When I visited a museum in Chicago, I saw one of the original Striding Lions of Babylon. It was a large mural-type image of a winged lion with a ferocious expression. Symbolizing Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of love and war, the lion was an example of 120 similar lions that would have lined a Babylonian pathway during the years of 604–562 bc.
Historians say that after the Babylonians defeated Jerusalem, the Hebrew captives would have seen these lions during their time in Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom. Historians also say it’s likely that some of the Israelites would have believed Ishtar had defeated the God of Israel.
Daniel, one of the Hebrew captives, did not share the doubts that might have troubled some of his fellow Israelites. His view of God and his commitment to God stayed steady. He prayed three times a day—with his windows open—even when he knew it would mean entering a den of lions. After God rescued Daniel from the hungry animals, King Darius said, “[Daniel’s God] is the living God and he endures forever . . . . He rescues and he saves” (Dan. 6:26–27). Daniel’s faithfulness allowed him to influence Babylonian leaders.
Staying faithful to God despite pressure and discouragement can inspire other people to give Him glory.
Dear God, give me the strength to continue to trust in You when I am discouraged. Help me to experience Your never-ending love and stay close to Your side.
Faithfulness to God inspires others.
Daniel’s brave faith has inspired countless generations. Not only was his deliverance rightly perceived by the pagan king as a miracle, but it also resulted in a public declaration of the incomparable greatness of Yahweh. Do you need courage to face a trial today? By faith commit it to our faithful God.