At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ 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 6:24 (NIV).
Our choices – and our sins – affect so many more people than us. It was the jealous satraps – Daniel’s administrating peers – who schemed to have him killed (and to manipulate the king). Yet, when retribution came, it was both they and their families who paid the terrible price. Centuries later, we who read this verse also become affected by it, drawing conclusions and hopefully learning helpful lessons.
When we choose sin, it dearly affects everyone around us. Deservedly so, often we pay the temporal price for our sins; even as Jesus paid the full spiritual price for our rebellions, sins carry consequences that we feel here on the good old Third Rock. Yet so do the people closest to us. When adultery splits a family, the spouse and children, in-laws, grandparents, and even more extended family are all affected. When a killer murders someone, everyone close to the victim is affected. The world is more than we know.
Traffic accidents because of careless drivers; lies in Congress and lies in the White House; schools teaching destructive beliefs or practices; families split by discord and stubborn-headedness: got skin, got sin. Got sin? Got trouble. Got trouble? So do the folks in our circles.
When the satraps of Babylon were exposed for what they’d tried to do to innocent Daniel, King Darius had them and all their families thrown into the same den of lions where Daniel had been. But without the faith in God that had kept Daniel safe, the Babylonians quickly died. It must have been excruciatingly painful for them; it must have been wicked and gory to watch. Yet they paid the death-price that came with scheming against the king and, in truth, against the king’s law: a law allowed by God for His better purposes. It wasn’t primarily Darius (or even Daniel) who had been wronged: it was God. When God removed His protection in their unbelieving lives, the guilty soon perished.
So it was then; so it still is now. Without God’s protection, we are quick prey for the devil, who is like a prowling, roaring lion, looking for an easy victim. That lion often hunts those around us affected by the things we do. But our God protects us every day in a thousand ways from lions we never see. Let today be the day when we choose Christ instead of our other choices so that others besides ourselves may thrive.
For further reading: Deuteronomy 19:18-19. 2 Kings 14:6, Esther 7:9-10, Psalm 54:5, Isaiah 38:13, 1 Peter 5:8, Daniel 6:25
Lord Jesus, in You is my safety; only You are my savior and protector.
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