The mist began to push toward the house as I stood gazing down into the lion’s den, once more amazed by the funnel trap set for the ants. What a curious insect, the Antlion or “doodlebug.” It’s the larval stage of the Family Myrmeleontidae, a net wing flying insect. It survives by lying in wait beneath the dirt at the bottom of the inverted cone, waiting for an ant to slip from the edge. As it tries to escape it slides further down into the vortex until the Antlion pulls it beneath the surface with sickle-like jaws.
How many people ever take notice of all the life and death struggles going on around them everyday on a large scale, let alone on a small scale in the jungles of grass or in the bare dirt beside their homes? Every creature and insect carries on in the manner God created distinctly for them even when we don’t pay attention.
Traps. Lions. Not the first time I’ve noticed traps being set and lions coming into play. People who are faithful to God need to understand how very jealous people can become of a life lived for God. I don’t know if they become so obsessed that they stay up day and night trying to contrive how to make a godly person fall or be accused of wrong doing, but I do know it happens.
I’m sure, as a captive, Daniel wasn’t thinking of people being jealous. What was there in this honest man, who conducted himself in a manner that upset people so much? Well according to Daniel 6:3, it was his “excellent spirit,” that was so disturbing to those around him.
Why should he be so happy being told what to do by his captives? It wasn’t a matter of where he was or his circumstances, but I fancy he knew no matter where or what, whatever our hands find to do we should always do it as if it were the Lord himself asking. It makes a big difference in our conduct. We don’t become hot and bothered and complain and ask “Why should I have to do this?”
Now in Daniel’s case, the other presidents (of which Daniel was one of three) and princes that King Darius had set up over his kingdom were miffed and they tried to find something wrong with what he did, but couldn’t. This ticked them off even more, for now they had to contrive a trap to rid themselves of this man.
We know they suggested that Darius signed a decree, a law, where only Darius should be petitioned for anything for 30 days. Most laws I know were not created to be so short termed, but then this one was meant to catch Daniel doing what he always did, praying to God three times a day. Sure enough, when Daniel knew the law was signed, he went to his room and, as always, knelt and prayed, giving thanks to God just as before.
How ecstatic those men must have been as they ran to Darius and presented their case against Daniel to him? How upset he was that he had made a law that caught Daniel and he tried to figure a way around it the remainder of the day? Bright and early the next day, the presidents and princes got on the king’s case, reminding him he can’t go back on the decree he made.
Now we know that Daniel indeed became the hungry lion’s meat and God delivered him and, like other places in scripture, we find that you can’t keep a good man down. You and I might experience a snag, you and I might fall into the enemies trap, but look out, because God will deliver us when we live honest and true before him.
Daniel did not run when he heard about what the other leaders did, but fully aware, he went and prayed as usual. Stop running when the enemy says you can’t serve God. Keep serving God. Do not fear. God is with you as much as he was with Daniel. Trusting God is not always easy. What is God doing? Watch and see!
Darius was not a dummkopf -German for dumb head. He liked Daniel before. He preferred him and was even thinking of putting him in charge of the whole shebang. I imagine he heard no arguing or lame excuses from Daniel. When you think your ungodly boss may not notice that you give quality work and time for him under less than perfect circumstances, you would be wrong.
Don’t worry about life not being fair. God says vengeance is his. He will take care of it. Give it no thought. Do what you know is right, and let it go.
Darius not only took care of the troublemakers, but their wives and children also. They were all cast into the lions den. This time, the lions ate. But Darius took it a step further. He made a new decree, one about Daniel’s God. He recognized that God is alive, that he should be revered and know there is no end to his kingdom. He said he delivers and rescues, works signs and wonders in heaven and earth, and he recognized that same God delivered Daniel from being din-din. Not too shabby for a guy who doesn’t know God.
So, the next time you feel like you’re sliding into the vortex of death and there is no way out, remember God said he would make a way where there seems to be no way. Look to him. God is always God and whether we live or die, we need to do it unto him.
Ants unfortunately seldom escape their doom when they continue to slide to the waiting jaws of the Antlion. Next time your outdoors, look and observe a little closer at the things that point to our creator, raise your head, and worship him for his saving grace.