Friday, March 6th

Friday, March 6th

The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.  24At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions' den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.  25Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth: “May you prosper greatly!  26”I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.  “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.  He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.  He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:23-26

For the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants. Psalm 135:14

Listen, O heavens, and I will speak! Hear, O earth, the words that I say! ... I will proclaim the name of the Lord; how glorious is our God! He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is! .... I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them. Indeed, the Lord will give justice to his people, and he will change his mind about his servants, when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free .... Look now; I myself am he! There is no other god but me! I am the one who kills and gives life; I am the one who wounds and heals; no one can be rescued from my powerful hand! Deuteronomy 32:1, 3-4, 35-36, 39

Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the Lord. Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil; he will erase their memory from the earth. The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken! Calamity will surely destroy the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be punished. But the Lord will redeem those who serve him. No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned. Psalm 34:11-22

Daniel had been vindicated in God's eyes but had to wait until morning to be vindicated in the eyes of King Darius. As we see above the king is overjoyed with Daniel's survival and he, too, takes Daniel's deliverence by God as a verdict of innocence for Daniel. But Daniel's innocence is a verdict of guilty for those who the king believes falsely accused Daniel and the outcome for them is not pretty. However, it is beautiful thing to see how all that has happened touches the heart and life of King Darius. With verses 25-26 of Daniel chapter 6 above, we come full circle. This is the passage that our series on "The Power of Lions" opened with. Some of what was said back then bears repeating: The impact of lives lived well by God's people on the culture around them can be significant. When we live out our faith the people around us see the God of our faith and then respond to him personally. King Darius comes to the point where he recoginizes the God of Daniel as the living God who endures forever. King Darius speaks of Daniel's God rescuing Daniel from "the power of lions." What an exciting picture of our lives all this paints for us. We walk with the living God. He empowers our lives so that the impact of our faith touches the world around us. What a thrill to see people drawn to God as he works through us and what wonder to see God work for us as he delivers us like Daniel from "the power of lions."

Lord, this business of life is all about you and not us. Please help us to have our eyes are on you and not on ourselves, Lord. May the words of King Darius be our heartbeat: "For he is the living God, and he will endure forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end. He rescues and saves his people." Truly Lord, you are the God who delivers from "the power of lions."

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