Den of Lions
It was my intention to focus on the different aspects of the days before the crucifixion this week. Of course, as per usual, the Lord doesn't typically go by my plan. And of course, His is always better.
What keeps going over in my heart to write about, to search out more, is the story of Daniel and the lions. I had at one point memorized this passage of Scripture, as it was Jayden's FAVORITE when he was a little boy. He made me read it to him every night. The danger, however, of a story becoming so familiar is that...it becomes so familiar.
The part that is jumping out to me right now is this: when Daniel was made aware of the decree that he couldn't pray to anyone except the king, he went and prayed three times a day as usual...to the Lord. Just by the evidence of Daniel's integrity in the rest of his timeline, I don't think he was doing it to merely be obstinate and difficult. I don't think he had the attitude, "I'm gonna pray just to spite them." His prayer seemed to be more than a habit, more than a statement. When he was surrounded by threats, he prayed. When he was surrounded by jealousy, he prayed. When he was facing a death sentence if he prayed, he prayed.
It actually does connect in a way with the path to the cross. When Christ was surrounded by threats, He prayed. When He was surrounded by jealousy, He prayed. When He was facing a death sentence for no reason, He prayed. He prayed three times in waiting for His betrayal.
"I am in the midst of lions; I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts— men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords."
The threat of lions didn't start when Daniel reached the den. It started when a group of men tried to break his connection to his God. The pain of the cross didn't start when Jesus felt the nails. He was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point that His sweat was drops of blood in the garden.
They prayed. They didn't cower in the face of attack and allow the enemy to gain true victory. When prayer is threatened, pray all the more. The Lord is still able to shut the lions' mouths.
Lord, I trust You to silence my enemies. I don't want anything to break my connection to You. I choose to pray, and pray...and then pray again. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
1 Peter 5:8