“Then the presidents and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel in regard to the kingdom,
but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful…
Then these presidents and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, ‘O King Darius, live forever! All the presidents of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O King, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O King, establish the injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.’
Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction.”
A decision was made here that could not be undone. Individuals driven by corrupt motivations, including hatred and a desire for power, pressed for this and accomplished their task.
But the ultimate outcome was not what they planned.
Because God was in control, and His purposes would win out.
In this circumstance, God protected the life of His servant and delivered him safely from the lions. That was one outcome. The wicked men perished in the manner they planned for Daniel. That was another.
But there was a greater purpose that everything in history drives toward, one that will always be guaranteed in God’s perfect timing and His orchestration of all details.
The Lord will be glorified.
“Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: ‘Peace be multiplied to you. I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for He is the living God, enduring forever; His kingdom shall never be destroyed, and His dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues; He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, He who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions’” (Daniel 6:25-27).
I have been struggling with hope the past few days. Feeling heartbreak and deep discouragement build as more news comes in. It’s hard to even know what to think at times, because everything looks like a jumbled mess.
But in this account from Daniel’s life, this real account of a man’s experience with God in the midst of a seemingly hopeless situation, I am reminded:
The Lord is my hope.
We do not see despair in Daniel. There isn’t fear. There isn’t driving anger or bitterness. Just faith and a steady continuing of faithfulness. Because he knows his God, and he knows He is sovereign and faithful.
This same God, whom we can know in relationship through Jesus Christ, is still sovereign here. In this broken world we live in. A world with clear effects of our sin and rebellion – injustice, pain, sickness, violence, selfishness, greed, pride. These effects, and more, surround us. Spiritual forces of darkness employ great strength to stir hatred and division.
None of that darkness will win.
None of it.
Because ours is the living God. And however strong or unrelenting the storm feels, He sits enthroned over the flood (Psalm 29:10). His voice is full of majesty and unmatched power (Psalm 29:4).
The God of all heaven and earth is in control and all of this, no matter what motivations or understandings others hold, will lead to more glory for Him. How? I don’t know. But it will, because that’s what He does. He can take even the worst situations and use them for good and for salvation (Genesis 50:20). It isn’t even hard. It all fits perfectly into His entirely sovereign hands.
And as we walk this road, actively choosing faithfulness to Him and obedience to His commands in the smallest and biggest of ways, this God will be faithful in every step and every moment to each one of His people. Because He knows those who are His, and He will not lose one (2 Timothy 2:19; John 6:39; Revelation 3:12). So we have nothing to fear. And we have no need to despair, for ours is the living God who reigns over all and who has promised to never leave or forsake us.
He is with us. He is for us. And the world will see His glory.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand firm.
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,
for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness,
but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance…
But according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these,
be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace.
And count the patience of our Lord as salvation…
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
2 Peter 3:9, 13-15, 18