Further Thought: From Lions’ Den to Angel’s Den
Daniel’s deliverance has been recorded in Hebrews 11. What can be called “The Hall of Fame of Faith” says that prophets, among other accomplishments, “stopped the mouths of lions” (Heb. 11:33). This is wonderful, but we should keep in mind that the heroes of faith are not only those who escaped death as Daniel does, but also those who suffer and die courageously, as Hebrews chapter 11 also notes.
God calls some to witness by living and others by dying. Thus, the narrative of Daniel’s deliverance does not imply that deliverance is granted to everyone, as we learn from the multitude of men and women who have been martyrs because of their faith in Jesus. However, the miraculous deliverance of Daniel does show that God rules, and He will eventually deliver all His children from the power of sin and death. This will become clear in the next chapters of Daniel.
- Frenchman Jean Paul Sartre once wrote that “the best way to conceive of the fundamental project of human reality is to say that man is the being whose project is to be God”. (Jean Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology, Washington Square Press, 1956, p. 724). How does this help us understand, at least at one level, why the king falls for the trap? Why must we all, in whatever our station in life, be careful of this same dangerous inclination, no matter how subtly it might come? What are other ways we might want to be “like God”?
- What kind of witness do we present to others in regard to our faithfulness to God and to His law? Would people who know you think that you would stand for your faith, even if it cost you your job, or even your life?
- What do you see in Daniel that makes him a person that God can use effectively for His purposes? With the Lord’s help, how can you develop more of the same characteristics?
- In what ways could Daniel have been justified in deciding, in light of the decree, to have changed the way he prayed? Or would that have been a dangerous compromise? If so, why?