God Will Preserve The Righteous (2)
FACED with widespread conspiracy, and a seeming threat to his life, Daniel opted not to say anything to defend himself. Instead, he chose to commit himself to God and calmly accepted the sovereign will of the All-wise, Almighty God. He was cast into the lions’ den, but God was waiting for him there. The Almighty sent an angel ahead of him to shut the lions’ mouths.
The king had great sincerity and great anxiety over Daniel, but he could not deliver him. The following morning, after Daniel was cast into the lions’ den, the king went there to find out what had happened. He did not send a servant, but he went in person. He had strong affection and great love for Daniel. He knew that Daniel served the living God and that he served Him continually. Was God able to deliver His faithful servant from the lions? Daniel was still alive! Alive in the lions’ den! The living God is mighty and powerful. God had sent an angel to protect Daniel. That single angel shut the mouths of all the lions, so they were not able to hurt or harm him.
Angels are mighty and powerful and they are “sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1: 13, 14). An angel ministered and guided in the choice of Rebekah for Isaac (Genesis 24:7). An angel encouraged and strengthened Gideon for his great task and commission (Judges 6:12). An angel destroyed 185,000 valiant enemies of God’s people in one night (Isaiah 37: 36). And angel fed and strengthened Elijah at the time of his distress and discouragement (1 Kings 19: 5-8). An angel shut the mouths of lions in the den and Daniel’s life was protected and preserved for a prophetic ministry (Daniel 6: 22). An angel appeared to Zacharias to announce the birth of John (Luke 1: 11-17). An angel appeared to Mary, the virgin, to reveal the coming of Christ through her (Luke 1: 26-37). An angel guided Philip to lead the eunuch of Ethiopia to salvation in Christ (Acts 8: 26-39). An angel opened the prison doors and released the Apostles to preach ‘all the words of this life” (Acts 5:19,20). An Angel delivered Peter from imprisonment and death, and smote Herod the great enemy of the church (Acts 12:7-11, 21-24). Angels still minister to God’s faithful people today, though they are often invisible (Psalms 34: 7; 91:11; Mathew 4: 11; Luke 22: 43; Acts 27:23).
“Then was the king exceeding glad” because Daniel was alive, in health, and unhurt. “He believed in his God”, his faith in God kept him and preserved him from all evil. Then the king made a decree that all people in his kingdom should recognise God as the living God.
“And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions.” It must be remembered that Daniel had no voice or hand in the punishment or execution of his persecutors. As a believer, who was whole- heartedly committed to the Word of God, he had charity towards all and malice towards none. Throughout this chapter, he was remarkably quiet and he did not raise his voice in protest or self-defence. But justice caught up with the evildoers. They were cast into the same den of lions into which they had cast Daniel. Very often, wicked men fall into the same pit they dig for others. God always turns the malice and cruelty of wicked men upon their own heads.
“Those men, their children, and their wives” were “cast into the den of lions.” This extreme action of King Darius was contrary to the express Law of God (Deuteronomy 24: 16; Ezekiel 18: 4, 20). Yet, there were times when God Himself and the people of God acted in the same way because their family members were partakers and supporters of evil men (Genesis 20: 7, 18; Numbers 16: 30-33; Joshua 7:10-13, 22-26; Esther 5: 14; 7: 10; 9: 25; Acts 5:1-2, 3-10; Matthew 27: 24, 25). The wives and the children of the wicked often suffer shame and anguish, sorrow and loss when the husband, the father, is suffering the penalty of his crime. The painful effects of crime do not terminate on the guilty individual himself. When a man is condemned for crime, the consequences are not confined to himself alone. For the sake of our souls and for the sake of the eternal happiness of our loved ones, “we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-14).
Further Readings: Daniel 6: 11-28; 3: 8-12; Esther 3:4-8; Psalm 94: 20,21; Jeremiah 38: 4-6; Acts 5: 27-33; Psalms 34:12-22; 91: 11-16; 3: 15,17, 28, 29; Jeremiah 32:27; Luke 1: 37; Psalm 34:7; Acts 12: 7-11; 27: 23-25; Hebrews 11:33; 7:25; 2 Timothy 4: 17,18; Deuteronomy 19: 18-20; Esther 7:10; Psalms 9: 15-17; 7: 15,16; 57:6; Proverbs 28:10; Deuteronomy 24: 16; 2 Chronicles 25: 4; Ezekiel 18: 4,20.
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