“20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? 21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. 22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” Daniel 6:20-22 KJV
We have all heard the story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den. Most of us probably heard this story in Sunday School. The lesson most likely ended with your teacher encouraging you to keep serving God no matter what’s at stake! Why? Because God has the power to shut the lion’s mouth, a revelation that is both awe-inspiring and true!
However, what if God never sent the angel to clamp those jaws shut? What if, when Daniel went to pray after the decree was made, he was taken and there was no deliverance?
Let’s be real for a moment. We have all had moments in our walk with God where we could potentially face a lion’s den of sorts. It could be at your job, where your co-worker’s are hostile to any mention of truth. It could be in your school or even your home–anywhere you are put in a situation where you have to choose faith over men.
It doesn’t even have to be a big lion’s den. It could be as simple as the temptation to make a decision that you know is wrong because you also know that if you do what is right, it could hurt you in some way. (Damage your reputation, make you lose your job, give you a bad grade, cause friction in your family, etc.)
When we are in those moments, we come face to face with the lion’s den. So back to my question; what if God never shuts the lion’s mouth? We know God has the power to make things turn in our favor, but it’s not guaranteed that He will.
Daniel didn’t pray because he knew that he would be delivered.
10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” Daniel 6:10 KJV
Daniel’s choice to do the right thing was not based on what his outcome would be. It was based on his convictions and character.
Here is my second question for you. Do you only make the right decision when it is convenient for you? Or when you know things will be turned in your favor? Or do you make the decision to do the right thing because of the strength of your character and your love for God?
We all face lion’s dens, but it is our choice to conform to what this world decrees or what God decrees. The option is yours, but what choice will you make?
To quote Joshua, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
It does not matter the outcome. If we get hurt, we get hurt. Because if we choose to follow the crowd (or the decree) over our character, we lose more than just a bad grade or hurt feelings or discomfort.
We lose our witness, and we lose credibility as a child of God. Daniel’s boldness became a witness to everyone in that kingdom. His simple act of keeping his convictions showed the entire kingdom that his priorities were based on what is truly valuable in his relationship with God.
Daniel’s story is no different than when we stand up and keep our convictions even when they are not popular. We show those around us that we indeed are what we claim to be: children of God.
So, let’s walk with character, and even if God doesn’t shut the lion’s mouth, we can be satisfied knowing that at the end of the day, He will accept us even if those around us don’t.