As I have stated prior, we are currently studying different stories in the Bible focused on witnessing. We are studying this topic because it is of monumental importance as the visible you and me, may be all a person every sees of us. Or, a person that knows us well may see us daily and know we are Christian and watch our attitudes and behavior. Imagine the impact losing ones temper, saying something vulgar, or being dishonest in some way or another has on our personal witness as a believer in Jesus.
With that is mind, consider your behavior in light of Daniel in Chapter 6: 1-28. This is the popular and well known story of Daniel and the Lions Den. Almost everybody knows this story or has at least heard about it. What I suspect we fail to recognize is not the miracle of God keeping Daniel alive in the lions den. I think everyone probably notices that. What we miss is the reason why Daniel is thrown in there in the first place!
Daniel is thrown into the lions den because he maintained his witness under the threat of violence. Daniel had moved into a position of power and authority, one of three men responsible for providing leadership and direction to the kingdom, because of his honesty and integrity and the considerable blessings God had lavished on him. His fellow civil servants were jealous but could not pin any mud on Daniel because he lived an exemplary life. Unlike your typical politician, Daniel did not have a closet full of skeletons that could be used against him.
Due to this, the Satraps and other high officials stroked the ego of Darius and convinced him to pass a law that would put Daniel into opposition with the king. Darius signed into law an edict that for 30 days no one could petition or worship anything other than him. Daniel of course knew this put him into a position of defying the king and the risk of defiance was the lions den. Daniel did not change his behavior and kept on worshiping God at least three times per day. The officials brought this to Darius attention and Darius, true to his word, threw Daniel into the lions den.
Darius was trapped and he knew it. Daniel was stuck and he knew it. The conspirators used the kings pride and ego against him and Daniels faith against him. God protected Daniel and when Darius let him out of the pen the next day and he was alive. he condemned the other high officials and Satraps to the den, along with their families where the lions broke them and killed them all immediately.
Daniel’s witness led Darius to write letters to all the people and nations regarding God, being a witness himself. Before Darius could witness on behalf of God, Daniel witnessed to him. Who are you witnessing to and what are they seeing?
What do we learn from this story?
- Christians need to live up to their namesake in Jesus. In living the Christian life at home and abroad, the believing and practicing Christian should be a person of trust, honesty, integrity, and fortitude. If only this were the case and people the world over had those thoughts come to mind, when thinking of Christians.
- The devil will use the corrupt to lay traps for believers, but we must remain faithful, to the point of martyrdom if necessary. We must follow God, even when it costs us everything, just like we do when it costs us very little.
- We must put our trust in God to preserve us. This does not mean we will be saved from earthly trials and suffering, but God is good and will secure those who have the Son into eternity.