Then Daniel spoke to the king, “O king, live forever! My God has sent His angel and has shut the mouths of the lions so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also before you, O king, I have committed no crime.” Then the king was greatly pleased and ordered that Daniel be taken out of the den. So Daniel was taken out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in and relied on and trusted in his God.
Daniel was an honorable man. He was faithful to God as well as to his governmental authority. Unfortunately for him, this created problems among men. Daniel’s excellence pervaded not only his relationship with God but the way he lived his life in general. Because of this, he found favor not only with God but also with his leadership. It is no surprise that this brought envy among his peers. The problem for them was that no fault could be found in Daniel. The only way for them to get him out of the picture was to set a trap. Daniel, first to honor and obey God before adhering to the rules of man, was caught in the snare. Reluctant as he was because of Daniel’s faithfulness, the king followed his own edict and placed him in the lion’s den as punishment. Yet in the midst of certain death, God vindicated Daniel as being without fault.
Fast forward five hundred years or so, and we see our Savior in a similar predicament. His vindication, however, looks a little different. While Daniel was spared being devoured by the lions, Jesus was not spared being hanged on the cross. This does not mean that Jesus was not ultimately proven to be without fault. In fact, it was his sacrifice, resurrection and ascension that proved everything He did and said was true. What appeared to be God abandoning Jesus to be wrongfully convicted and murdered at the hands of men was part of his being proven to be the very Son of God. When it comes to God defending us and setting right any wrong accusations against us, appearances do not matter. What matters is that in one way or another God will reveal the truth. As we remain faithful in the face of false accusation or persecution because of righteousness, He will come to our defense in his good timing.
Our world today is not as different from the world of Daniel’s time as we might think. Those who are lost seem to be drifting further away from God daily. Our cultural and societal norms delve deeper and deeper into the bowels of sin, and Christian living now comes with a price of being labeled as close-minded and judgmental. It is becoming more regular for the rules of our society to castigate those who call sin what it is and opt to stand for holiness. We must remember that we cannot grow weary in the defense of our God. We must be mindful to remain faithful to him even if that means losing favor with everyone else. It is his favor that matters, and He will prove us blameless for remaining faithful to him. When we stand in his defense we can expect that He will come to ours. Father, thank You for giving us the strength to stand on your name no matter how fierce the opposition, and thank You for rewarding our faithfulness with vindication.