When You Have Another Sleepless Night
So at this point in the story, Daniel has been thrown into a den of hungry lions. And we know they are starving because of what happens later in the story. But here's what happens next.
And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him. — Daniel 6:17-18
So Darius follows through on his legal obligation, but it's not without some profound regret. And we learn that he hopes the outcome will change because he returns to his palace and isolates himself from people and provisions. He will spend all night tossing and turning in his bed, laboring over what he has done to his trusted friend and confidant.
When I have been in this situation, my mind won't quit. I will dwell on my sins, the desires that persuaded me, how my actions impacted others, what I will do to reconcile them, and how I will avoid them in the future. And I am sure at some point in the evening, while Darius was tossing and turning in his bed, he reflected on all these matters. But I am sure that he also perceived his officials' malicious intent and determined he would not let their trickery ever entrap him again.
But there is good news. This predicament brings two men together spiritually. Right at this moment, there are two men fervently fasting and praying. One is in the den, and the other is in the palace. One is the victimized, and the other is the victimizer. And they are both calling on God to be their salvation.
So I want to offer two applications for two different men. First, for the victimizers or the Darius's out there. If your selfishness and sin have affected another, and you are willing to confess and repent, salvation is available. You may have to live through the consequences of your actions, but God can save you from your sin. What you need to do is call on God to be your salvation. Second, for the victimized or the Daniel's out there. If the selfishness and sin of another have impacted you, and you know it, then don't retaliate. Trust God. He can and will vindicate you. And remember, he may be using the trial you're experiencing to bring the one who has victimized you to salvation. So trust in God through the test. Your response might become the evidence he needs to believe that God will save you and him.
ASK THIS: Are you a victim or a victimizer?
DO THIS: Be faithful.
PRAY THIS: God, for me, the victimizer, forgive me. And for me, the victimized, may I be faithful.
PLAY THIS: Lord, I Need You.
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