BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY….. “The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” Daniel 6:16 ESV
When Daniel’s jealous advisers set him up for failure, they unwittingly created a dilemma for the King. They appealed to the King’s pride in issuing an order that no one could pray to any deity except the King. In legislative speak the “unintended consequence” was that this irrevocable order painted both the King and Daniel into a corner.
As we read the story it seems that the King was in greater turmoil, than Daniel. As Daniel faces the irreversible fate of being thrown into a den of lions, the King offers his simple prayer. Not just “good luck” or “nice knowing you” but recognizes the true deity that his own order had forbidden to be recognized.
As Daniel was thrown into the den of lions, the King became his unsuspecting “intercessor.” “Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting;no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.” (Daniel 6:18 ESV)
As the dawn broke the King rushes to the den and calls for Daniel. That fact alone seems to indicate he believed that it was possible for the Lord God to save Daniel. He heard Daniel’s voice from the pit, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” (Daniel 6:21,22 ESV)
The King then had those who had accused Daniel thrown in the den of lions along with their families. They were devoured before they hit the bottom of the pit. King Cyrus then issued another edict,
“I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.” (Daniel 6:26,27 ESV)
As God’s people are experiencing their captivity in a foreign land filled with pagan gods, we see the Lord God demonstrating His power and might to Kings so that they would recognize the Lord God as the true Sovereign Lord of the universe.
As I reflect on these events it becomes clear that even when God’s people are not at their best, that God is still at work, revealing Himself to even those in positions of power. We see the Lord using those who are faithful to Him even in a pagan kingdom, filled with ruthless leaders to give them influence and to use them for His purpose. The Lord is able to turn the hearts of leaders and to thwart the plans of those who oppose God’s people. In this situation the Lord used the prayers of a pagan King to rescue Daniel from certain death.
Prayer for today…. Lord, thank You that even when the situation looks impossible, we can see You at work. Help us to believe for You to do in our day what You have done in these stories that we read in the Bible.