In Lockdown In Captivity


After Nebuchadnezzar and his army destroyed Jerusalem, he took the Israelites back to Babylon where they would remain in captivity for 70 years.

Among those taken captive were Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and it wasn’t long before each of them faced a different kind of lockdown.

Nebuchadnezzar had built a statue of himself and he demanded that everyone bow down to it. But Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to do so and as a result, they were to be thrown into a blazing furnace.

The thought of going into lockdown in this furnace didn’t bother them because they trusted that God would deliver them and keep them safe.

‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18

While they showed great faith and trust in God, Nebuchadnezzar just got angrier and demands that the furnace gets heated up seven times hotter than usual.

‘Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual.’ Daniel 3:19

God doesn’t promise to remove the fire from our lives, but He does promise to go through it with us.

‘Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.’ Daniel 3:24-27

God was right there in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He protected them and wouldn’t let the fire harm them in any way.

In fact, after coming through the fire, God blessed them even more.

‘Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.’ Daniel 3:30

Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged that God guarded Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and as a result, they got promoted.

Let’s look at Daniel’s lockdown in the lion’s den.

One of the main reasons that Daniel ends up in the lion’s den is because the other leaders who were working under him couldn’t find any reason to fault him.

‘At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.’ Daniel 6:4

Because they couldn’t find any actual faults in Daniel, the only thing that they could use against him was his obedience to God. The other reason Daniel ended up in the lion’s den was because he refused to give up his faith in God.

When the other leaders used his faith against him, it would have been easy for Daniel to be afraid. It would have been very easy for him to pray in secret, hide his faith and or stop them altogether.

But he didn’t, the first thing he did was go home and start praying as usual.

‘Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.’ Daniel 6:10

Now King Darius had a soft spot for Daniel but reluctantly had him thrown into the lion’s den.

‘So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.’ Daniel 6:16-18

It’s clear that Darius was worried about David being in the lion’s den because he couldn’t sleep. And so first thing in the morning, he runs to the den and shouts Daniel’s name to see if he’s still alive.

‘At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” Daniel 6:19-22

Notice what Daniel does, he gives all the glory to God.

He knows that it was God who protected him, he knows it was God who clothes the mouths of the lions. And Darius was left with no doubt that God saved Daniel.

‘The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.’ Daniel 6:23

Daniel’s faith in God moved Darius so much that he ordered a new law saying that people can now pray to the God of Daniel.

How are you doing with the fires and lions in your life?

Maybe you are struggling with mental health, maybe your struggling with a loss.

Maybe you are struggling because you lost your job and struggling to put food on the table.

Maybe you’ve prayed and prayed but the fire still remains.

If that’s you, then remember that just as God was with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the furnace, and with Daniel in the lion’s den, He promises to be with us and protect us as we go through those fires.

‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.’ Isaiah 43:1-2

Stay blessed, stay focused, and stay in Christ.