Published Jan 4, 2022
By Shelia Walsh
There are examples of breakthrough scattered throughout the entire Bible, but rarely do we see an example where breakthrough happens the same way twice.
There are different examples of breakthrough looking at the experiences and responses of Daniel and Moses. Both were men seeking breakthrough and both in desperate need of a powerful move of God. Though breakthrough looked different for each of them, the avenue through which He brought breakthrough was the same: in response to prayer.
Let’s get started with Daniel’s story, a man who experienced both immediate and delayed breakthrough at different times in his life.
Daniel’s story begins with the Israelites being taken into captivity in Babylon, a catastrophic time that had been foreseen by the prophets for generations. The Israelites fate was a result of their refusal to repent, so they found themselves taken hostage, Jerusalem and the temple destroyed. They were forced to live in a pagan land, and ordered to bow down to pagan gods.
Despite the orders of this new king, Daniel proved himself to be a godly man no matter where he lived. As he grew, he was given a place of honor in the palace, which did not sit well with others in authority. They were determined to get rid of him. King Darius loved and respected Daniel, but he was tricked into signing a decree that if anyone prayed to any god apart from the king for the next thirty days, they would be thrown into a lions’ den.
Those in high office knew that Daniel prayed to the Lord three times a day, unhidden, unashamed, praying on his knees beside an open window that faced the ruins of Jerusalem. When those seeking his downfall reported that Daniel had been seen praying, his fate was sealed. King Darius was devastated by the news, but could not go back on his decree. His last words to Daniel before he was taken off to be torn apart were these: “May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you” (Dan. 6:16).
Do not let the familiarity of this story blind you to the terror and peril of Daniel’s situation. History tells us that the Persians employed many forms of torture, some excruciatingly painful. They would have expected the lions to tear Daniel apart and that nothing would be left in the morning but a few bones.
So they threw him into the pit or cave, and the entrance was sealed so that no one could break it and rescue him. But then, we read of God’s miraculous intervention providing the breakthrough Daniel needed. Angels were sent to seal the mouths of the lions.
In the morning, the king, who hadn’t been able to sleep all night, hurried down to the den and called out before he had the heart to have the seal broken.
“Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “Long live the king! My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.” The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.” (Dan. 6:20–23)
I’m certain you can recall a time in your life when, like Daniel, your need for breakthrough was immediate. You may even have a testimony of God nearly instantaneously delivering you from that circumstance. However, we often find ourselves having to wait weeks, months, even years longer than we think before we see the breakthrough we’ve been waiting for. Daniel experienced that sort of breakthrough in his life too.