We are home from our vacation and back to reality, sigh. Mounds of laundry washed, ranch chores caught up, dusty floors (oh, I am looking forward to rain!) cleaned, and other assorted clean-it-up or find-a-place-for-it kind of to-do’s have been accomplished. Almost everything is watered and happy. The dog even got groomed, wow! Time to sit on the couch, provide a lap for my oh-so-needy kitty, and spend a moment of quiet time with God.
I am still in the book of Daniel. Nearly everyone has heard the story of Daniel in the lions’ den. But does everyone know why he ended up there? Because he treasured his quiet times with God more than his own life. Oh, let me treasure time with you, God, more than my own life! Let me set aside my chores and to-do’s and carve out more and more time to be alone with You!
“Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. 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. 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.’ ” ~ Daniel 6:3-5 (NKJV)
The muckety-mucks of the kingdom were jealous of Daniel. He was faithful and honest. And because of his faithfulness and honesty, Daniel was found without fault or error. Oh, that I might live a life like Daniel, where people recognize “an excellent spirit” (the Holy Spirit) in me, and where there is no fault or error found in my service to God and others!
Daniel was known for his devotion to “his God”, the One True God. So the governors and satraps devised a plan. They sweet-talked King Darius into signing a law making it a capital offense to make a petition before any man or god except the king for thirty days. And then they made their way over to Daniel’s place, for they knew what they would find.
“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. And they went before the king…” ~ Daniel 6:10-12a (NKJV)
The law of the Medes and Persians was firm. Once a decree was signed, no one, not even the king, could alter it. When the men tattled on Daniel to the king, Darius was devastated. He knew he must follow through with the law and order Daniel be thrown to the lions. Yet King Darius also knew something about Daniel, and about the God Daniel served: “But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, ‘Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.’ ” ~ Daniel 6:16b (NKJV)
Do we live our lives in such a way that we are testifying of the power and faithfulness of the God we serve? Do we serve Him “continually”? And do we have faith like King Darius did ~ “He will deliver you” ~ in a God he didn’t even know personally?
God did deliver Daniel, sending an angel to seal the mouths of the lions. The conniving governors and satraps were punished severely. And then King Darius made a new decree.
“Then King Darius wrote: To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. 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. 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.” ~ Daniel 6:25-27 (NKJV)
Darius was another king, served by Daniel, who testified before his entire kingdom of the One True God, amazing! (See Daniel 4 for King Nebuchadnezzar’s personal testimony.)
“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.” Amen!