Day 1: Daniel 6
We are living in interesting times to say the least! We have never been this way before as a generation. Our normal looks very different now than it did a week ago and who knows what it will look like in another week, yet amongst great uncertainty is a chance to grow in great faith.
Daniel chapter 6 recounts the story of Daniel being thrown into the lion’s den after going against the kings decree banning him from worshipping any God or human other than the King himself. Definitely a place of great uncertainty.
This whole situation is a little less than ideal. If you read it for yourself you will see that the King, who was a great fan of Daniel was tricked into this by some jealous administrators and he was gutted for the situation to escalate the way it did.
It’s easy for us to read this with the beautiful gift of hindsight and not be particularly tense about the whole affair. But if you for a moment will put yourself in Daniel’s shoes, it doesn’t fill you with much joy. I don’t know if you’ve ever witnessed a hungry Lion or seen one on a wildlife documentary but those boys are killers! As a massive Steve Irwin fan I can clarify for you with confidence that Lions are “Apex predators.” These animals are the best in their field, the top of the food chain, the kings of the jungle. The idea of being thrown into a pit with them (Daniel 6:22 alludes to there being more than one) isn’t a nice thought.
Yet somehow when faced with a man eating predator who is renowned as being at the top of its game of eating things, Daniel is able to somehow navigate this whole episode through a lens of faith.
Here are some lessons for us today:
He didn’t compromise his obedience to God in uncertain times. (Daniel 6:10-12).
Knowing the consequences of his actions, his faith in God would not be silenced by the the decrees of the world. We may not be able to meet up face to face at the moment but it doesn’t mean we need to stop being the church. There is no reason for our faith to be silenced by a fear of the unknown, it’s a time like never before to be like Daniel and get down on our knees before God in prayer.
When the threat became a reality his faith didn’t change. (Daniel 6:16-17).
The king had made efforts to save Daniel but finally sealed him in the lions den. It isn’t recorded anywhere that Daniel so much as flinched. We have to begin to grow in a faith that isn’t dependable on what we see right in front of us. We serve a God who has an amazing track record of changing situations.
He trusted in God.
Here is a key for us today. Daniel 6:23 tells us that “not a wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.” Who are you trusting in today? Who are you putting your assurance in? Who is your comfort in during these uncertain times? Who are you reliant on? What are you focussing on? We serve a God who is able to shut the mouth of the lions and allow us not even to be marked by them. That’s the God we serve. All he is looking for is trust and obedience.
Faith isn’t an absence of fear, it’s a resolve to push on despite the fear. Make a choice today to allow your faith to shout louder than your fear. If we stay grounded in God, if we make a choice to seek Him, to grow in Him, and to lift up the shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16) we will extinguish whatever fear may try and rob us at this time.
God is in control. Let that be more than a catchy statement today, but a cemented truth of who your faith is in.
Ps Ed Winbow
Penrith Campus Pastor