||Chosen no: R-4874 a, from: 1911 Year.
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In A Den Of Lions
"The angel of the Lord
encampeth round about them
that fear Him, and delivereth them."--Psa.
TIME of this study Daniel was an old man. He had been long in service, wise and
faithful in his administration of the government entrusted to him. He had seen
the Babylonian Dynasty perish. In its place came the empire of the Medes and
Persians. By these also Daniel's grand character was recognized--his loyalty to
principle, his faithfulness as a public servant, his obedience to God and the
principles of righteousness. The new Universal Empire was divided into one
hundred and twenty provinces with one hundred and twenty governors. Over these
were three presidents. Over these presidents was King Darius, [R4875 : page 347] above whom, as chief
emperor, was Cyrus. Daniel was one of the three presidents, made such because
of his recognized integrity and ability.
compliment was thus paid to this noble, consecrated Jew, and how the
recognition of his ability marks the breadth of mind of some of the rulers of
the past! Their desire to have such a man in high repute and authority seems to
evidence their good intentions in respect to the governing of the world.
Indeed, we believe that this is true also of many noble minded, modern
monarchs--that they give to their subjects the best government of which they
are capable, according to their own imperfect judgments.
which will specially mark Messiah's Kingdom will be that it will not only have
perfect ideals in respect to human government, but that it will be backed by
Divine power, before which every knee shall bow and every tongue shall
eventually confess.--Phil. 2:10,11.
that we know of the governments of the Orient, present and past, they have been
full of dishonesty, of what in our day is designated "graft." As an
illustration: it is said that in the China-Japan war, [R4875
: page 348] contracts for cannon and other war materials were given to
manufacturers closely allied to government officials, and that the most
shame-faced dishonesty was practiced--for instance, that wooden cannon were
delivered and mounted upon fortifications, while the contract money, which was
paid for the genuine article, went to the thieves. A man like Daniel, in so
important a place as that which he occupied as one of the three presidents or
supervisors of a great empire, was sure to be in the way of grafters--a
hinderer of their schemes. Realizing that he could not be deposed, the first
step was to find some fault with him which would secure his removal; but the
man's integrity and uprightness in general gave no hope in this direction.
scheme was concerted. They knew that Daniel's religion lay at the foundation of
his entire course in life. They must involve him along the line of his devotion
to his God or not at all. King Darius, like every other man, was approachable
through flattery. It was a custom of the East to closely associate the king
with religion. He was supposedly a favorite with his god, else he would not
enjoy so high a station.
upon this theory, the conspirators, high in office, approached the king with a
project which they assured him would help to make strong and united the various
parts of his empire. It was this: that the king should be recognized for a
month as the only channel of mediation or access between his subjects and their
god or gods. The claim was that such a recognition would elevate the dignity of
the throne in the minds of the people. King Darius of course felt flattered and
at once agreed to the arrangement and issued an order to that effect--never for
a moment thinking of what might be the result in the case of Daniel; and never
for a moment suspecting that his counselors were seeking to entrap him and to
legally accomplish the death of his most trusted officer.
THREE TIMES DAILY
heard of the decree, but altered not his usual custom of praying three times
every day before a window of his house which looked out toward Jerusalem. Morning,
noon and night he remembered his God and remembered his vows of faithfulness to
Him and called to mind the gracious promises respecting the Holy Land, that it
would yet be the center of the whole earth and of God's holy people; that
eventually, through these, Divine blessings would be extended to every nation,
people, kindred and tongue.
has remarked that, as the sharpening of scythes in harvest time does not mean
lost time or energy, so also time spent in prayer is not lost as respects the affairs
of life. Unquestionably the best men and women in the world are those who pray,
and pray regularly, who bow the knee, as did Daniel. Unquestionably the moments
thus taken from earthly affairs are well spent and bring more than commensurate
blessings upon the worshiper and all with which he has to do. Unquestionably it
is impossible to live a consecrated life in neglect of prayer. What would
Daniel have been without his praying time! How would his faith in God have
persisted in that heathen land? How would his loyalty to principle have
maintained itself in the midst of corruption had it not been for his communion
with his Maker? To the Christian this privilege is still further enhanced by a
realization that "We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the
Righteous," in whose all-prevailing Name we may approach with courage the
throne of heavenly grace, and obtain mercy and find grace to help in every time
of need.--Heb. 4:16.
SENT HIS ANGEL
conspirators were on the lookout for Daniel. They had witnesses ready to
testify, not that they had seen Daniel do anything wrong, but that he had
violated the edict which the king had been entrapped into making and signing.
The matter was laid before the king and he was reminded that it was one of the
principles of the empire that even the king himself could not change or alter
an edict once sent forth. King Darius felt himself bound hand and foot and
ensnared--trapped. All day he sought means whereby he could avert the
consequences of his royal mandate, but he found none. He explained the matter
to Daniel, assuring him that he believed that his God was able to deliver him.
What a beautiful testimony to the uprightness of Daniel's life!
was cast into the lion's den and the stone for a door was secured with thongs,
the knots of which were sealed with the king's signet, a safeguard against its
being tampered with. That night, we are told, was one of great distress to the
king. He could think only of his faithful officer, the noble man so
unrighteously treated. He was ashamed of the part which he felt compelled to
take in the matter. He was abroad early in the morning, after a sleepless
night, to call to Daniel, to learn whether or not he were still alive. His joy
of heart was great when he learned that he was still safe, that his God had
sent His angel to stop the lions' mouths. Daniel was soon lifted from the pit!
Daniel was vindicated! His God was vindicated! And the king now made another
decree--that those counselors who had thus sought the life of a faithful man
should themselves be put to the test by being cast into the same den of lions;
and this in their case meant destruction, as the result proved.
every Christian could and would live as high above the world's standards as did
Daniel, so that their enemies might see clearly that they have no ground for
charges except those to their credit; that their God whom they serve is indeed
the true God.
W.T. R-4874 a : page 347 – 1911 r.