The Lions' Den

Bible Reading: Daniel 6 - Listen

Daniel, now over 80 years old, had "so distinguished himself...by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom" (6:3). His conduct was so exemplary that even his enemies were unable to find any grounds to accuse him. So they tricked the king into issuing a decree that would condemn Daniel for praying to his God. Daniel continued to pray, however, "just as he had done before," "giving thanks to his God" and "asking God for help" (6:10,11). When Daniel was caught in their trap, King Darius himself "was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him" (6:14). Yet, even he was unable to prevent Daniel from being thrown into the lions' den. Then the king's only hope for Daniel's rescue was in the God that Daniel served.

After a long, sleepless night, the king arose early in the morning and hurried to the lions' den. He called out in anguish, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?" (6:20). Daniel answered, "...My God sent his angel to close the lions' mouths. They have not hurt me, because my God knows I am innocent. I never did anything wrong to you, O king" (6:22 NCV).

When Daniel was lifted from the den, "no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God" (6:23). The king ordered that Daniel's accusers be thrown into the lions' den. "And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones" (6:24). The king then issued a decree, requiring his people to worship and honor the God of Daniel.

Lord, mold me into a woman who, like Daniel, is "trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent" (6:4). Help me to develop and display "exceptional qualities" (6:3) in the performance of my work that will honor you and earn the respect of my superiors.

When I face persecution, help me to persist in serving you continually and praying to you faithfully, giving you thanks and seeking your help, just as I did before my faith was tested. When all human efforts have failed to rescue me from impending disaster and you have chosen not to intervene, reassure me of your goodness and faithfulness. Keep my hand securely in yours as we walk through those dark and fearful places. Whisper to my heart "Do not fear. I will help you" (Is. 41:13).

When I am thrown into a den of destruction, send an angel to restrain the power of forces that would otherwise overpower and crush me. Protect and calm me through the long, dark hours of my night. When I think I'll never again see the light of day and am surrounded by powers of darkness that seek to deceive and devour me, let me cling to the truth that you revealed to me long before the night began.

When you finally let my eyes see the light of dawn, may you lift me out of my dungeon, untouched and unharmed because I trusted in my God. May others then witness your faithfulness in my dark hour, rejoice in your providence, and fall before you in worship and honor. Having seen a glimpse of your divine purpose, may we be filled "with the knowledge of your will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding," that we might live a life worthy of and pleasing to you, "bearing fruit in every good work, growing in our knowledge of you, being strengthened with all power according to your glorious might so that we may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully give thanks to you" (Col. 1:9-13, tenses changed).