Summary: Satan roars like a lion, and he makes you think that he has you in his den, but God will bring you out in victory.
The Lion’s Den
Sunday, July 22, 2007 – PM
By Pastor Jim May
Every child that has been to Children’s Church or a Sunday School class has heard of the wonderful story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den. It’s a story of God’s great grace and power to deliver us through the most trying of circumstances.
Have you ever felt like you were in a lion’s den?
Daniel was getting on up in years by now. He had served in the administrations of 2 former kings and was now still in exile, down in Babylon, away from the Land of Israel, and a new king named Darius had risen to the throne of the Medio-Persian Empire.
Daniel had already served under King Nebuchadnezzar and had proven to be a faithful servant even as a young man. Nebuchadnezzar had been impressed by Daniel’s ability to interpret dreams, and through Daniel’s explanation of the earthly kingdoms that would rise, he found favor and was given a position of authority in the Babylonian Kingdom.
But Daniel’s fortune changed quickly. Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom was overthrown by the Persian King by the name of Cyrus. Under Cyrus, Daniel remained strong in his faith.
Then Cyrus passed from the scene and a new king was on the throne by the name of Darius.
Daniel 6:1-3, It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
Daniel was now getting to be an old man. He was probably in his 80’s by now, or maybe even older than that. But his life had proven his faithfulness to his God. No one could find a fault in him. Who better to trust than a man whose entire life has been an example of faithfulness and honesty?
So King Darius wanted to promote Daniel.
Has there ever been a time in your life that you expected God’s best because of your faithfulness? We all think sometimes, “God, I’m not worthy of anything, but I have done my best. Could you please send a blessing my way?” Is there anything wrong with such a prayer? Of course not.
Paul says its not wrong to want God’s blessing. In fact look at what he had to say in 1 Corinthians 12:29-31, "Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."
Like Daniel, we should desire to be used in a greater way by God. It’s not wrong to desire more, to want a higher position, to seek more authority. It only becomes a sin when those things take the place of seeking the will of God to get what we want.
When Daniel dared to stick his head above the crowd and allow God to elevate him, he placed himself in a dangerous place. Satan doesn’t want you to amount to anything. He would just as soon allow you to stay poor, broke and powerless right where you are. After all, if you achieve anything more, you become a greater threat to the kingdom of hell.
Daniel’s life had been described as faithful. He was known for his service to his Lord. So when he stuck his head above the crowd, the sneaking, conniving, underhanded, lowdown, cheating devil began to plot against him.
I like what it says that they couldn’t find anything to accuse him of.
Politics is a hard game to play. No matter what public office you run for, the opponent is going to do his best to dig up a little dirt if he can. Paralegals go to work, phone calls are made and interview are held with anyone and everyone that you may have known even casually. They are trying to dig up something that will discredit you and cost you an election. Louisiana’s politics have been in the national news almost as much as the national weather. We have the best politicians that money can buy. Why is that so? It’s because we usually get the one with fewest skeletons in his closet, but he is by no means an innocent little lamb. Even if you have nothing in your past to hide, they will dig up something and blow it up.
That’s what was happening to Daniel. The other leaders all plotted against him and forced King Darius to make a decree that he would soon regret.