© 2017 by Tom Mercer

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Persian Cats

July 7, 2017

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.  —Daniel 6:10

 

This is funny to me, that Daniel is never the center of attraction in any of the great stories in his book. Maybe it’s because the title bears his name that we tend to focus on what happened to him. He’s the one we talk about, the one we remember. But he’s never really the focus of any of the stories. And that’s because Daniel represents us in all of them. Here’s another newsflash! Our lives are not about us either! Daniel’s life reminds us that God designs our circumstances to create connectivity between Him and the people around us.

 

We look at the difficulties of our lives and say, “Oh Lord, save me like you saved Daniel from the Lion’s den.” “Oh, Lord, save us like you saved Daniel’s three friends from the fiery furnace!” I mean, how many times have we heard sermons from the Book of Daniel with that as the takeaway—that God can save you from difficulty just like He saved them! But the point wasn’t about the furnaces or the lions’ dens, it was about the people who were in the arena, watching those events unfold.

 

  • Ashpenaz, the Chief of Court Officials (chapter 1)

  • Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon (chapters 2-4)

  • Arioch, the Commander of the King’s Guard (chapter 2)

  • The politicians (chapter 3)

  • The Queen (chapter 5)

  • Belshazzar, the King of Babylon (chapter 5)

  • Darius, the King of the Medes and the Persians (chapter 6)

 

One by one, each of those individuals recognized the power of God. Daniel survived international deportation, multiple pagan kings, two world geo-political systems and numerous threats against his life, including a den of Persian cats. Dude didn’t budge. He just kept trusting God and changing his world, and the people around him just kept getting saved. Not a bad life.

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