic message on the palace wall. After Daniel interpreted this message, he was then promoted to third ruler of the Babylonian kingdom.
With all of this blessing from God and promotion from men, it wouldn’t seem that Daniel really went through any trial. But, remember the lion’s den? This is how that scenario went down. As one of the three most powerful rulers in Babylon, Daniel served under King Darius, who took over the kingdom after the Medes and Persians defeated Belshazzar. Darius purposed to make Daniel the administrator of the entire kingdom; other dignitaries became envious and plotted against Daniel. They conned Darius into issuing a proclamation that no god could be worshipped for thirty days. Considering Daniel’s allegiance to God, the men knew they had won.
Of course, Daniel continued to pray to God and seek His wisdom each day. For this, Daniel was thrown into that fearsome lion’s den. Darius was distraught, up all night hoping that by some miracle he would see Daniel alive the next morning. A miracle is what Darius got. God sent an angel to shut the mouths of the lions. Those bloodthirsty beasts became like purring kitties.
Once Darius saw this, he proclaimed that Jehovah was the one true God. Darius had other plans for the conspirators. Daniel 6:24: “And the king gave the command, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions—them, their children, and their wives; and the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den.” It took great faith to defy a king. It took greater faith to defy the laws of nature.
So, how do we triumph in the midst of trial? Even in the face of peril, keep praying and believing. God is listening. He hears. He answers. And, He’ll shut the enemy’s mouth.