ODJ: Big Cats and Confidence

November 16, 2016 

READ: Daniel 6:1-28 

When Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and . . . prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God (v.10).

I was 8 years old when we went to South Africa’s Kruger National Park as a family. We’d seen many amazing animals but no lion as we concluded our safari by car, and I felt bitterly disappointed. As we stopped at the exit gate, I took one last look down the dusty road behind us and there she was! Without thinking, I jumped out of the car and began running towards her shouting, “Lion, it’s a lion!”

This story came to mind as I was thinking of Daniel in the lion’s den. King Darius had made Daniel an administrator,who protected the interests of the king (Daniel 6:1-2). Daniel had been living in Babylon as a captive since his youth and had served three monarchs. Even though he lived in a pagan culture, Daniel remained faithful to God and experienced His intervention in his life.

King Darius so valued Daniel and his abilities that he planned “to place him over the entire empire” (v.3). This caused the other administrators to become consumed with jealousy, and they plotted to take him down (vv.4-5). They proposed a new law, signed by the king, which stated that for 30 days any person who prayed to anyone except the king— whether divine or human—would be thrown into a den of lions (v.7). Daniel’s response revealed his deep, complete confidence in God: “He went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open . . . . He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God” (v.10).

Unlike my foolish jog in the park, Daniel was wise to trust in God’s power and provision. We too can rest confidently in Him and His faithful ways today, knowing that He actively intervenes in our lives.

—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day plan: Acts 27:1-26

Read Psalm 118:8 and think about where it’s best to place your trust today. 
Where do you find your confidence when you’re under pressure? Why can you trust in God’s power and provision today?