S (Scripture): Daniel 6:19 At dawn, at the first sign of light, the king [Darius] rose and rushed to the lions’ pit.
20 As he approached it, he called out to Daniel, worried: “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God—the one you serve so consistently—able to rescue you from the lions?”
21 Then Daniel answered the king: “Long live the king! 22 My God sent his messenger, who shut the lions’ mouths. They haven’t touched me because I was judged innocent before my God. I haven’t done anything wrong to you either, Your Majesty.”
25 Then King Darius wrote the following decree:
To all the peoples, nations, and languages inhabiting the entire earth: I wish you much peace. 26 I now issue this command: In every region of my kingdom, all people must fear and revere Daniel’s God because:
He is the living God.
God stands firm forever.
His kingship is indestructible.
God’s rule will last until the end of time.
27 He is rescuer and savior;
God performs signs and miracles in heaven and on earth.
Here’s the proof:
He rescued Daniel from the lions’ power.
O (Observation): Some jealous cohorts of Daniel set a trap for him by convincing King Darius to sentence to death anyone who didn’t worship the king alone! Daniel knew of this decree, and worship / prayed to God 3 times per day anyway. Then Daniel got busted, and was throw into a pit with lions.
The next morning, King Darius rushed to check on Daniel. He was alive! King Darius was so relieved, he issued a new decree: Daniel’s God alone is to be worshipped!
God did God’s thing, and holding on to faith was all Daniel needed.
A (Application): Pray, then act. I’ve been moving down this road, myself, these last few months: dealing with racism issues, white supremacy, refugee resettlement. We have done some good work in Murfreesboro in these areas. More work is yet to be done.
Today’s text, however, urges me to consider – again – God’s role in justice issues. How does God work? In Daniel, God shuts the mouths of the lion. But Daniel also kept on praying (even when it became illegal to pray). Daniel’s action was to keep on praying, and he went along with things…when God showed up (through a messenger).
Are our actions to be a disruptive force? Are our actions a call to speak out against things like xenophobia and racism? How do we do this faithfully, trusting that God will intercede? What if people are suffering in mind, body, or spirit?
I hope you are struggling with these issues, as I am. I have acted…I have been at demonstrations and worship services. I have spoken. I have listened.
In the end, we must let God do God’s thing, and respond in the best way we deem appropriate. God will meet us right where we are.
Around what issues are you wrestling with God, today?
P (Prayer): Lord, help us always to trust in you more than our own actions. Amen.