Daniel in the Lions’ Den (Daniel 6) is one of the most well known passages in Scripture (Daniel 6). Most people know that Daniel in the Lions’ Den is the story of how God closed the mouths of the lions so that Daniel survived. (My sermon on Daniel in the Lions’ Den, “Standing for Christ Knowing that Victory is Certain,” is available online.)
Yet, if the story of Daniel in the Lions’ Den is one of the most well known, it is also one of the least understood. Too many view it only as a sentimental story. Below are two ways to miss the point.
Two Ways to to Miss the Point of Daniel in the Lions’ Den
1. Fail to Picture Scenes Today in Which We Must Fear God Rather than Men – Chances are most of us will never run up against an edict from a Persian king. However, anyone who aligns with Christ will find plenty of times when we are required to stand for Christ even though we are threatened with dire consequences if we disobey. If we are going to get the point of Daniel in the lions’ den, we need to picture situations where it has significance for today.
- Will we stand up for a biblical view of marriage?
- Will we stand up for the sanctity of life?
- Will we require our daughters to dress modestly?
- Will we say “no” to the wrong kind of entertainment?
2. Believe that Daniel’s Hope Was Not Just to Survive the Night -Daniel’s dream was not to make it through a night with the big cats. After all, surviving the lions’ den did not change much for him.
- Daniel bounced off the bottom of the lions’ den an old man (at least 83 per Wood, 153). The next morning, he crawled out an old man.
- He crawled into the cave an exile having not smelled the fragrance of home in almost 70 years. He survived the stench of cats for a night only to smell the stink of Babylon the next day.
- Daniel landed with lions because of a hateful hoard, and he was pulled out with people hating him.
- Daniel skidded into the Lion’s Den missing his parents. He crawled out the next morning still missing them. Daniel’s hope was not finally to survive the lions (Hebrews 11:33).
Daniel was looking forward to a better country – - that is a heavenly one (Hebrews 11:16). He did not receive what had been promised (11:39-40). Likewise, we may or may not make it through the lions’ den. As a matter of fact, soon enough we won’t. But we will get to the other side. Listen: the world wasn’t really a different place the next day for Daniel. But the heavenly city will be different. You can count on that. Take it to the bank.
The point of the Bible is not that we will survive every trial in a fallen world. The point is to put our hope in Christ being certain that very soon He will return (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).