Tag Archives: Daniel

Hungry Lions

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I know everyone’s probably still reflecting on the stone that covered the tomb, but I have opened my Bible to “Daniel in the Den of Lions” for the past 2 days. I found myself reading about the stone that was brought to place over the opening of the den after Daniel was thrown in with the lions. My NIV Bible says they placed it there “so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.” If ever there was a situation I’d like changed, it would be if I were hangin’ out in close proximity to some hungry lions.  

Let’s think about it because this is one of those stories I hadn’t paid much attention to since Sunday school days. Anything resembling food catapulted near some large cats would soon be non-existent, right? I’ve seen those kitties chase down some pretty quick creatures on TV. If indeed, that meal was set before them on the proverbial “silver platter,” what would keep them from chowing down? Their instincts would take over. If an animal is hungry, it’s not like my 4 year-old who has to have a certain shape of gluten-free mac and cheese, it’s not going to be picky. Daniel should have been rare, dead meat. It wasn’t a “what” but a “Who” that kept them from dining in. Daniel had a real relationship with the Almighty. 

People face “situations” all the time: death, depression, anxiety, sickness, past trauma, stress, the list goes on and on. Why aren’t they instantly rescued? Why do they have to endure so much? I’ve found myself in a place where I get aggravated, to the tune of: “If You can, WHY don’t You?” Many of you, I’m sure, are uncomfy speaking to the Creator of the universe in this manner and I get that, but me and God, we’ve been through some stuff. He’s the One that’s been there no matter what and I can’t say that about too many. Even a close family member physically can’t be there every single time you need them to be. So why isn’t God plucking people out of these precarious tragedies and showing the world how awesome He is? 

In my ponderings, I go back to Daniel 6:10 that says once ol’ boy learns that there’s been a new rule made, he goes home to do what he always does 3 times every single day: gets down on his knees and prays and thanks God. Are we doing anything like this? I saw a meme the other day that said complaining about God not speaking to you with your Bible closed is like complaining you’re not getting any texts when your phone is turned off. This hit me as absurd—who’s turning their phone off?? Could this be the problem? Have the cat videos, as cute as they may be, taken up valuable space in our lives? Do we really need more gardening quick tips or can we just go out and plant the garden? Do we require more recipes on variations for “Crack Chicken”? Silly, I know, but I dare you to keep track of how much time you spend looking at your phone. I’d be willing to bet it’s more than 3 times a day. 

Can we do more to build up our faith and put our trust in Him and His perfect plan? Daniel’s situation did in fact change drastically…despite the big bad rock. And yours can too. Believe it. 

 

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Days That Don’t Add Up

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“God has numbered the days of your rule and they don’t add up.” This was the first translation of the first word, mene. That was the word written by the disembodied hand on King Belshazzar’s palace wall, at a party that I’d bet was talked about in social circles for some time. The second word, teqel, was translated as, “You have been weighed on the scales and you don’t weigh much.” Ouch. (Usually, it seems it would be a good thing to be told that, but obviously not by the Creator Himself and we’re surely not talking about how many mashed taters he ate at the shindig.) The last word, peres, translated, means, “Your kingdom has been divided up and handed over to the Medes and Persians.” So, on the same day, this “live-for-the-day” King was told he wouldn’t live long, he wasn’t worth much to God, and someone else would be given his territory. That’s a bad day. I got aggravated because I couldn’t find my socks and deemed it a bad start to a day, but I think it’s more than a slight contrast. King Belshazzar died the same night he thanked Daniel for the translation, who was promoted to 3rd in charge of the whole kingdom, wearing a new pretty purple robe and gold necklaces. (Daniel 5)

I couldn’t help but wonder how Daniel felt at this point when he heard the king had been killed. Was he saddened? Did he give a shrug, like, “Told ya so”? As a man of God, called upon to translate some pretty heavy stuff, deemed worthy of this task by His Creator, I’m sure his heart was heavy. Should he have said that? Of course he should’ve. That’s what God told him to say. Could he have prevented his death? Surely not, God knows what He’s doing right? Why didn’t He go about it a different way? Is this what I’m called to do? Questions, questions, and more questions. Analyzing the past, current, and the future situation. Trying to figure out the why’s and how’s and what-the-heck’s? is exhausting and stressful.

I feel as though many people think believers are very hard-core, not only not sharing Jesus’ love, but have a “told-ya-so” attitude and shoulder-shrugging apathy these days. “Well, we told them that would happen, didn’t we? They deserved that, right?” That stings a little bit even to type to be honest. Unfortunately, some believers act this way. It’s not that they don’t believe in Jesus or His amazing works, but I think they 1) haven’t grown in God the way they should 2) haven’t had a fresh word from Him in a long time 3) haven’t had the love of God shared with them lately, as odd as that may sound. As believers in Christ, we are called to grow by reading our Bibles (1 Peter 2:2). Some may not understand it (I didn’t for longer than I care to admit), but the Bible is a “living word.” No other book can claim that. It is God-breathed, so it hits where it needs to hit, depending on the situation, and it hugs when it needs to as well. You can experience this by talking to God and asking that He give you a revelation. He speaks through His Word and there are quite a few who haven’t heard His true voice in a long, long while. (There are also those who ignore it, but that’s another article.) Also, I think in order to grow as a believer, you also have to be surrounded by role models and those who exemplify the love of God through their works and deeds. (Turns out this is not how you get to heaven, but it makes life a lot better along the way.) See James 2:18-20. We are to edify each other, building each other up, because let’s face it, this life can get a wee bit discouraging. God knows this or He wouldn’t have mentioned discouragement as many times as He did…I tried to look this up, but my internet stopped working. I’m not discouraged, however.