Long before he was ever thrown into the lions’ den, Daniel’s enemies had been on the prowl, circling him (1 Peter 5:8). The local leaders and high officials, whom the king had given Daniel authority over, were thirsty for his blood. These “devouring lions” were evil men who sought to destroy Daniel and the growing success he’d found, though they could find no fault in his character or person (Daniel 6:4-5).
But Daniel’s faith was steadfast and reflected the character of his God, so much so, the evil men believed it to be a snare. Dizzy with jealousy and afraid of losing power, they plotted to bring him down because of his dedication to the Lord.
Sometimes our faithfulness brings us promotion in the world, just as Daniel found increasing favor with the king (Daniel 6:3). Other times, our faithfulness makes us public enemy number one. As Paul notes in his first letter to Timothy, “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (1 Timothy 3:12).
But God does not abandon us in our battles. He invites us into prayer. Prayer intersects our humanity with His holiness; it’s where we ask courageously, wait patiently, and surrender faithfully to the roar of God’s goodness. So it was with Daniel. He remained faithful to God in prayer even as the king signed an ordinance condemning those who would petition (pray) to any other “god” but himself for 30 days.
Thirty days—not forever, but long enough for Daniel’s enemies to hang him by a spiritual loophole. But Daniel’s faith, the very faith they were hoping would bring about his demise, had been strengthened through years of a daily rhythm of prayer and thanksgiving. So when the king’s edict went out, Daniel was utterly unrattled.
When Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went into his house. The windows in its upper room opened toward Jerusalem, and three times a day he got down on his knees, prayed, and gave thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
For Daniel, it was business as usual. He knew his God was greater than any earthly king and, ultimately, victorious in every situation. So, turning his face toward home, he did what he’d always done: Daniel got down on his knees to pray and thank the Lord.
As for those actual lions in the pit with Daniel, they were turned into lambs—gentle, tamed, and silenced in the presence of God’s power and protection. Daniel’s God had delivered His faithful servant and made His glory known to an unbelieving nation. But make no mistake: it was God’s power that prevailed, His power closed their mouths.
The God who rescued Daniel is the same God who rescues us. Scripture tells us that Jesus is the Lion of Judah who becomes the Lamb of God (Revelation 5:5-6). He took our pain and suffering upon Himself, “was pierced for our transgressions, and crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:4-5). And then He arose from the pit victorious!
Friends, when we suffer in the name of Jesus, we do not suffer alone. Jesus assures us this world will bring trouble, but He comes to bring us peace (John 16:33). We will never face a lion’s den without the Lion of Judah by our side.