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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Daniel: Lord of the Lions

October 11

(Daniel 6:19-22 NIV) "At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions' den. {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?" {21} Daniel answered, "O king, live forever! {22} My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.""

(Daniel 6:28 NIV) "So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian."

(Hebrews 11:35-40 NIV) "Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. {36} Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. {37} They were stoned ; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated-- {38} the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. {39} These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. {40} God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect."

There is a strand of Christianity that latches onto stories like this and teaches that all things go well for those who believe. It has been called “the prosperity gospel”. But they miss the most obvious lesson of Daniel. Our God is a rescuing God… a God who saves. However, the Lord doesn’t save us from the lion’s den -- He delivers us while we are in the lion’s den. God doesn’t remove the lions -- He closes their mouths. Lion power is no match for God’s power. Jesus doesn’t save us from going through times of trial -- He stands beside us as we go through them. God doesn’t transport us around the valley of the shadow of death -- He walks us through it. We were born to glorify God. That seems to happen more often when we are forced to spend time in the lion’s dens of life. While we are there, let us remember that the Lord of the universe is also Lord of the lions. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

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