Vegetables, Lions – a Matter of Practice

My daughter Fern shared about Daniel in the Lions’ Den at the Youth Groups’ Easter event. I will rehash what she shared.

The Miracle: Daniel emerged unscathed from ravenous lions because God sent angels to shut the lions’ mouths. God rescues.

The other astounding occurrence of this account was Daniel’s reaction. Daniel was not a fool and knew perfectly well that he was walking into his enemies’ trap. But he had already decided and knew – that he would rather die than not pray.

How did Daniel achieve such purity of faith and courage in his convictions?

Recently I discovered that Daniel was around 80 when he faced the lions. I had assumed he was a young man, an image mistakenly carried over from the earlier account where he, with friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego gave up meat and wine, and ate vegetables instead to keep within God’s strictures. In return, God honoured them: all four became fitter and healthier than the other young men.

How did Daniel, aged 80+, possess such faith and courage to face the lions?

A Lifetime of Practice

Like everyone, Daniel undoubtedly faced a lifetime of decisions: easy-way-out or stay on the straight-and-narrow path.

As a young man, Daniel obeyed God and God reciprocated with favour – as He always does. Assuredly, this pattern continued throughout Daniel’s life.

   … the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel …, but they could find no ground …, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. (Daniel 6:4).

Faith and courage are habits we must cultivate, each time experiencing God’s favour and strengthening ourselves for the next hurdle.

More than sixty years after the vegetable incident, Daniel did not hesitate to walk into the lions’ den.

The moral of the story suggested by Fern: If you can’t eat the vegetables, how can you face the lions?

Elder Jeremy Leong