My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart! Wake up, lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth. Now rescue your beloved people. Answer and save us by your power .... Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless. With God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes. Psalm 108:1-6, 12-13
With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you” .... And a great road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-minded people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there. Lions will not lurk along its course, nor any other ferocious beasts. There will be no other dangers. Only the redeemed will walk on it. Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness. Isaiah 35:3-4, 8-10
The Psalm above is a Psalm of David and it beautifully helps us picture what might have been happening with Daniel throughout the night after the angel has shut the mouths of the lions and his fears are alleviated. I can see Daniel saying over and over again, "My heart is confident in you, O God." I can picture Daniel singing God's praise with all his heart throughout the night. And I can picture him waking the dawn with a song to God for his mercy. So, if Daniel did spend the night worshiping God, it is only fitting, because God not only rescued him but he also vindicated him. When the king came to see if Daniel had made it through the night, Daniel reported that the angel had shut the mouths of the lions, but he also said this concerning the lions, "They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his (God's) sight. Somehow, Daniel's survival brings the verdict of his innocence and Daniel knew and believed this from the moment he saw that God had sent his angel to close the mouths of the lions. Think back on all that Daniel had been through leading up to being thrown into the lion's den. From the moment he was accused he had to deal with fear and humiliation. With his deliverence and vindication (evidently as soon as he lands in the lion's den) Daniel's fear and humiliation vanish. Daniel will not get out of the den until dawn but all is well with body and soul.
We may be in the midst of a "lion's den" trial. We may be dealing with ongoing fear and humiliation without any signs of deliverence and vindication. Remember, God is helping us like in the Psalm above ("help us against our enemies") and God's people support us (small groups) like in the Isaiah passage above. And even if deliverence and vindication don't happen now, ultimately the day of final victory and restoration is coming when God's people will be free of danger and full of joy (Isaiah passage above).
Lord, be gracious to me so that no matter what happens to me "I will sing your praises." "For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth." Lord, if continuing to suffer is your will for me, help me to keep entrusting my soul to you, my faithful Creator, in doing what is right (1 Peter 4:19).
Posted on Thu, March 5, 2015
by Ken Hart