“Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.” (Daniel 6:16)
King Darius had one hundred twenty princes and over them three presidents. Daniel the Jewish prophet was the first president. Darius liked him best because “…an excellent spirit was in him;” (Daniel 6:3) He admired Daniel’s godliness. However, the other leaders wanted Daniel gone, so they wrote a law like this: “…whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.” (Daniel 6:7)
The law was crazy if you look at it. Under the law, a guy asking to use a neighbor’s tools without asking the king first could be thrown to the lions. Yet they wrote this law because they knew Daniel prayed. It was targeted at him. Unfortunately, Darius didn’t catch the plot. The bad guys fast-talked him into signing it, then hurried to Daniel’s house and caught him praying. Then they told Darius.
Darius realized what they’d done, but it was too late. He’d signed the law. He “…laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.” (Daniel 6:14), probably looking desperately for an out, but the plotters reminded him that even he couldn’t change the law. Darius sadly put Daniel into the den, but he told him, “Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.” (Daniel 6:16)
When Darius hurried to the den in the morning, Daniel was fine. He told Darius, “My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me:” (Daniel 6:22) Darius was thrilled. He took Daniel out of the den and threw his accusers and their families into it.
We see Daniel’s obedience and God’s might in this story. We also see that treacherous people can do awful things for the sake of power. Now, what if the lions had killed Daniel? Could the bad guys have declared victory? Probably not. After this “thirty-day law” stunt, Darius saw what they were up to. If they could plot to have Daniel killed, no doubt they’d be willing to do the same to Darius.
The bad guys wanted power on their terms. Daniel was in the way, so they plotted to get rid of him. They knew how to use the legal system to their advantage, so they hustled the law through, knowing it couldn’t be changed. They thought they were slick, but they didn’t count on God.
As an elected official, you have a job that is ordained by God: “…the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1) The Bible has more words of guidance about government leadership than possibly any other job. Yet as our story points out, government officials may not always fear God. They may care only about power and even use their knowledge of the law to do treacherous things. As Jesus said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16)
As a public official, then, read God’s Word and pray often for wisdom and guidance to promote righteousness in government, as Daniel did. When a bill comes up for a vote, look at it closely. Pray for wisdom to see flaws or sneaky language. If it’s bad but you’re being pressured to support it, pray for the grace to vote no. Others around you may not like it either, but someone needs to lead. That someone may be you. Finally, as in our story, remember that God will have the final say, one way or the other. He also said, “…them that honour me I will honour,” (1 Samuel 2:30) When you strive to honor God in your life, watch how He honors obedience, even in the fierce arena of politics.
If you want to know how to be sure of a home in heaven, the Bible tells us how. Please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “Helpful Links”, then “How Do I Go to Heaven?”
Brian Miller 7/2/2021
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822