Answered Prayer

Can become a sticking point.

Daniel 6:25–28 (ESV)

Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: “Peace be multiplied to you. I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,

            for he is the living God,
                        enduring forever;
            his kingdom shall never be destroyed,
                        and his dominion shall be to the end.
            He delivers and rescues;
                        he works signs and wonders
                        in heaven and on earth,
            he who has saved Daniel
                        from the power of the lions.”

So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Here we see God’s agenda at work. Darius has had a dramatic spiritual awakening. He displays that by writing a nice decree to all his world.

And this may have sparked a great spiritual awakening. Darius wrote to a huge number of people. The deliverers of the letter may have been able to tell their own eyewitness version of how Daniel survived a night in the lion’s den. The people who received the letter may have asked, “Did this really happen?”

That’s perfect.

Daniel surviving the lion’s den, and the glorious things that follow, highlight an interesting problem with answered prayer. As awesome as that can be—it’s the great faith strengthener—it can be hard to move beyond. We want to relive the moment over and over.

Don’t get me wrong here; it’s good to praise God for what He has done and to share it with others. But God’s agenda is growth. Don’t let great things freeze yours. Learn and move on to His next lesson.

Which is exactly what the book of Daniel does here. The historical narrative is over, and Daniel moves on to more important things.

The history of Daniel with the kings he served taught us some fundamental lessons in obedience, discernment, and interpretation. With those fundamentals now learned, we can tackle some more difficult lessons.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Difficult and interesting.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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