In the game of RISK, the player wins by taking over the world. Now, usually this game can be played with a handful of people and at the beginning, most people will agree to “no alliances”.
However, three hours into the game, people may begin to change their tune as it becomes strategic to align themselves with someone in order to take off other people from the board.
Usually, I have become the one people align themselves against. It’s not very fun when you have multiple people attacking you from all sides and you feel betrayed.
Does life ever feel like the whole world has turned against you?
When it does, do you give into despair or anger and turn to anything but God as a means of escape?
There is a man in the Bible who didn’t run away when all of his peers turned against him – even though they meant to kill him.
His name was Daniel, and he trusted in the Lord his God, regardless of the consequences.
Daniel was a young man when he was originally taken from Jerusalem as a captive to serve King Nebuchadnezzar. He and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were set apart from the rest as they ate different and worshiped only their God, no matter the cost.
God had given Daniel favor and wisdom. He was able to interpret dreams, prophecy and read the writing on the wall which foretold the end of the Babylonian Empire as it would be divided between the Medes and the Persians (Daniel 5).
King Darius the Mede took the kingdom away from Belshazzar (Nebuchadnezzar’s son), and established a new government composed of 120 high officers per province with three administrators who acted as overseers and protected the king’s interests.
Daniel is chosen as an administrator, and he soon proves himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king makes plans to place him over the entire empire (Daniel 6:3).
Now, the 122 other politicians do not like this. They don’t want Daniel to have all of that power! So, they begin to search for anything Daniel is doing wrong in order to bring him down. But, probably to their great annoyance, they can’t find anything to condemn him with. He is faithful, responsible, and completely trustworthy (Daniel 6:4).
Instead of stopping here and saying, “You know, maybe this guy should be in charge over the entire empire…” They maliciously concoct a plan to attack his only fault: his dedication to God.
They go to the king, butter him up with eloquent phrases and convince him to sign a law requiring the people to only worship King Darius for the next 30 days. If any person prays to anyone other than the king, they are to be thrown into the den of lions as a form of execution.
Now this law is irrevocable. As soon as it is signed, there is no overturning it.
Now, when Daniel receives the news, he doesn’t think like most of us probably would in this scenario which would be, “The whole world is against me, if I cease to pray for the next month, I can save my life.”
Instead, he immediately goes home, kneels down to pray as usual in his upstairs room with the window opened towards Jerusalem, and prays just as he has always done (Daniel 6:10).
The politicians follow Daniel to his house, sees him praying, and are quite eager to report the news to King Darius, as their plan had worked!
They tell the king, “That man Daniel, one of the captives from Judah, is ignoring your law. He still prays to his God.”
Hearing this greatly distresses King Darius, and he spends the rest of the day trying to save Daniel from execution, but to no avail.
Those who want Daniel killed approach the king again and remind him that nothing can be done – the law is the law.
The king has to concede and orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the lion’s den. The king says to him right before Daniel is tossed inside to face the wild beasts, “May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.” (Daniel 6:16)
And with that, a stone is rolled over the mouth so Daniel physically can’t escape, and the king seals it with his own royal seal so no one can rescue him either.
The king returns to his palace and is anxious throughout the night. He does not eat or sleep and, before daybreak, he goes back to the lion’s den and cries out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?”
Daniel answers, “Long live the king! My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.” (Daniel 6:20-22)
Overjoyed, King Darius orders that Daniel be lifted out of the den. Astonishingly, not a scratch or bitemark is found on Daniel, for he had trusted in God.
The plan to remove Daniel backfires on the politicians, and King Darius orders them to be thrown to the lions along with their families, where they are torn apart before they fall to the bottom of the den (Daniel 6:24).
And then King Darius sends out this message to the world:
“I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God, and he will endure forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end. He rescues and saves his people; he performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” (Daniel 6:26-27)
Because Daniel remained faithful and steadfast to God, God saved him from almost certain-death and was also glorified to every race and language in the world.
Do you ever feel like people or circumstances have turned against you?
Know that in those times, God proves himself faithful.
Trust in his redeeming love, and he will be with you always – even in situations that feel lost or impossible.
Never give up hope.
In love and truth,
Copyright © 2020 by Melody Turner. All rights reserved. Written exclusively for MXTV (https://mxtv.org/living-victorious-part-three/) No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from MXTV.