Daniel & Saeed

Have you ever seen a picture of Daniel and the lion’s den in a children’s book?

Sometimes, the lions look more like plushies you could buy at F.A.O. Schwartz than the vicious, ill-tended-to, underfed, and totally feral creatures they probably were.

These lions were no one’s pets.  They had a dual purpose: to show off the kings’ power and to eat the flesh of anyone who crossed him the wrong way.  They represented the capricious nature and absolute authority of the king.  One day you could be a guest of honor at his table; the next, the dinner of his beasts.  More than any god or other mythological power, the king was to be feared.

The people of Daniel’s day had one primary fear: the wrath of the king of the greatest empire in the world.  It was a fear no one would have called irrational or over-exaggerated or misconstrued.  It was a fear no one questioned.  It was simply how you lived your life: under the thumb of a king wealthy beyond imagination, supreme in authority, and gorged on power.

It was exactly the way the unseen ruler of this world, Satan, prince of demons, intended it to be ran: Everyone worship the Babylonian and then the Persian superpower . . and in the growing fear of the king’s wrath . . in the awesome terror of enraging the king . . lose all capability of love for God.

Enter Daniel.

Daniel was extraordinary because he feared the invisible God more than he feared the visible and ferocious superpower of Babylon and Persia.

How many Daniels do you know?  Who do you know who would rather go to a lion’s den for God than a palace for Satan?

Who do you know who would descend into a lion’s den before he would ascend the gilded temple steps of Satan’s throne?

I know someone.

His name is Pastor Saeed Abedini.

Geographically, Pastor Saeed is imprisoned in what would have been Persia in Daniel’s day.

Daniel chose to be lowered into a black pit with ravenous beasts rather than deny God.

Saeed has chosen to be forced into a black pit with murderers rather than deny God.

Daniel was willing to face hungry lions before he would give up his love for God.

Saeed was willing to face separation from his family, imprisonment, violence, and death before he would give up his love for God.

Daniel was willing to give up his position as a respected Persian governor.

Saeed was willing to give up his position as a respected American citizen.

Daniel loved God more than he feared lions.

Saeed loves God more than he fears murderers.

Pastor Saeed is our modern day Daniel.

But here is something different about them:

Daniel was forced to go into exile in Babylon, and he later ended up in Persia where he would face the king’s lions.

But Pastor Saeed chose to leave the safety of America and take a plane to a country he knew to be one of the most dangerous in the world.  And he did it for love.

I think Daniel will very much want to meet Pastor Saeed one day.  They will have a lot to talk about.

As God shut the mouths of the lions in Daniel’s day, let us pray that God shuts the violence of Rajai Shahr prison down.

As You closed the mouths of the lions, God, close the violence of Rajai Shahr down.

In Jesus’ Name,


This blog is dedicated to Pastor Saeed.  Sign the petition here: http://beheardproject.com/saeed#sign.