Divine power and the human circumstance

The story of Daniel in the Old Testament tells of tangled factors leading to the sentence that he be thrown into a lions' den. See Dan., chap. 6 . Envious at Daniel's favored position with King Darius, Daniel's fellow presidents and the princes plotted against him. They duped the king into signing a decree designed to deprive him of his most valued official. Faced with this prospect, Darius "was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him." But these efforts failed. And so, because Daniel continued to worship God despite the prohibiting law, he was thrown to the lions.

Grimmer circumstances can scarcely be imagined. But we can't conceive that Daniel let his thoughts dwell on the plotting, the injustice of the decree, the king's dupability and sadness, or even the threat to his life. His continuing trust in God was rewarded. At daybreak the sovereign's tremblingly hopeful visit to the den was met with Daniel's joyful response: "O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt."

What a gift: God's grace
December 16, 1985

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