My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. Daniel 6:22
When Taher and his wife, Donya, became believers in Jesus, they knew they risked persecution in their home country. Indeed, one day Taher was blindfolded, handcuffed, imprisoned, and charged with apostasy. Before he appeared at trial, he and Donya agreed that they wouldn’t betray Jesus.
What happened at the sentencing amazed him. The judge said, “I don’t know why, but I want to take you out of the whale’s and lion’s mouths.” Then Taher “knew that God was acting”; he couldn’t otherwise explain the judge referencing two passages in the Bible (see Jonah 2; Daniel 6). Taher was released from prison and the family later found exile elsewhere.
Taher’s surprising release echoes the story of Daniel. A skilled administrator, he was going to be promoted, which made his colleagues jealous (Daniel 6:3–5). Plotting his downfall, they convinced King Darius to pass a law against praying to anyone other than the king—which Daniel ignored. King Darius had no choice but to throw him to the lions (v. 16). But God “rescued Daniel” and saved him from death (v. 27), even as He saved Taher through the judge’s surprising release.
Many believers today suffer for following Jesus, and sometimes they even are killed. When we face persecution, we can deepen our faith when we understand that God has ways we can’t even imagine. Know that He’s with you in whatever battles you face.
How do you respond to the story of Taher and Donya’s commitment to Christ? How can you trust in the unlimited power of God?
Saving God, help me to trust in You when the obstacles feel insurmountable.
Daniel 6 indicates it was unlawful for a Persian king to take back an official decree (vv. 8, 12, 15). So, despite regretting his edict (vv. 14, 18), King Darius allowed Daniel to receive the decreed sentence.
Being thrown into the lions’ den was a kind of sentence sometimes called “innocence by ordeal,” where someone accused is put in a situation that should result in death (such as death by lions, fire, or poison). If, by divine intervention, the person is miraculously saved from what should’ve been certain death, it was considered proven that they were innocent of wrongdoing.