Thrown to the Lions

September 10, 2020 

Daniel 6:8-9, 16-17

Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”

So King Darius put the decree in writing. 10 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.

16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” 17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.

Daniel has done nothing wrong, yet he is being persecuted. He has always had the right under the current law to worship his God, but the new law says no, for a temporary period of time, (30 days) that right has been taken away.

As I read these passages my mind was spinning with the similarities of Daniel’s story to the issues we are facing today. We have always been free as Christians to assemble in our own church and worship together. But with the current covid19 restrictions we cannot meet indoors. It was supposed to be temporary, but it feels like they want this to go on forever. So, are we like Daniel? Should we defy the decree of the Governor and meet indoors anyway?

When peter and John were arrested on the temple steps for healing a lame man, they were causing such a stir the ruling elders told them not to preach in the name of Jesus any longer. Their response was quick, “are we to obey men or obey God?”

Daniel was very quick to obey God. He continued to pray, he continued to open his window, facing Jerusalem and he continued his routine of worship. And, as could be predicted, he was arrested and thrown into a den of lions.

But before we jump on the Daniel bandwagon, we really need to examine the circumstances we face today. First, the state decree does not prohibit praying, it does not prohibit worship, it only keeps us from meeting indoors but not outdoors. Our daily routine of praying, reading God’s word has not changed, but has become even more important to us.

The state decree does not keep us from having small gatherings for Bible Study as long as social distancing standards are met. The state decree does not keep us from sharing the gospel with the people we meet, with friends and with co-workers. They need the gospel more than ever before. The state decree does not keep us from teaching our children the stories and lessons of the Bible, we were never to have surrendered that responsibility to the teachers at your church, that is still your duty as a parent.

The state decree has caused us to be much more creative in the way we meet, in the way we broadcast our services, and in the way we minister to each other, in the way outsiders view our commitment to keep them safe.

Dare to be a Daniel? Maybe we are looking at this all wrong? Maybe we are already in the lion’s den and God is there with us?


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