Read Daniel 6:1-15
1It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, 2with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. 3Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. 5Finally these men said, "We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God."
6So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: "O King Darius, live forever! 7The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions' den. 8Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered — in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed." 9So King Darius put the decree in writing.
10Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 11Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: "Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or man except to you, O king, would be thrown into the lions' den?"
The king answered, "The decree stands — in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed."
13Then they said to the king, "Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day." 14When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.
15Then the men went as a group to the king and said to him, "Remember, O king, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed." (NIV)
Here we have the beginning of one of the more known stories in the Bible, Daniel in the lion’s den. We see that this is a repeated situation from earlier with Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Once again, we see that there are those who hated those who followed God and were looking for ways to get rid of them. Only this time, it is the enemies of Daniel who recommend the edict be issued that they knew Daniel would not obey.
If we are true to our faith, we will have people who are put off by it and even want to stop us. When Jesus sent the 12 out to proclaim the good news, he gave them this warning. In Matthew 10:17-23 we find these words of Jesus:
“Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. . . . All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (NIV)
There are people who will simply hate us. But Jesus also reminded the disciples of this which we find in John 15:18, where Jesus says: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”
As we move forward in our country, Christians are going to be put in ever increasing measure to deny their faith to keep their lives from trouble. There has already been so many things taken from Christians over the last 40 years and for the most part, we have simply let go of these things from us without complaint to avoid conflict.
Daniel could have simply stopped praying for 30 days and nothing would have happened to him. But he choose to honor his relationship with God and thus allow God an opportunity to use him to advance God’s message. This can be a hard call, but down through the centuries, believers have stood fast in their faith, even when confronted with death.
For the nearly 300 years after Christ’s death, Christians were asked to deny their faith or be killed. And the majority of these believers chose death over denial. Their stand over the years changed a nation. They were consistent in their actions as a people.
We need to stand once again with this same conviction. We need to live not fearing the world. Jesus in that same instruction the 12 being sent out also said in Matthew 10:28, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” We need to regain this healthy “fear” of God. The fear is really complete trust and honor of God.
There will be those who want to get you to deny your faith. Have you seen this in your own life’s journey? Have you been asked to not share your faith? Have you been told to keep your religion to yourself? These are ways that people seek to silence Christians.
How would you handle this situation Daniel found himself in? This is a question all of us need to have thought through at some point. But we also need to remember that God will be with us in that moment to.
Learn to trust God with your very life.
Blessings and Peace