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Are You the Cause of Collateral Damage?

Every day’s news reports are loaded with heart wrenching stories from around the world of death and destruction of all sorts that make people wonder about where God is in allowing things like this to happen. Innoce

Children board a bus headed for school and roadside bombs are detonated because they are of Shiite or Sunni background. A young teenager finds herself in a love triangle where drugs and guns intermix to cause death. Is it that CNN or the news media are just more apt to tell us about all of the death and hurt that is happening or is this a new phase of human existence that calls for drastic actions to exert one’s point of view to be heard and understood?

When I was reading about Daniel (Old Testament) in the Bible recently I was reminded of what happened when he defied a King’s orders to worship a false god. When he refused to go along with that idea, jealous observers ran to the king to turn him in. That’s when the king decided that to uphold his rules; he had to punish Daniel and so he had him thrown into the den of lions much against the king’s actual wishes as he was very fond of Daniel.

So Daniel spent the entire night locked in the midst of these wild and vicious animals and the next morning the king returned expecting Daniel to be left in pieces and parts by the hungry cats. But Daniel says to him, “…my God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not hurt me, because I was found blameless before him…”

What follows is most shocking to my human senses as the king then not only celebrates the life and faith of Daniel, but has the people thrown into the lion’s den that originally turned Daniel in for his “worship” of the “wrong” God. Not only does the king throw these guys to the lions but he throws in their children and their wives and suddenly the lions destroy them unmercifully.

If you are expecting me to offer wisdom about why the women and children were slaughtered in this story, I am woefully inadequate in my Biblical knowledge or in my years of acceptance of God’s will for my life when I can’t get my own questions all answered. What is amazing about this story is that Daniel’s witness and example were found blameless. Does God really hold my children and family members hostage because of my sins? Did God hold these members of the king’s court accountable for the sins of the family?

This is not clear from the story but it comes back time and again that innocent people often suffer great indignities in this lifetime. The only trade off that I can offer you is that the hero of this story as in so many areas of the Bible are people who have remained faithful to the Lord in difficult times. Maybe this is just one of those very times! (Daniel 6)

Sent October 23, 2006

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