No . 09 Daniel
OK, so perhaps if you are following this blog you will be working out that I like lions, yes, another blog about lions, I know. I promise this is the last lion blog I will write. (for now.)
Anyway, aside from liking lions I also like paintings (see I told you I’m not the typical macho man!) Some of the art by Briton Rivière (14 August 1840 – 20 April 1920) (Who ? – Ed) is interesting as he used to paint lions! (sorry my attempt at humour.)
In one of Britons’ paintings he painted Daniel and the lions den and his art captures some really interesting thoughts on the story. Just in case you don’t know the story, here it is:
Daniel lived in a time where the king had complete power. The king had ordered that Daniel be thrown into the lion’s den because Daniel was praying to his God and that was banned, he could only pray to and worship the king. They grabbed Daniel, chucked him in the lion’s den and the king sealed the stone over the entrance with his royal seal.
“In the painting it looks like there is an invisible wall or barrier stopping the lions from getting their tea!”
So that’s the basic story, there is loads missing of course, so check it out for yourself in the book of Daniel. But, back to the painting, Daniel is standing there looking up as the stone is being shut above him, and behind him the lions are prowling, stalking and snarling away. However it looks like there is an invisible wall or barrier stopping the lions from getting their tea. They are all locked outside this invisible arc that stands between them. The animals look confused, this is simple, there is our food! But they just can’t get to him, if you have ever seen an inquisitive cat doing this you will know what Briton has captured in the picture.
What’s all this about? Did he fall into a lion’s den when they were not hungry vicious lions? Did he get lucky? Er…no. When the King returned the next day after a terrible night with no sleep, he called to Daniel and found him to be alive and well.
Daniel answered the king: “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” Daniel 6:21-22
I love this story about Daniel, but can you just imagine the feeling as you slid down that trap door into what looks like certain, absolute death? Unimaginable. When Daniel is brought out of the den, the men who had stirred up the accusation against him were called. The king took them, their wives and kids and chucked them into the den! The bible says that before they even hit the floor the lions had crushed their bones.
So what? Well for me, the ‘so what’ is almost like God saying ‘this far and no further.’ I take a lot of comfort from that in my Christian life. Sometimes you look and think ‘why are things going on?’ or ‘how long will this continue.’ I think we can see God’s words too in this stuff, this far and no further.
As Christians we are never excluded from difficulty, trial and trouble. In fact, I would say that ever since Jesus called men and women to follow him life for those who respond to that call has involved difficulty, trial and persecution.
I do think however that God doesn’t do a runner when this stuff kicks off, he is with us, in it, through it and even drawing lines and stepping into the situation in some divine and incredible ways. I have experienced this stuff in my life, have you?
Image Credit: Word for WORD Bible Comic
The Word for WORD Bible Comic is a historically accurate, unabridged and untamed graphic novel of the Bible with a high view of Scripture.