In the Lion’s Den
My father has an expression he has told me through the years, “Nick, sometimes you have to go into the Lions Den.” The context of his remarks has a political undertone. My dad was the second African American elected to the Detroit City Council in the last century. His first four years in the government began in 1965. He was the only person of color on that body for four years. Eventually things changed. However, he learned a lot and shared much of his knowledge with me. In politics sometimes an elected official or candidate has to go into a setting when the audience is not supportive. Sometimes you will have to face people who really do not agree with you, do not like you, and want to make you suffer. I am a former member of the Detroit City Council. For eight years I assumed the awesome responsibility of being one of nine elected members of the local unit of the legislative government for Detroit. Some people think they can say anything to a public official and candidates for public office. On those times when I have felt like I was in the “Lion’s Den”, my goal is to be brave, state my case, be authentic and ultimately walk out unscathed with the heart of the lion still beating and bleeding in the palm of my hand. I really believe that the Lord is my shepherd, who will protect me, lead me and guide me in every way.
With “Super Tuesday” elections being held tomorrow across America, what we are witnessing is absolutely amazing. Several of the candidates have reduced their campaigns and arguments to ugly personal attracts. The “Lion’s Den” is not something that is remote. Seemingly, every appearance by the candidates is a virtual den of lions with attacks coming from several different angles.
Sometimes I have found Christians who act like lions in a den. Because of their faith you might expect them to be supportive and nice, but in reality, sometimes they act just as deceitful has people in the gutter. Christians are also humans and in our humanity we often find jealousy, distrust, disdain and contempt. It is in these moments when the Christian is cast into a virtual “Lions Den.” When that moment occurs I encourage you to remember what happened to Daniel.
Daniel makes a choice that casts him into the lion’s den. His choice is to continue to publicly pray to God, even when it was forbidden. The people who advocated that he be put into the lion’s den were people who saw themselves in competition with Daniel. He is described as one of three presidents appointed by the king. Daniel was said to have incurred the favor of the king and was about to be promoted to run the entire nation. The jealousy of the other presidents caused them to find reasons to drag him before the king and petition for his murder. Sometimes in our lives we too will come across people who are jealous, hateful and basically do not want to see us succeed. It is in these moments that re run the risk of being thrown into the “Lion’s Den.” The following verse points out that Daniel made a choice that cast him into the “Lion’s den.”
Daniel 6: 10 Although Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he continued to go to his house, which had windows in its upper room open toward Jerusalem, and to get down on his knees three times a day to pray to his God and praise him, just as he had done previously.
Although the king does not want Daniel to die, he goes ahead with the order to feed him to the Lions.
Daniel 6: 16 Then the king gave the command, and Daniel was brought and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you faithfully serve, deliver you!”
Questions for Reflection:
- Have you ever been cast into a “virtual Lion’s Den?” Why?
- How do you feel the Lord responded to you in your day of trouble?
- What are some of the modern parallels to Daniel in the Lion’s Den?
Be my protection, Lord. When I am in the presence of people who do not have my best interest, who want to see me fail, and would like to see me suffer, dispatch your angels to watch what I cannot watch, do what I cannot do and to protect me from all hurt, harm and danger. Grant me courage as I stand up for you. Make me unequivocal in my defense of your Gospel, forceful in my witness to your glory and tireless as I exhort others to seek your truth. In those moments when I cannot see and know the heart of others, release your Holy Spirit to provide me with protection, success and good fortune. Guard me against the ill intent of others. Protect me from those who want to see me stumble and fall. When the lions of mockery, deceit and distain circle me with a desire for my demise, be my defense, my hope and joy and by the power of your saving grace bring me out into the sweet sunshine of the cradle of your love. Through Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Nicholas Hood III
Additional Photos Prayers and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
More about the ministry of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Da 6:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Da 6:16). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.