“Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before." -Daniel 6:10 NKJV
Daniel was a one kind of a man. Honestly speaking, he is more like my kind of guy. Let me explain a little about him. From the very beginning of his life story, we find him to be his own man. He was never a hothead; he was not rude, arrogant, prideful, corrupt, or most of all a push over. He was his own man. He took charge and stood for what he believed. We see it in the early stages of his life. As a teenager, he was taken into captivity, and he was a slave to a King, land, and religion that was not his own. He stood up then, and he never caved into the demands of his new culture. He stood his ground his entire life. He made no apologies of who God was in his life or how to live his life. Perhaps that is not a big deal for us now, but in his time period, it was a big deal. People who acted that way lost their lives. Daniel was fearless and thought for himself. No wonder God showcased him, blessed him, and gave him revelations into the coming future. I love that!
King Darius was about to make Daniel ruler over the entire kingdom. He was a man of great integrity, honor, and character. His colleagues hated him. They could find no fault in him. Therefore, they went after his religious beliefs. No one in the entire country could worship any God or person except the king. They thought they had him. Surely, now they could have him killed because they knew he would still worship His God. Let’s stop here for one moment. Did you clearly grasp this? They knew Daniel’s love and devotion for God would not hinder him, hold him back, or stop him from worshiping the true and loving God. Who said before aren’t watching your every move?
Look at what he does, “When he learned that the decree had been published he went home,” and then he went upstairs, got on his knees, with the windows opened, and began to worship God. You don’t find him arguing with anyone over the decree. Daniel was the kind of man who would say “I am my own man and don’t care what anyone does or says. I’m not intimidated nor am I going to fear anything. I’m going to pray like I always have done. Go ahead and look at me, you're not going to make me change who I am. Decree or No decree, I’m going to worship God.” Yay! Go, Daniel, go!
Those government officials wasted no time. They went straight to King Darius. Their plan was a complete success or so they thought. Daniel got sentenced and was thrown into the lions' den. Let’s take a second; stop right here. Daniel was in his early eighties when he was thrown into the lions' den. Please understand, he was thrown in there literally. One would think of broken bones before he even hits the ground and then would be completely devoured by the lions.
King Darius woke up at dawn and went to see what happened to Daniel. You see, King Darius respected Daniel. He knew who Daniel really was. He knew Daniel was a great man. He knew Daniel worshipped the Living God, who was unlike any other God. This God took care of Daniel. King Darius found Daniel alive. Imagine the shock and awe! Immediately, he had him pulled out and the men who accused him, their wives, and children were thrown in. Their bodies never hit the floor; the lions crushed them as they were being thrown in. Ladies, imagine being married to a fool of a husband that gets you and your children killed. Now you understand why Daniel was so exceptional and a man I admire?
You see, Daniel had a relationship with God. He wasn’t going to compromise or change that. He wasn’t going to sneak around and pray. He wasn’t going to pretend for the next 30 days nor was he going to bend to this new law or its culture. He wasn’t demanding a change of law or an exception to the rule. He was just going to do what He knew was right before God. God honored that. He kept him safe and delivered him from death.
Listen, sad as it is but true, nevertheless. Sometimes people do evil things to try and bring another down. It might look like the person won. We don’t have to fight back. We don’t have to argue. We don’t have to explain, get our point across, and we don’t have to be mean. Like Daniel, we can trust God to deliver us.
Nobody gets thrown into a lions' den these days, thank God. However, how many times have we been thrown into situations that if possible we would be completely devoured? I have, and I’m sure so have most, if not all, of us. Today, we can say with Daniel, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” Let this truth resonate in you. Meditate on this truth. It is God who permanently shuts the mouths of those who come against His own. It might look like those who do us harm have found a snare for us. But God brings the disaster upon the heads of those who try and harm His own. Rest on Him, He will deliver you from the hand of those who wish you harm.
Rev. Dr. Teresa Allissa Citro
Founder and President
Thread of Hope, Inc.