A Room With No Way Out
"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."1
Many readers will know about the story of Daniel in the lion's den, how several hundred years B.C. he was taken captive, along with most of the ancient Israelites, to Babylon—the city reported to be about 60 miles south of Baghdad in Iraq.
Because Daniel was a very able and trusted servant, King Darius planned to make him the second highest in command in Babylon. However, jealous lesser leaders, knowing that Daniel could not be faulted in any way, set a trap to have him destroyed by persuading the king to make a law "that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions' den."2
Daniel refused to stop praying to God. King Darius was greatly distressed but, because of the law, Daniel was thrown to the hungry lions with the king's words: "May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!"
"Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating …. And he could not sleep. 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, 'O king, live forever! My God sent His angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions….'
"The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
At the king's command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions' den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones."3
Had Daniel gone "kicking and screaming" into the lion's den because of this gross injustice, chances are he would have been torn to pieces before he hit bottom. But he didn't. He trusted God fully in the midst of this frightening situation. However, before Daniel was delivered out of the lions' den, he was delivered in it—a lesson that God wants each of us to learn in whatever situation we find ourselves.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to learn to trust You and be faithful to You, as Daniel did, no matter what adverse circumstances in which I happen to find myself, knowing that my life will always be in Your hands. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Daniel 6:10 (NIV).
2. Daniel 6: 7 (NIV).
3. Daniel 6:6-24 (NIV).