“I’m amazed and delighted at how well your precincts are complying with the new tax laws being imposed on them, Daniel. I usually get some skimming from those in charge. What makes you so different from the others?” Darius sat forward on his throne.
Daniel shrugged. “My God won’t allow me to take what doesn’t belong to me. It’s one of our basic laws.”
The king sat back and smiled. “I should make you the top administrator of this government. I’ve never met a man like you in all the world.”
A few days later Daniel stood in attendance along with the other government officials for a special announcement from King Darius.
Darius stood in front of his throne. “All of you know that tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of our takeover of the Babylonian government. In celebration of that milestone all government business will cease for the next day. You are free to do whatever your heart desires. I also have a new decree signed into immediate effect.”
He reached over, took the parchment from the satrap next to him and read it. “‘Anyone who prays, pays homage to, or in anyway acknowledges any god other than King Darius for the next thirty days shall be thrown into the lion’s den.’ I shall remind you that any laws signed into effect by the Medes and Persians cannot be altered or changed by any means.”
He looked out over the group. All eyes seemed to be focused on Daniel. Daniel stood erect silently staring back at the king.
Darius raised his arms. “You are dismissed.”
A loud cheer filled the air. Groups of men parted for various partying facilities. Daniel strode quietly home alone.
When he got home he went upstairs and opened the window facing west. “Jerusalem, the chosen city of the LORD’s temple, my eyes shall not see you again. Yet, my mind still walks your streets.”
He dropped to his knees and bowed his head on the sill for his usual prayer. “LORD, I know there is no other god before You. No matter what laws are written that will never change. I will face whatever consequence comes from obeying You alone.”
He noticed a group of men watching him the three times he repeated this the next day.
Later in the day Daniel opened his door in response to a knock. Some top government officials faced him. “King Darius needs to see us all immediately.”
Daniel stepped out and closed the door behind him. The men made sure Daniel was in front of them when they stood before the throne.
Darius stared at Daniel. “Is it true that you continue to pray to your God even after my edict went into effect?”
Daniel nodded. “I will continue to worship the one true God of all creation as long as I live. No matter what man-made laws are written.”
The king glanced at the crowd, then back at Daniel. “To the lions’ den with you!”
Daniel leaned toward the king as they approached the enclosure. “I’m ready to die, my king. I’ve lived a good long life. My God can save me if He pleases. My life is in His hands not yours.”
They lowered Daniel into the pit. The echo from the lions’ roars was deafening.
Darius leaned over and looked at the captive. “May your God save you, Daniel.”
The stone was rolled over the pit’s entrance. After awhile Daniel heard the door to the big cats open. The hairs on his body stood up as the sound increased. He closed his eyes and sent up a prayer. “LORD God I know You will be glorified in this.”
When he opened his eyes Daniel saw a man in front of the lions. His calm voice quieted their growls. “There now Brutus. This one is off limits to you. Be kind to My friend and I’ll see to it you get a hearty breakfast.”
The largest cat approached Daniel and nosed his hand up. His mane rubbed Daniel’s side. Daniel stroked the cat’s back.
Brutus laid down. Two other male lions laid down nearby forming a mat with their manes. Daniel laid on their make-shift bed. A forth lion covered Daniel’s feet. He drifted off into a deep sleep.
Don’t you just love a good story where the hero survives against all odds? The best part about this story is that it actually happened.
The story didn’t end here. King Darius ended up feeding the men who set Daniel up for this to the very lions that didn’t eat Daniel. Not only those men, but their families as well. I know that sounds gruesome, but that’s how it occurred.
Then King Darius issued another decree that was sent throughout his kingdom that declared everyone was to fear and reverence Daniel’s one true God who saved him from the lions.
That was one of those decrees from the Medes and Persians that can’t be changed. So, are you fearing and reverencing this one true God of Daniel?
You still can, you know. The God of Daniel is the same God seated on Heaven’s throne today.
There are times when it’s prudent to ignore man’s laws. When they interfere with worshiping God we are to supersede His will for their desires.
Daniel recognized this as one of those times in his life. He was willing to die rather than stop his usual practice of praying openly to God.
Have you developed your relationship with God that you’re as willing to die for Him?
In my teen years a sentiment went out that asked a simple question. If it was against the law to be a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Daniel’s enemies had to design a law that attacked his beliefs in order to get rid of him because they couldn’t find anywhere that he defied the laws on the books.
Can the same thing be said of you and me?
I’ll see you later. Wade