As I have said in other entries, the way we behave, in our workplace, in our lives, in every environment that we are in, should reflect God.
Submissions to masters. This is a subject mentioned in three different epistles in the New Testatment. As Christians, we are to submit to our employers rules and regulations. But what happens when our faith comes into conflict with our work? Our vocation can help us pay our bills, but ultimately, we answer to the Lord. We will examine this further today as we watch what happens with Daniel in the one story every child of God, from young to old, knows, Daniel being thrown into the lion’s den.
At about this time, Daniel is 80 years old and has now served in a high position under two different empires. Furthermore, Daniel is one of three governors in the kingdom serving under Darius and then later under Cyrus, who ultimately allows the Israelites to return. Under Daniel and the other two governors are 120 satraps.
Now for those who don’t know what a satrap is, they would be the equivalent of a county or town execcutive. So, the local satraps, as we read, try to set Daniel up, using his own faith against him, since they could find no wrong doing in him. The first lesson of this is, let your work be above reproach or questioning amongst your underlings or your peers. Don’t give anyone a reason to be able to accuse you of doing something wrong, either in your workplace or your life. The second lesson is this, when you are in a high position or a position of rank, there are those who are going to use every means at their disposal to get at you and make you look bad.
Let’s look at what the local satraps did in Daniel 6:
4 So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” 6 So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever! 7 All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.” 9 Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.
Now, I’d like to say King Darius was not a bad guy, just a little gullible. He bought into the whole line the other governors, Daniel’s peers, and the satraps, Daniel’s underlings, were saying. It was fully within his power to say no about it, but he didn’t. And as we see later on, when the satraps and governors snitch on Daniel, he realizes he’s been duped and tries to find a way out for Daniel. But this is where it gets interesting.
Darius, while not a follower of God, recognized the power of our heavenly Father. Darius knew who Daniel’s God was and told him blatantly, this is a paraphrase, “Daniel, I know Who has your back. If it’s in His will to protect you, I’ll see you in the morning.” But having to pronounce the sentence over his own decree tore Darius up so badly he “spent the night fasting and no musicians were brought before him. Also his sleep went from him.” So, as you see here, Daniel’s devotion to the Almighty God not only brought recognition of Him to his superior, but had a profound effect on Darius, just as a person.
But let’s see what happens here.
19 Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”
21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”
23 Now the king was exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.
Darius Honors God
24 And the king gave the command, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions—them, their children, and their wives; and the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den.
25 Then King Darius wrote:
To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:
Peace be multiplied to you.
26 I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, And steadfast forever;
His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, And His dominion shall endure to the end.
27 He delivers and rescues, And He works signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
Well now, isn’t that interesting. Not only does God save Daniel from the lions, but King Darius issues a decree that Daniel’s God, our God, should be the one feared and trembled before. He recognizes God’s sovereignity and that His kingdom will have no end. So here is the final lesson from today’s reading.
As I have said in other entries, the way we behave, in our workplace, in our lives, in every environment that we are in, should reflect God. We should be showing His love, compassion, patience and integrity in everything we do. Will we have people come against us. Absolutely. But if you trust in Him, are loyal to Him and always seek Him in prayer and worship, then those folks who do come against you won’t matter. They can’t stand against Him and they will get their comeuppance when He is ready to dish it out.
Until tomorrow, when we begin to examine Daniel’s prophecies, be blessed.