October 27, 2021

October 27, 2021

Author: Pastor Bernard Ibrahim
October 27, 2021

“It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; and over them three high officials of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. Then these men said, ‘We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.
Then these high officials and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, ‘O King Darius, live forever! All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.’ Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction.
When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.”

Daniel 6:1-10

There are many applications for us in this passage. But there are two things I want everyone to mediate on. One thing is Daniel—we see details in v. 1-3. Think about Daniel’s job. He is an Israelite slave, brought by the Babylonians. He was brought in as an intern and brought up through the ranks. We don’t now what happened to the rest of his family, the Scripture doesn’t tell us: he was kind of alone. Then after a few years in a position in that government, that government was overthrown and the Medes and Persians are now in charge. They don’t kill or imprison him. They actually put him in their government. He is now working in their government. He has actually been elevated in their government, as we see in this passage. He is neither a Babylonian nor a Persian.

It is amazing to realize how Daniel must have conducted himself, of course the Lord helping him, in his attitude toward government. So that he with a clear conscience would do his work well and be so distinguished that he is working for a, you could say evil and idolatrous and evil, anti-God government, and he is a part of that government and he is seeking to rule well, to administer well. He is seeking to do a very good job for his leadership and authorities. Not only is he submitting to them and honoring them, he is serving them. We see there, he is serving them with an excellent spirit. We see a good attitude, good heart, good outside appearance, and what must be excellent work that is doing for them. That just comes out of the page. God prospered his work.

This often is a question for us, “how are we to live in this world?” How are we to serve ungodly rulers, ungodly governments? How are we to submit to or relate to ungodly managers, those whom God has put over us, those that God has put over us. The Scriptures are clear. You can look at Romans 13:1 “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God…” Or you can see I Peter 2:12 “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” So that is Daniel and his work and how God blessed his work and preserved him through two conquering empires and not only did he survive but he was blessed and now he is elevated. He is elevated to the point that these other men want him out of the way. They are envious of him, and envious of his position—that King Darius would think to put him over the kingdom.

So, when this bad law comes out, obviously with Daniel as the target. There is evil intention to get Daniel killed by execution, legally by the law. They knew he would be faithful to his God. Daniel doesn’t take a second thought. This is the instruction for us. Daniel didn’t have to struggle in making this decision. If you look at v. 10, “when Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees [not in defiance, not in a dare, but] as he had done previously.” This is to me more amazing than him being elevated by the Babylonians or Medes or Persians. He had no conflict with submitting to the idolatrous, evil king. Doing his job that God had given him, doing it well, doing it with an excellent spirit. But he also did not hesitate when he was called upon to choose between serving God as he knew he should, and in this case his commitment to prayer, and obeying this new law. We can see throughout his life, he, with few exceptions (maybe Daniel 1), did not ever deviate from following or obeying the government’s laws and doing what they asked him to do.

I find it instructional for me, for us, that faithfulness whether in the work that God has given us with respect to those that He has put over us, or when there are times that we find ourselves in conflict with our commitment to God, which is superior overall, and what others ask of us. Daniel doesn’t hesitate. He doesn’t say, “I’m worried about my position” or “I’m worried about career growth” or “maybe I can hide at this time.” He trusts God. You can see that. It is not just implied. Where does this resolution come from? It is actually stated, if you jump down to Daniel 6:23. “Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him.” There was not a scratch, not as if there were some kind of partial tooth marks in him and the lion let go. Not even a scratch from the drop into the den. It was because, v. 23, “… he had trusted in his God.”

This, to me, is an explanation of his resolution and his ability to be faithful to King Darius and be faithful to the laws of the kingdom he had to serve and to be faithful to God. He was called upon to resist this new law that came out, seeking to harm him in particular. His resolution was to do what he did every day with respect to his God, because he trusted God as to the outcome. Whether he would survive or not was not the really the question in Daniel’s mind. He did not know he would not get eaten by lions. He trusted his God. That, to me, is encouraging, instructional and gives us direction for how to live our lives. By faith, in a world where we are also aliens, sojourners, and where in many ways we are not in our home.