9.15.2008

Tonight, I read another one of my favorite stories from childhood.  It is found in the book of Daniel chapter 6.  It is the story of “Daniel and the Lions Den.”  In the story, King Darius had appointed three governors over his kingdom.  He did this so that he would “suffer no loss”. (v.2)  Daniel was one of these three men that King Darius trusted to look after his interest.  As the story goes, Daniel distinguished himself above the others because “an excellent spirit was in him”. (v.3)  King Darius noticed something different in the way Daniel conducted himself and considered setting him over the entire realm. Daniel’s “God First” lifestyle created a noticable separation between he and the others around him.  

The other leaders noticed the separation and plotted to eliminate Daniel by creating a decree that would expose his reliance on God.  They presented their decree to King Darius in a way that played on his pride.  Without proper consideration, King Darius made fast decision to sign the decree that band anyone from “praying or making petition to any god or man for thirty days, except the King”. (v.7)  The consequence was death by the Lions Den. 

Daniel did not change his habits and continued to pray 3 times daily from the upper room.  When those who had plotted against him saw that he ignored the decree, they took their case to the King.  The Bible says that King Darius was “greatly displeased with himself”. (v.14)  When he could find no way out, he ordered Daniel to be thrown into the Lions Den.  The King fasted and prayed all night long and at day break, he ran to the den of lions.  In verse 20, the King spoke saying, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”  The King spoke of Daniel as an UNCONDITIONAL SERVANT.  That really struck me when I read this familiar story again.  Is my service to God conditional?  Do I serve him continually like Daniel or is my service and devotion sporadic?  Gut Check questions for me!!!  

Most of you know the rest of the story.  For those that do, and those that don’t, it is worth reading.

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