Daniel then said to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong.” (Daniel 6:21,22).
Many New Yorkers, together with many in the West, follow a fashionable mantra: ‘All religions are the same’. This popular form of pluralism seems to make sense, but it fails to account for the many significant differences between the world’s great religions.
Indeed, a more sophisticated form of pluralism argues that there is a deeper, grander ‘truth’ made clear by all religions. This ‘truth’ has little to do with Allah requiring five daily prayers, or Buddha advocating the subduing of the emotions, or Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of the world. It simply points to a greater ‘truth’ that there is an indefinable ‘reality’ drawing the world to itself. In other words, this view of pluralism claims to have discovered a greater ‘truth’ that none of the world’s religions have found.
However, this more sophisticated form of pluralism has no response to questions such as the certainty of such a ‘reality’ or that such a ‘reality,’ if it exists, has not already been identified.
Daniel’s rescue from the lion’s den assures us there is a sovereign God who not only exists but uniquely wields awesome authority over every aspect of his creation. He is the trustworthy Lord, working out his great purposes throughout creation. In terms of Daniel 6, he can turn hungry lions into docile pets, overcome cunning, corrupt public servants, and overturn the supposedly unchangeable laws of a King.
We see a further example of God’s purposes and power at work – overcoming the powers of sin, of human institutions and of death itself – through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
That does not mean that every time God’s people stand up for Him, he will step in and work a miracle. Hebrews 11 provides many examples of God’s people who were not rescued but were commended for their faith.
Reflect. Daniel 6 reminds us of the reassuring truth that there is a sovereign God who has authority over every human institution. It also reminds us of our need to honor God, whoever we are, and wherever we are. He is trustworthy.
We need to ask God to enable us to stand firm in our faith in Jesus Christ. We also need to pray for wisdom – to know when and how to speak up for him. Every week we all have opportunities.
In Acts 5:27- 32 we read: “When they (the temple police) had brought them (Peter and John), they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, ‘We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.’
“But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, so that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’”
Optional – you might like to read: Daniel 6; Acts 5:27-42.
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© John G. Mason – www.anglicanconnection.com