The Trouble With Daniel and the Lions' Den

Daniel 6:20
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?”
This story stands out to me because of the universal idea of getting an innocent person into trouble. It seems wherever you find innocent people doing what God wants them to do, you’ll also find someone trying to make them seem less than innocent. Evil people want to be supremely powerful. When they find that people who choose to obey God have power over them, they get upset. This story of Trouble looking for a place to happen is a recurring story through the ages.

Daniel was doing everything he was supposed to do. He was obedient to God and to the king. People tried to catch him doing something wrong, but they couldn’t. When the king’s advisors couldn’t find any way of getting Daniel into trouble, they tricked the king into making a law that he couldn’t repeal. It was a law which stated that nobody could pray to anyone but the king for the next month. With that law in place, Daniel was sure to be found guilty because he prayed to God every day without fail. He didn’t even hide or deny what he was doing.

Nobody was more worried about Daniel than the king. He sat up all night worrying. He couldn’t sleep knowing he’d sent an innocent man to the lions’ den.

But Daniel wasn’t worried. Why would he worry when he was watching an angel shutting the lions’ mouths all night?

After the king raced to the den to check on Daniel the next morning, he breathed a sigh of relief as he listened to Daniel’s voice saying he was okay.

However, Daniel’s accusers were not relieved. In fact, they were breakfast.

The king knew exactly what to do with hungry lions who were tired of having their mouths shut all night. Feed them a meal of well-rested trouble-makers.

The king’s question to Daniel makes me laugh, only because I know the answer. He asked if Daniel’s God was ABLE to rescue him.

Yes. God is able. God has always been able.

The Trouble With David and King Saul

1 Samuel 18:12
Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with David but had left Saul.

After reading the story of David and Goliath in chapter 17 of 1 Samuel, I found King Saul strangely against the small hero. David had become quite popular and Saul was jealous. When an evil spirit came into the picture, Saul threw a spear at David twice.

It seemed David was invincible. He’d killed a giant, tens of thousands of men, and eluded King Saul’s spear. But did Saul have a right to be afraid?

David hadn’t done anything to harm or to even threaten King Saul. David stood up for his people and the king. What brought trouble on him was the fact that Saul wasn’t seeing what was before him. God had sent David to help out Saul and his army, but Saul saw him as a threat.

When you find yourself in trouble and you’re pretty sure you haven’t done anything wrong, ask God a few questions. Find out if you’re being seen as a threat. Find out if you’ve inadvertently made someone jealous. Find out if someone set you up to fail, but your success made them angrier.

David wouldn’t harm King Saul even though the king tried to kill David. If we leave the confusing retribution question to God, He’ll take care of it for us. God sees behind the scenes and looks at the hearts of men. If we’re careful to withdraw our judgment, but only obey God, we’ll see more successes come our way.

The Trouble With David and Goliath

1 Samuel 17:32
David said to Saul, "Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him."

David left his job as a shepherd to do an errand for his dad. He took food to his brothers in the army and checked on the battle with the Philistines. When he heard Goliath spouting challenges to the Israelites, he wanted to know what would be the reward for standing up to the giant everyone was afraid of.

King Saul, who had heard about David, sent for him and tried to talk some sense into him. David was told he was too young and inexperienced to fight the giant. However, David set the king straight by telling him details of his own battles. He’d killed both a lion and a bear, so a mere giant should be no problem.

Saul couldn’t send out a boy against a giant without at least some protection, so he put his own armor on him. But David refused to wear the king’s armor because he wasn’t used to wearing man-made protection. He was used to having God as his protection. The only reason David succeeded in battle with the lion and bear was because God was with him.

When David went out to kill Goliath, the giant cursed him. So David let him know by whose power he’d be killed. Verse 46 details what David said. “This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.”

I think Goliath was shocked because the Israelites had been cowering at his defiance. Every eye must have been on David as he ran to the battle line with his sling in his hand. David’s courage became an epidemic among the Israelites. They joined in as soon as they saw that God had given them the battle.

The trouble with giants is that they don’t believe you when you tell them God determines the outcome. Giants tell us that we should run, but they mean run away. When God tells us we should run, He means toward the victory.

Goliath caused trouble, but because David was used to calling to God and listening for God’s guidance, David won the battle.

When you and I hear God’s instruction and we obey despite the obvious challenges, our courage and obedience affects others. When you obey God, you just might start something good that will spread to many others.

Getting Into Trouble

Genesis 37:5
Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.

Joseph and his brothers never would have thought their future would turn out the way it did. It seemed Joseph was always getting into trouble, so it was surprising that he ended up being liked by so many.

From reading about Joseph, you might think that he was a power-hungry schemer. The dreams he told to his brothers only brought trouble on himself. He was sold into slavery, but rose in power until he was the second in command. However, the fact that he obtained positions of power didn’t speak negatively about him.

The good thing about Joseph was that he always believed God.

His rise to power was due to his consistent dedication to honoring and obeying God. His stubborn faith in God helped him receive positions of power to minister to those in need.

He was an example of how God can use someone to help large populations by giving him the power to make decisions that affect many.

Staying out of Trouble

Proverbs 4:14-15
Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.

Have you ever been pressured by a friend to do something you wouldn’t normally do? There are people who would challenge you to do things that bring satisfaction and enlarge your world, like eating a new food or trying a new sport. These are good challenges, and they don’t lead to sin.

On the other hand, there are those who would dare you to try something, but deep down, you know it isn’t the right thing to do.

How easy are you to persuade? Can you stand up to the pressure? Is it easier to accept a challenge if you know it’s not bad? Or are you so competitive that you can’t turn down a dare, whether it’s good or bad?

God gave everyone a sense of right and wrong. It’s our job to be discerning about what we participate in. When we see evil men doing what we know is wrong, we can avoid copying them. We can choose our actions. God gave us the ability to turn from wrong choices.

Is there anyone who hasn’t been tempted? No. Even Jesus was tempted. But he overcame by the words of God.

We have the same opportunity. We have the Bible, and we can fill ourselves up with its goodness and its wisdom. The scriptures we feed on daily will strengthen us so we can stand up to even the most persuasive tempter.