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May 24, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?’ Daniel answered, ‘May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.’”—Daniel 6:19–22 (NIV)
I don’t know why, but here’s how I picture this scene in my head . . .
I picture King Darius laying in his bed all night, eyes wide open, tossing and turning. He’s anxious, a complete wreck, and turns off his alarm clock before it even sounds. He jumps out of bed, runs out his room in his robe and slippers, hair all crazy, with morning breath in full effect. When he arrives at the lions’ den, he’s out of breath and in a panic. He rushes to the door and says, “Daniel? Are you okay? Did your God, the One I’ve heard all these amazing stories about, did He save you? Are you hurt?”
And Daniel? I picture him down in the den hanging out in a Hawaiian shirt and flip flops, sipping a refreshing sweet tea, and resting his head on his new friend Simba. He’s at peace as he says, “Oh hey, your majesty! How are you this fine morning? I’m doing great! My God protected and vindicated me. He sent His angels to shut the mouths of my new friends! He has attested to the rightness of my obedience and devotion and the innocence of my actions by delivering me.”
Now, this may be quite the crazy, odd, cheeky description that my modern mind has concocted, but I think the basic premise is pretty spot on. One man spent the night in anxiety and restlessness and the other spent it in peace, at rest. And the crazy part is that the restless one was in a comfy palace surrounded by the best earthly protection, while the restful one was surrounded by the apex predator of the animal kingdom. But he had divine protection.
Daniel was delivered and protected. And here’s the thing I believe with all my heart: Daniel was never worried throughout the ordeal. I believe that on this night, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:7 NIV) guarded Daniel’s heart and mind. God worked in Daniel’s worship; He moved in Daniel’s faith and obedience and brought glory and honor to His great and glorious name!
I want to end our devotional time together with an encouraging quote from Matthew Henry: “Those who boldly and cheerfully trust in God to protect them in the way of duty, shall always find him a present help. Thus the righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead. The short triumph of the wicked will end in their ruin.”
DIG: Why was Darius so restless and Daniel at peace?
DISCOVER: In what areas are you experiencing the peace of God in your life right now? In what areas are you lacking peace? What’s different about these areas of your life?
DO: Seek the peace of the Lord in this season of your life as Daniel did. Walk in obedience, faith, and devotion. Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness (1 Timothy 4:7–8 NIV), seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33 NIV), “continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way” (Colossians 1:9–10 NIV), regardless of the circumstances or societal pressure. When you do this, when you live this way, the Holy Spirit will produce His fruit in your life . . . and one of those fruits is peace!