16 Then the king gave the command, and Daniel was brought and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to Daniel, ‘May your God, whom you faithfully serve, deliver you!’ 17 A stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, so that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no food was brought to him, and sleep fled from him.
19 Then, at break of day, the king got up and hurried to the den of lions. 20 When he came near the den where Daniel was, he cried out anxiously to Daniel, ‘O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you faithfully serve been able to deliver you from the lions?’ 21 Daniel then said to the king, ‘O king, live for ever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong.’ 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
25 Then King Darius wrote to all peoples and nations of every language throughout the whole world: ‘May you have abundant prosperity! 26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel:
For he is the living God,
His kingdom shall never be destroyed,
and his dominion has no end.
27 He delivers and rescues,
he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth;
for he has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.’
by Chris Holliday, Resurrection West Connection & Care Pastor and Adult Discipleship Director
I believe God doesn’t cause bad things to happen. I believe God gives us free will. I believe God usually acts through people-–especially those who are following the ways of love and who are listening and responding to God’s promptings. Those beliefs shape and sometimes challenge my faith and prayer life.
When I read today’s Scripture passage, I immediately notice there are no people acting on God’s behalf in the Lion’s Den. There are those exerting their free will to conspire against Daniel. There are those who throw him in the pit and place the stone. There’s King Darius who’s rooting for Daniel. But no person saves him--God does. Daniel says, "My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me." God intervenes directly.
Sometimes in the midst of my beliefs, I forget about the “nothing is impossible” power of God. You know, the One who made the universe; who can move mountains; who defeated death and offers us eternal life. I need to remember THAT God-–the creative, sustaining, omnipresent, omnipotent, incredibly awesome God! I need to recognize that our Creator is working all the time and through many different means to love, protect and save us. I need to trust.
As we pray today, I invite us all to acknowledge the power of God and to trust God to act in whatever ways God thinks best. May we trust God to help bring good out of all things. May we trust God to deliver and save. May we trust God to make a way when there seems to be no way. May we trust in the power and goodness of the One who made and loves us, and may that trust guide our prayers.
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