Tuesday Reflection – April 21, 2020
Keep Praying, God Has the Final Say
Picture with me friends a man thrown into a den of hungry lions. What a horrible way to die. Daniel however was no ordinary man, he was a praying man. Prayer was his habit, prayer was his source of strength, and prayer was his accusation. Today’s Watchword is from Daniel 6: 23. Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in the Lord. As we reflect on Daniel today I urge you, keep praying for God has the final say.
The story of Daniel in the Lion’s den is so well known that Daniel is as famous as another world influencer who lived during his time, Confucius. When he was thrown into the den, Daniel was about eighty years old, well known throughout the Babylonian kingdom and so loved and respected that the king at that time, King Cyrus, wanted to promote him to being in-charge of the kingdom. Daniel was an exile in Babylon who had been trained in Babylonian ways, given a Babylonian name and placed into state service by the overlords. The plan was to so indoctrinate and intrigue the Jews by the Babylonian culture and religion that they would willingly abandon Jewish culture and religion. We live in a world that seeks to so captivate us with a modern neo-political, social and religious culture that we will want to move away from what we have known and held to. We should never forget however that the ‘old time religion’ which was good enough for our mothers and fathers remains good enough for us today. Like Daniel we should be unrelenting in our practice of our faith, regardless of the new expressions or the new and more attractive ‘gods’ that the world provides for us. Daniel kept praying and as a result of his faith no harm was found on him.Now Daniel could have prayed in secret without looking to Jerusalem. What he wanted to be known however was that even under pressure his well cultivated habit had not changed. His dedication to prayer had not changed in either its subject not its object. He knelt three times a day and he looked to Jerusalem as he always had. Neither his obligation nor his affiliation had changed. Let others look towards a statue of a human being, let others look to human powers, he would still look to his God for therein lay his salvation and that of his people. Like David in Psalm 121 Daniel knew the source of his help. ‘I will look to the hills, from where my help comes, my help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth’. Like the prophet Isaiah in ch 12: 2, Daniel knew: “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” For his dedication to God Daniel was thrown to lions but for that same dedication, God delivered him. Evil may often seem stronger and the darkness that enfold us may be overpowering, but in the end the power of God will always stand supreme and we will overcome even against all odds. At a time of religious persecution throughout the world, even in least expected places, Daniel reminds us that faithful persistence preserves us even in the face of death. At a time when the sovereignty of God is being questioned by a world that is becoming more atheistic and irreverent than at any other time, Daniel reminds us that we ought to stand in all sincerity for what we believe for in so doing others may come to know the blessings of serving God. At a time of severe medical challenge gripping the entire world, Daniel reminds us that we should never lose hope, never give up even to the very last, we should keep trusting and never stop praying for God who alone is sovereign, has the final say. Amen