Lion’s Den Survival Principles is a series designed to help Christians thrive in the often hostile world of media and entertainment. The principles from Scripture, however, can apply to every situation where you find yourself in the midst of lions!
|Dr. Larry Poland|
Letting God Have Your Enemies for Lunch
“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 lion’s 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.”
— Daniel 6:23b-24 (NIV)
In the Southern California culture where people communicate as much by bumper sticker as by the spoken word, “I DON’T GET MAD. I GET EVEN” is a common message. The creator of the concept, I presume, has had one miserable life, because living by vengeance rather than by forgiveness violates a key principle for successful living.
We all read—and love—the part of Daniel’s story in which he experiences deliverance from the supernaturally-closed mouths of the lions. Seldom do we read—and relish—the part about the supernaturally-opened mouths for Daniel’s enemies. And yet the message is that God takes care of His kids. Implicit in the passage is a key survival principle: God desires a monopoly in the justice business, so he never delegates personal revenge to his followers.
Curiously absent from the story of Daniel’s victimization by a steady string of enemies is any indication that he (a) hated them, (b) defended himself against them, or (c) sought revenge. In fact, when the explanation for his deliverance from the lions is given in the above passage, it is singular: “No wound was found on him, because he trusted in His God.”
Survival Principle: Allowing exploitation to drive us deeper into trust is far superior to allowing it to drive us into bitterness.
The reason for this is simple. God will traverse land and sea, heaven and hell to defend—and avenge—the one who trusts implicitly and fully in Him.
Survival Principle: God’s defense of His faithful ones is far more effective and comprehensive than our feeble attempts to defend ourselves.
If Daniel had sought to defend himself, he would have been the grand loser. The vengeful motivation would have stolen the joy of his relationship with God. His self-orchestrated solution would have been mundane human stuff—not miracle stuff. And—the judgment would not have been so comprehensive. God even dealt with his enemies’ family members. He had the whole bunch for lunch!
How about bumper stickers that say, “I DON’T GET MAD. I GET SPIRITUAL.”? The result would be far better!