Monday, April 10, 2017

Facing down our lions



Last week, we studied Daniel, and the early strength of character that he showed, that was the start of his good reputation. We mentioned that it was hard for bad guys to "pin something on him." This week we get to that story!
Just to refresh our memories, God warned the Israelites that if they were unfaithful to Him, He would send them away from the Promised Land, into exile. Well, they were unfaithful, and He allowed Nebuchadnezzar to overrun their land and cart a bunch off to his homeland, Babylon.
We saw that Daniel and his buddies surprised the steward of the king, when they ate simple, wholesome foods and were healthier than the captives who ate the rich food of the king's table. Daniel saw that food as something that would defile him, and so for the sake of his faith, and his God, he would not eat it. God honored Daniel's courage and faith, and blessed him and his three friends with health and knowledge.
He also gave Daniel the ability to interpret dreams, and even put "an excellent spirit" in him (Daniel 6, KJV); I guess that means he just kind of oozed graciousness and friendliness. You may have known some people like that; they're nice to be around. (Grin)
Anyway, that brings us to chapter 6 of the book of Daniel, and a new king.......
It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.” (Daniel 6:1-5)

What did I tell ya! The worst they could say about Daniel was that he obeyed the laws of God too much! What a reputation to have! Since they had nothing bad that they could say about Daniel, they put on their thinking caps and came up with something truly evil . . .
So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree in writing. (Daniel 6:6-9)

Ah, yes, flattery will get you everywhere with some peeps. So they told Darius how awesome he was, and he fell for it. Terrible political advice, but he loved what he was hearing.
Boom.
What happened next?
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)
Wow.
Now that is courage, no?
Yes!
He didn't care one shake of a lamb's tail what the king or his satraps said. He got on his knees and prayed, JUST AS HE HAD DONE BEFORE. (Emphasis mine.)

And don't you think Daniel knew that he was going to be facing some lions?
Yep, he knew.

I'd like us to think about something until we study again tomorrow.

God's Word teaches us that God loves us, and that He wants to bless us. Prayer is the pipeline, so to speak, that brings His power into our lives. Prayer is the way that we grab hold of His promises and remind ourselves of those blessings and ask Him for them. (He needs no reminding, but we do. He doesn't forget.)
In the town near where I live, there is a statue to the inventor of the laser. Charles Townes was an incredibly gifted man, and he discovered that the laser works because you're sort of stacking up light beams on top of one another. As you stack them up, they become more intense, because they are all going in the same direction, and they gain strength.
Prayer is kind of like our laser. We can add the beam of our faith to the beam of God's promises, and the beam of His love and His will, and we get a laser of His power.
Is the power and blessing of God absent from our life?
Is it because we haven't claimed that power and those blessings?

Think on that till tomorrow . . . .

2 comments:

Katie Isabella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie Isabella said...

Now this is gonna be a good'un for sure. They all are but this is always what I need.