THE EXPENDABLE WICKED
Dan.6:23-24 "Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. (24) And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast [them] into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den." A hymnwriter wrote: "When Daniel faithful to His God would not bow down to men, and by his enemies was hurled into the lions' den. God shut the lions' mouths, we read, and robbed them of their prey...." What the hymnwriter did not enlarge upon is this incredible turn of events which followed Daniel's deliverance. It is a profound example of something that Solomon noted in his proverbs: Pro.11:8 "The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead." It may be observed, 1) As here, there are temporal salvations (deliverance = salvation, Joel 2:32 c/w Acts 2:21) which God works for His beloved people; He commands "deliverances for Jacob" (Psa.44:4), especially for those who in faith call upon His name (Psa.34:6 c/w Rom.10:13). 2) God is well-pleased to take the wise in their own craftiness (1 Co.3:19) and to make the wicked fall into the pit they digged for others (Pro.26:27). Daniel's deliverance at the expense of the wicked is a glorious case of the working of God's vengeance against those who presume to violate the apple of His eye. It is not only in death that the righteous are favored to the chagrin of the wicked; it is sometimes in life. At times when God's people may think themselves utterly lost and swallowed up by the hateful horde, yet God can flex His mighty arm and turn the tables on the oppressor. Mordecai was saved from the gallows which wicked Haman had built for him, and "they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai" (Est.7:10). Peter was delivered from impending death in prison; his keepers were then slain instead, and Herod shortly died a grisly death (Acts 12:1-23). The children of Israel were saved from the waters of the Red Sea but their Egyptian pursuers were drowned therein (Heb.11:29). So beloved, so precious are His saints in God's eyes, that He gives men for them: Isa.43:3-4 "For I [am] the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt [for] thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. (4) Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life." Behold, and be amazed. Be thankful. You are loved so greatly that God would slay others in your stead. He even gave His only begotten Son in your stead. Glory!