A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. 18Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep. 19At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” 21Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” Daniel 6:17-22
The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid .... Do not let me fall into their hands. For they accuse me of things I’ve never done; with every breath they threaten me with violence. Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Psalm 27:1-3, 12-14
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. “See, all your angry enemies lie there, confused and humiliated. Anyone who opposes you will die and come to nothing. You will look in vain for those who tried to conquer you. Those who attack you will come to nothing. For I hold you by your right hand—I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you. Isaiah 41:10-13
After the lion's den is sealed with Daniel inside, we hear all about what the night was like for the king. But what was it like for Daniel? We know Daniel comes through the night unharmed, but did he know he would make it through the night. Daniel says that God sent his angel and he shut the mouths of the lions. It would seem that this intervention would have to have taken place either at the some moment that Daniel was put into the den or just before. Perhaps just prior to Daniel being dropped in, the angel arrived, shut the mouths of the lions, and then stood there waiting for Daniel. Imagine coming face to face with God's angel instead of a gang of hungry lions. God is merciful. Not just because he rescued Daniel from the lions but beause he alleviated all fear. If Daniel had arrived without the presence of the angel and for some reason the lions did not attack, he could have spent the night waiting in fear that any moment they could spring into action. Just like the assurances in the passages above, Daniel was assured that God is taking care of everything. Not just the lions but his accusers as well.
Lord, thank you that you care about what it's like for me to be in the "lion's den" trials of life. Thank you that you make provision for alleviating my fears. Sometimes you shelter me from the danger and sometimes you stop the danger. Perhaps, even unawares, you send your angels to intevene on my behalf. Spiritually, Lord, it is as if you are holding me by the hand and assuring me over and over again I am here to help you. Thank you, Lord.
Posted on Wed, March 4, 2015
by Ken Hart