S99P5 – Timely salvation: no natural explanation

Dan. 6:21-23

Daniel answered, “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.” The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

God delivers his people in many ways.  Sometimes we ask for nothing more than a pragmatic solution to the issue we face.  A person in need may simply ask for God to bring work so that an income will meet those needs.  When that person lands a job, he or she might feel like it is clear that God has answered that prayer, but others might not see God in it.  Not every saving moment is a clear miracle from above.  We serve a sensible and practical God who intervenes on our behalf in many sensible and practical ways.  I have had a number of conversations with people of the world about the times God saved me from one calamity or another, and I have been met with natural explanations to what I know were supernatural acts of the Lord.  Yet, there are times when God makes sure that his deliverance cannot be attributed to anything but a miracle.

The lead-up to this moment makes it clear that there was no natural way for Daniel to survive the night.  The stone was placed over the mouth of the lions’ den.  It then was sealed with the King’s signet ring and those of his nobles.  The reason these rings sealed that entrance was to make sure that no one intervened and tried to save Daniel.  If he was confined to that space with those animals, then his end would be certain. When morning came, however, Daniel was alive and well.  Afterward, the men who had falsely accused him were thrown into that den along with their families, and they were attacked by those lions immediately.  It was clear that Daniel had not survived the evening with those animals because of some great skill of his.  One man against several big cats is no contest.  Although no one witnessed God’s hand saving Daniel that night, it was clear from his testimony and the outcome that God indeed had intervened.

I think this is often the type of deliverance we expect of God when we ask for him to save us.  A survey of my life indicates to me that God moves more often in those practical ways.  We do not decline a sensible move of God because we crave only the obviously miraculous.  There is a time for one and a time for the other, and it should not matter to us how God decides to deliver us.  Sometimes we reach a point when there seem to be no practical or logical options, and that is when we must have hope in God’s miraculous power to save.  He works in all ways, and the end to all this is his glory.  When He does not intervene in the ways we see as possible or expected, perhaps He is waiting to show up in a way that is undeniably his.  Father, give us faith and patience to be available to You delivering us in ways that can only be yours.