Ever been faced with making a choice to serve God or man? To be put into a lion’s den if you choose God? Having to make a choice of a job or a pay raise or a friend or even family? To thank God would mean losing or not obtaining these things?
When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. Daniel 6:10 ESV
Daniel shows us to give thanks to God even when we know our life or livelihood is at stake. Envious of Daniel, his fellow high officials and satraps convinced King Darius to forbid for 30 days petitions to any god or man otherwise they would be mealtime for some very hungry lions. It’s the familiar story of Daniel and the lion’s den.
Daniel knew of the edict and still opened his windows toward Jerusalem. He hid nothing of what he intended to do. He got down on his knees three times that day and prayed and gave thanks before God. Of course, his enemies came by agreement to watch Daniel violate the edict.
God is in control, always. Humans want life to be perfect. No problems or pain or trials. A life that is easy and without effort. Even robotic. Daniel had a good life. He was on the top of the power structure. King Darius was considering making him his number 2.
Daniel had it all. And yet, he knew that all that he had came from God, not Darius. While Darius may have thought he was in control, ultimately God is in control. Daniel knew who was his King and gave thanks to God, his King.
Darius was greatly upset when he found out about Daniel’s failure to follow the edict. Not because he prayed to God but that meant Daniel had to be tossed into the lion’s den. Darius labored till the sun went down but could not get out of the law that an injunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed. Not even by the king.
We are fortunate to live free and not have to be punished for our faith. We do have church family every day being asked to choose between serving God or man. Every day martyrs are killed around the world for their obedience in God and their refusal to disown God facing the same choice that Daniel had to make.
Daniel went into the lion’s den after having Darius declare “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!”. Daniel 6:16 ESV
Doesn’t this look like King Darius praying for Daniel? I know it was more of a statement than a prayer, but why not consider it as a prayer too?
Then, at the break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” Daniel 6:19-20 ESV
Booyah! Darius fasted and could not sleep all night and as soon as it was the break of day he ran in haste to the lion’s den and called out in a tone of anguish. Imagine the wave or relief that washed over him as he heard Daniels voice.
Daniel was thankful even knowing it would cost him. He did not know that God would protect him or that God would reward him. There is no guarantee that if we do as Daniel, we will see earthly rewards. We will see heavenly rewards.
Let us always give thanks, no matter what.