The other night I couldn’t sleep so I read the book of Daniel. You remember the story of Daniel and the lion’s den from Sunday school, don’t you? Here’s the abbreviated version: Daniel was a Jew in exile and became a slave to King Nebuchadnezzar. The king had a reoccurring dream that started to drive him crazy. None of his regular wise men could interpret the dream so he called on Daniel to give it a go. Daniel aced it. The king was grateful and gave Daniel a more expanded role in his kingdom. Daniel interpreted dreams for several more kings in succession. By the reign of King Darius Daniel had been distinguished above all of the king’s wise men and was appointed to rule over them. Of course, this made them jealous so they plotted Daniel’s demise. These wicked men tricked King Darius into making it a law that all people must pray to the king himself and to no other. If anyone was caught praying to another they would be thrown in the lion’s den. These wicked guys knew that Daniel faithfully prayed to God and they hoped to catch him in the act. Daniel heard of this decree he immediately went home and opened all of his windows and proceeded to pray to the God most high. Of course, Daniel got caught praying to his God. Darius loved Daniel but was forced to throw him to the lions. After all, a king has to save face. You know the rest of the story. The next morning, King Darius ran to the den and was overjoyed to find Daniel sitting with the lions unharmed. King Darius made a new decree that all in his royal dominion were to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. Then he tossed all of his wicked wise men in with the lions who devoured them in short order.
What prompted me to read this story in the middle of a sleepless night? In truth my Bible just fell open to this story. However, by the time I finished reading about the great God of the fearless Daniel, I felt I had been Spirit-led toward this ancient story. You see, I’d been wrestling with how I could somehow make a difference in this world of decaying values. I hurt about many things this pandemic has changed about us, but I ached deeply over the almost two years of empty church buildings and diminishing prayer. Our prolonged absence from a faith community had threatened our calling as God’s people. I feel a good portion of our country has forgotten Whose they are. Secularism is seducing the masses to pray to idols or to look to mere men a.k.a politicians, athletes or dare I say, celebrities, as gods of the moral person. They aren’t.
I want to be more like Daniel. I want to trust God more and men less. I want my prayers to reach the feet of Jesus and not to be diverted to the hem of those who walk the red carpet. Do we really want to make a difference in this wounded world? If so, then we must become fearless like Daniel. We must open our windows so all who pass can see a people unafraid to bow their head and lift their hands toward the heavens and the one true God.
I’ve gotten a little preachy haven’t I? “Yes, I have,” she said without apology.
Later, dear ones,