[The king] called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, . . . has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” (Dan. 6:20)
Expanded Passage: Daniel 6:19-22
In J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic The Lord of the Rings, mighty armies and powerful heroes and villains clash over their world’s fate. But the most decisive action doesn’t happen on the battlefield. It takes place through the hidden journey of two lowly hobbits on a secret mission. In the heart of darkness, where the forces of good cannot reach them and the forces of evil cannot stop them, the tide of the story turns.
The Persian Empire was the biggest empire the ancient world had ever known. It stretched from modern-day Iran to Egypt and Turkey. Its government commanded vast wealth and power. In Daniel 6, we see that great power aimed at a single individual: Daniel. His envious fellow administrators targeted him with an inflexible imperial law and ravenous lions. His sympathetic sovereign, Darius, focused all his royal efforts on rescuing him. But in the end, both sides failed. All the might of the greatest earthly empire could neither destroy nor deliver Daniel. In the heart of darkness, where the human forces of good could not reach him and both human and animal forces of evil could not stop him, the tide of the story turned.
Today the USA celebrates Thanksgiving. Whatever earthly good or evil we’ve experienced this year, let’s thank the God who’s greater than all of it—the God who delivers like no one else can.
Thank God for his greatness and salvation!
Jerome Van Kuiken is a missionary kid, a Wesleyan minister, and professor of Christian thought at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.