type='text/javascript'/> A Latte Talk: Lessons from Daniel

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lessons from Daniel

My girls' favorite Bible story is Daniel and the Lions' Den(Daniel 6). We've read it countless times. There's something about the heroic nature of the story, that draws them to it. When Darius runs to the den "in haste" the next morning to see if Daniel is still alive, it's so amazing and cute to see my daughters tense up, in anticipation, to "see" if Daniel is alive! The story is new to them each time we read it!

This morning, I discovered an old (OLD) story Bible from my husband's childhood (it was even old when he was young!), so we read, of course, Daniel and the Lions' Den. It had a little different wording than we were used to reading. One thing stood out more clearly the way this was written: Daniel usually prayed 3 times a day, in his upper chamber, with the windows open. That's what he did every day. Then, after the King issued the decree saying you could not pray to anyone except him, it's very clear that he continued to pray, 3 times a day, in his upper chamber, with the windows open. He didn't change a thing.

So, we're reading along, and Corene stops me and says, "Why did he do that? Why didn't he go pray someplace in secret instead, since it was the law?" Hmmm... good question. He could have kept his prayers a secret - if I was him I think I might have done just that. That would seem the logical thing to do. There are many Christians today that live in places where the Church is persecuted, and they must pray and meet in secret. And if you look throughout the Bible, there are many many instances where people ran and hid when the government or those in power were chasing them. Mary and Joseph were told by an angel in a dream to take Jesus in the night and flee to Egypt. God could have chosen to provided a miracle to protect them. But that wasn't His plan.

So, Why did he do that? Why didn't he close his windows? The king, Darius, and the people wouldn't have been able to see what a great God Daniel's god was. There would be no story for us to marvel at. God wanted himself to get the Glory. And it didn't stop there, each time we read the story in the Word, we marvel yet again (each and every time!) and glorify Him! "Woohoo!! Go GOD!" is usually what comes out of my mouth. :)

This made me start to think, how did Daniel know he was to keep praying as he had been? The text does not say, it just says he did it. So I whipped out my Bible and I read the whole story again, and something in the story popped out at me: verse 23 says "So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God." Daniel was a steadfast servant of the King of Kings, and he had the Spirit of God on him throughout his life. God had been revealing dreams and other secrets to him, so the power of God was something he was familiar with. Daniel did not begin trusting God in the den of lions, he had been in communion with God for years, his whole life.
I need to be in communion with God now. For Daniel it had been 3 times a day, he got down on his knees and prayed and worshipped. For me, it's likely to look a little different! But it's going to be purposeful, not haphazard. It's going to be focused, not distracted. And it's going to be filled with faith and hope in the living God, not whiney or me-centered.

I struggle with this! My time with God occasionally looks that way, but it's more often haphazard, distracted, and me-centered. I desire to have the foundation of faith that would allow me to open my windows toward Jerusalem, kneel and pray to God, just as I had done before.


kmom3 said...

This is a favorite at our house, too! We have read it and read it!
I love what you pointed out today, how Daniel didn't just start trusting God in the lion's den.
I love it how God can show us something fresh and new in His Word, no matter how many times we have read it!
Blessings to you as you seek more of Him! "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled."

Joel said...

Very nice.

I've gotten in the habit of writing "smart" (not the intelligent "smart") comments on Jenn and Tiffany's sites. I feel like I'm reading a good devotional with your articles. No room for snotty comments.

kmom3 said...

Hey, again! Just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog! I am spreading the word about your place over at my place today! :)
Kimberly :)

Tiffany said...

I completely agree with Joel. :)

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Preach it sistah.

We must store up our faith now for the fires that are to come.

Jenny said...

Just have to add this quote that I read in my Proverbs 31 email devotional this morning:
R.A. Torrey once said: "The reason why many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. The reason why others succeed is because they have gained their victory on their knees long before the battle came...Anticipate your battles; fight them on your knees before temptation comes, and you will always have victory."

Think God is trying to tell me something?