Campfire Scripture: A campfire, a manly Bible verse, a billy boiling and a starry night sky. Yep.
Book Author and Date:
Daniel the prophet wrote the book containing Daniel’s prophecies as affirmed by Christ himself (Matthew 24:15). Daniel was a prophet during the exile. His commitment to the Lord was so outstanding that he rose to prominence and was recognized as inordinately wise by the rulers of foreign nations, including Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and Darius the Mede. Daniel must have written this book late in life, around 536-530 B.C.
Influence, Courage, Integrity, Faith, Jealousy, Lions, Just desserts, Badassery.
Daniel was making waves, essentially because God was with him. A malicious conspiracy forced the king, who was actually quite fond of Daniel, to throw him into the lion’s den.
What I Reckon:
The above passage has a lot to offer.
Daniel is a very well-known figure in scripture. The story of Daniel in the lion’s den, for some reason, is the stuff of children’s bedtime stories. Despite being a rather Mature audience type story full of imperialism, betrayal, jealousy, violence, courage and animal cruelty (maybe?). Fortunately for the same reasons it is a perfectly appropriate bedtime story for the grown up man.
A compelling narrative involving courage, betrayal and malice (and a den of lions). The king was set up and forced into an awkward situation. However, Darius also appeared to have faith in ‘Daniel’s God’, enough to believe He would rescue Daniel from the lions. At least he surmised that if Daniel’s God was legit, which he had reason to believe he was, then Daniel would survive. Which he did. Once the king discovered that Daniel had indeed survived, the conspirators were quickly and ironically dispatched.
Daniel is a great example of salt and light in a pagan nation, but not in the way that most people today think of being salt and light. Most Christians today associate salty lightedness with being vaguely genial and kind to everyone you come across. Daniel was salt and light in the sense that he courageously held to his faith in the Lord in the face of persecution and death. This was so effective that the king henceforth declared the worship of the God of the Bible beyond repute. Being nice to people is easy. Really, really easy. Being peaceable actually takes no effort at all. It takes far, far more effort to stand up for your principle’s in light of persecution.
Another important point is what of the wives and children of the conspirators? Why throw them in? Probably the king had lots of good reasons. I would guess that one reason was because in their world the men were the head of the home, and back then you staked your reputation on, not just your own life, but the lives of your kin. An argument could be made that it was not the king’s responsibility that these evil dogs families perished with them, but it was on their own conscience, for being evil men. Their lies and entrapment essentially put their families lives on the line, just as much as their own.
Makes you think about what you’re responsible for as a man of God.
I am the spiritual leader of my home and my family. To what extent am I willing to stake my righteousness and integrity on the life of my family as much as my own?
Is any man here willing to wager the lives of his loved ones on his own character?
Something to think about.
All Campfire Scripture passages are taken from the New American Standard Bible, unless otherwise stated.
John MacArthur, 2006, The MacArthur Study Bible, New American Standard Bible (1995 edition).