Lions' Dens

I love it when you read a Bible story you have known for-e-ver, and spot something new.

This week I was reading in Daniel 6 about Daniel and the lion's den. You remember the story. Daniel was a good guy, but evil men tricked the king into making a shortsighted but permanent law that forced the king to throw Daniel into the den of lions for worshiping the God of the Bible.

If you read Daniel 1-5, you realize that God has been trying to get the attention of the king for a while, through dreams and the (literal) writing on the wall.

When you get to Daniel 6, the king is between a rock and a hard place. He likes Daniel, but likes being king too. And by the time you get to Daniel 6:16, the king is resolved to do what he has to do to save his own head and Daniel is thrown into the den of lions.

Here's the cool thing: What had Daniel done wrong before God to bring on these circumstances? What lesson was God trying to teach Daniel through this?

Actually, if you look at the book leading up to Daniel 6, it's pretty clear that the lesson isn't for Daniel; the lesson was for the king.

Sometimes bad stuff happens to us. When it does, our first question is to ask God what we did to deserve it. The second question we sometimes ask is "What are you teaching me through this?" But sometimes the answer to both questions might be "nothing." God isn't always disciplining us or teaching us a lesson. Sometimes the lesson might be for someone else.

It doesn't change our responsibility, which is always to trust God and follow Him despite our circumstances. But we have to allow God, like Daniel did, to use us in revealing Himself to others, going into the lions' den with confidence that God would show up one way or another. We can trust God, keep our heads up, and stop playing mental mind games trying to figure out God's motives in everything.


lisa said...

since gillian loves lions, we read this part of the bible a lot. i'm looking forward to pointing out this very vital truth to her when we re-read it.