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.
If you’re like me you’ve read this story a blue million times. However every time you read it, you read it like you did in Sunday School with flannel boards and cardboard cutouts of bible characters with brass rings at the elbows and knees so they represented “action” figures. You read it with the idea that Daniel sat in the cave petting the lions all night and the king (his friend) came in the morning to let him go. I would probably guess you didn’t even read this verse because it’s too Rated R for Sunday School.
But here we are now. We can’t skip over the fact that some men lied and convinced the king to do something so egregious. In the end, because of their sin, not only did they meet the fate that Daniel should have, their whole family did; wives and children.
How does this affect me now?
I’m a father. I have a wife. I have a young son. If I do something so heinous as these administrators and satraps did, I could not only lose my life but my family will be affected. I can’t bear the thought of those young kids that were thrown in the lion’s den not knowing anything about what happened yet there they stood at the mouth of the den about to be pushed in, crying, bawling, screaming for their lives and all their mothers can do is hold them because they know their husbands messed up.
It’s appalling really.
Here I stand as a father as I read this verse. What am I doing that my wife will hold my son and think to herself how could he do such a thing knowing it’s affecting us too, our lives, our well-being, our peace? I’m not talking about something so big like lying and persuading a king (but I could). I’m talking about the small things that destroy a family; selfishness, pride, anger, loss of interest, loss of love, corporate chasings, distinguished desires, anything that takes the focus off of dying for your spouse that it becomes dying with your spouse.
The bible is not full of cute cartoon characters trying to make a point. It’s full of real people who lived real lives and real things happened to them. Some good. Some not so good. When we take a step back and read it that way it can make a huge difference in our lives.
Sure we won’t be thrown in the lion’s den today (or will we) but there are things that we get ourselves into that can destroy us and our marriages. Although these guys saw a lion’s den we may see broken dreams, broken families, hurt and pain that is very similar to being crushed by the jaws of lions.