O Lord, oppose those who oppose me. Fight those who fight against me .... Bring shame and disgrace on those trying to kill me; turn them back and humiliate those who want to harm me. Blow them away like chaff in the wind—a wind sent by the angel of the Lord .... I did them no wrong, but they laid a trap for me. I did them no wrong, but they dug a pit to catch me. So let sudden ruin come upon them! Let them be caught in the trap they set for me! Let them be destroyed in the pit they dug for me .... How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing? Rescue me from their fierce attacks. Protect my life from these lions! Then I will thank you in front of the great assembly. I will praise you before all the people. Don’t let my treacherous enemies rejoice over my defeat .... They shout, “Aha! Aha! With our own eyes we saw him do it!” O Lord, you know all about this. Do not stay silent. Do not abandon me now, O Lord. Wake up! Rise to my defense! Take up my case, my God and my Lord .... But give great joy to those who came to my defense. Let them continually say, “Great is the Lord, who delights in blessing his servant with peace!” Then I will proclaim your justice, and I will praise you all day long. Psalm 35:1, 4-5, 7-8, 17-19A, 21-23, 27-28
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:1-6
We wrap up "The Power of Lions" series from Daniel 6 this week and finally get to the actual "Lion's Den" experience of Daniel. Finding the reason for things can be very helpful. The word "reason" as a noun can refer to "cause" or "purpose." So, let's look at the reason for Daniel's "Lion's Den" experience both in terms of "cause" and "purpose." Think back to the beginning of the series when King Darius was organizing and putting his government into place. We were told that he appointed 120 high officials and that he appointed over them three administrators, one of which was Daniel. We were then told that Daniel distinguished himself over all the other leaders and that the king, therefore, planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom. This plan of the king is the "cause" of Daniel ending up in the lion's den. It was immediately after the king made his intentions known that the other leaders began their attempts to keep the plan of the king to appoint Daniel over them from happening.
But what about the "purpose" of Daniel's lion's den experience. There is a great cast of players in the story of Daniel in the lion's den, but when all is said and done, this is really a story about God. The purpose of this story is for God to make himself known in the fullness of who he is and how he works. Here is the point as we begin the week. We all have tough things (lion's den experiences) we are going through. What difference do you think it would make in our lives if we were to embrace "God making himself known in the fullness of who he is and how he works" as the purpose of our trial? Come before God with the honesty and transparency of the Psalmist in Psalm 35 above and let God bring you to the place of trust, rest, peace, and serenity like the Psalmist in Psalm 23.
Lord, minister to me in ways that help me get my eyes off myself, off my lion's den experience, and onto you. May it be that my eyes are on you not just for what you will do for me both inwardly and outwardly but for seeing you in terms of how your are making yourself known (throughout the entire sphere of my life) in the fullness of who you are and how you are at work. Lord, I trust that you know what you are doing with my lion's den experience and I ask you to accomplish fully all that you have in mind.
Posted on Mon, March 2, 2015
by Ken Hart