For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Rom 8:14-15
For God hath not given us the Spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2Ti 1:7
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1Jn 4:18
Daniel, in the Lion’s Den, provides a perfect example of contrasting fear with love. Daniel, through no fault of his own, was captured as a teenager in his homeland and taken far away to another country where he would spend the rest of his life in service to four kings in the four largest kingdoms and empires of the world. Unable to marry after being placed in the House of the Eunuchs, unable to see his parents or family again, unable to return to his homeland of Jerusalem, Daniel was so esteemed by the kings that he rose to the top of governmental positions and served without fear yet never compromising his love for Jehovah, God. Jealous, ensued by his peers, took control and a plot was contrived by the government officials to have Daniel break the law of the King thereby making him subject to the consequential punishment. Darius, the King, could not reverse his edict and with great remorse, had to enforce punishment on Daniel and cast him into the den of lions for an entire night: Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.” So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep. At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” 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.” Dan 6:15-22
Daniel was cast into the lion’s den but Daniel’s unrelenting love for God cast his fear aside and he “slept” with the lions an entire night trusting and knowing that God, with his angels, would deliver him from certain death. Daniel was saved to serve another king, King Cyrus, and to actually hear from the angel, Gabriel, speak about salvation for all from the coming Messiah.
The lions and the government officials who lied….? They received their just reward from the One who saved Daniel: 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. At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones…. (Fear lost and Love won—-and God was glorified!) Dan 6:23-28
Scott and Jane Johnson minister with East Faulkner Church of Christ and BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to [email protected]