Sunday, August 21, 2011



Sunday’s lesson is “Faithful Old Daniel.”  No longer the purposed young man taken from Judah into captivity, he has answered and counseled several kings.  Now his political enemies (last mentioned in Politics, As Usual) have succeeded in backing him into a corner with the decree Darius signed that said:

… 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 KJV)

All Daniel had to do to save his life was nothing.

The commandments told Daniel that he must love the Lord, his God, with all his heart, soul and mind – but there was no commandment requiring him to petition Him daily.  So, for those thirty days, Daniel simply had to do nothing.

We’re very good at that, aren’t we?  Most of us pass a church or two every single day.  Daniel was in a country that did not offer him that opportunity.  We’re very good at saying, “I go on Sunday morning, and that’s enough.”  It takes faithfulness to attend the remaining services and activities. I don’t know about your church, but attendance is highest on Sunday morning than it is for any other service.

It appears Daniel was alone, too.  No mention of the three companions we hear of earlier in the book.  No peer pressure, no supportive fellowship, just communion with his God.  Simply say nothing in prayer for thirty days.

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. (Daniel 6:10 KJV)

Daniel did not allow the laws written by men of malice to change his relationship with God. He did as he had always done, in a window open to the world, not quietly in a closet.  To have changed his habit would have been to acknowledge an earthly power.

The God he petitioned is the same God I petition.  The gifts we have received are not.  We are unique, as is our calling.  I am grateful that God’s will has not taken me on the same paths of Joseph and Daniel, though I am blessed by their lives.

Faced with Daniel’s death, Darius looked for a way out:

Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him. (Daniel 6:14 KJV)

Once signed, the law of the Medes and Persians could not be changed, and Daniel’s enemies had counted on this.

In our world we often choose to do nothing.  Thus our beliefs, our Lord, is not visible through us.  By his consistent actions, Daniel displayed his love of God.  Will we continue to choose nothing?

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