Ever been in a situation where your values were threatened? In the Old Testament Bible story of Daniel 6, the prophet Daniel found his values threatened to the point of death. Christians today still have their faith threatened. So, how do you stand for your values in the face of opposition?
LESSONS FROM A LION TAMER
In Daniel 6, when the prophet's faith was put in the spotlight, He was thrown into a Lion's den to be devoured. The crime? Daniel's jealous co-workers in the Babylonian kingdom attacked his faith. They convinced the king to issue an idolatrous decree that kept anyone in the kingdom from praying to any God or human except King Darius. This decree put Daniel in a pickle. He was already known as a faithful follower of God. Instead of compromising and keeping his prayer life a secret, Daniel continued praying to God with confidence. The Bible actually tells us this:
"Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before." -Daniel 6:10
Daniel's private devotion was put on public display. As a result, he was sent to the lion's den. Fortunately, the story doesn't end there. There are actually three "Lessons from the Lion Tamer" we can learn from Daniel's dangerous encounter.
THE POWER TO STAND FOR GOD COMES FROM KNEELING BEFORE HIM
The first lesson we learn from Daniel 6 is that the power to stand for God comes from kneeling before Him in prayer. Even for a man like Daniel, known for wisdom and tact, his act of public prayer was brave! See, the prophet Daniel had a calm conviction that his life belonged to God, and even in the face of life threatening danger, he know he would be safe in God's hands. So, even in the lion's Den, Daniel could enter praying to the same God he spent his entire life serving.
COUNTER YOUR CRITICS WITH CALM COMPOSURE
The second lesson we learn from Daniel the lion tamer is that you should counter your critics with calm composure. When Daniel's co-workers attacked his faith, Daniel didn't go after them. He was calm in the face of opposition. He trusted that God who held the world in His hands was with him, and that he didn't need to be afraid. Likewise, if we're going to live for God in a corrupt culture, we have to understand this: You're going to be criticized at some point. Judged. Critics will come after you. But, you can take heart, since there is another that goes with you when you are opposed.
SOMETIMES GOD RESCUES US FROM THE LION'S DEN, BUT HE ALWAYS RESURRECTS
The last lesson we learn from Daniel the lion tamer is that not everyone experiences deliverance from a situation in this life like Daniel did. There are many Christians who have died for their faith. Not everyone who gets thrown into the lions den gets their prayer for protection answered in that way. However, thanks to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have an even greater deliverance to look forward to. You see, sometimes God rescues us from the Lion's Den, but He always resurrects. As Jesus endured the Cross, He had His eyes set on resurrection. Likewise, we can have hope because of the victory Jesus won for us.
So, when your values are threatened, will you stand on your principles like Daniel did? We pray that you would bravely stand for God knowing that, even if we are not delivered from opposition in this life, Christians will be delivered in the life to come.