Daniel 6:3-24 “My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lion’s mouth…”
To say that spring comes in like a lion and out like a lamb has been a tradition for generations. We are always amazed, and sometimes annoyed, at the cycles of change nature goes through to bring new life into a year. The problem with a lion is that whether in metaphor or majestic manufacturing, it cannot be ignored.
Daniel was an uncompromised Jew in his faith, practice, and posture. He was a man proud of his heritage and sure of his God. Even in the time of great oppression and persecution, he refused to shift that posture. A great example in the difference between position and condition, Daniel reminds us of the dire necessity to always remain true to the truth. We all have in one shape or another heard the story of Daniel and the lion’s den. Some of the things we rarely place emphasis on are his unwavering posture, his commitment to prayer, and his silence in the midst of the storm.
We live in a day and age where people will change stories, loyalties, and positions quicker than they often change wardrobes. The unwavering, uncompromising stance of the young Hebrew man is an example to us all. Daniel knew that his people were in captivity. What was not enslaved were his morals, faith, and integrity. When life is good, it is easy for us to be consistent. Daniel showed us an “excellent” spirit requires your best even at your worst. Secondly, Daniel was a man who was given to prayer. Not just a laundry list of petitions to an imaginary Santa in the sky; no, Daniel knew Who he was speaking to, how to speak to Him, and how to wait in His presence for an answer. Sometimes our truth is that we can’t fathom getting through the lion seasons of our lives because we don’t know the Lion Tamer. Daniel knew even before persecution that the God he spoke to on a consistent basis would remain consistent to him. We never have to worry about what is coming, when we know Who is coming with us.
Finally, Daniel had the truth of persecution sitting in his lap. He was hated by those who didn’t agree with him, and legally broke a law that was set in place to trap him. He was in the lion’s den. Others around him worried, wept, and even grieved at his state in life. There were no visiting hours in the lion’s den. It was a moment for him alone and his truth. Daniel had choices to make. He could scream vehemently about his innocence, complain about the horrid conditions, and even lash out at his oppressors. But he was silent. Silence is the least used, most effective form of warfare. You cannot discern the mind of a silent man, and you can’t accuse him. Daniel knew that the outward danger was far less important than the residual danger of opening his mouth. His body could be dismembered by the claws and jaws of the lion; but what is worse; his words could live on far beyond his death.
What words are we speaking in this season? How are our words dismembering our credibility? How are we nullifying the plan of God to rescue us by talking too much too soon? Daniel‘s biggest issue was not lions. The animals could be silent for a number of reasons, and God had that in control. But we are always held liable by the words that we have spoken. Imagine God rescuing Daniel and him coming out to people who heard all the vicious words that he spoke! Thank God for lions not getting the best of us! My charge this month for us is to, like spring, go in with the lion circumstances, but come out of it like a lamb.
Cleo Dailey, III is a minister, freelance writer, and author who has written for several city and nation-wide publications. He is currently releasing his newest memoirs this summer while studying to obtain a degree in both English and Clinical Psychology in Peoria, IL.