Summary: What are you known for? Daniel’s reputation and faithfulness stood the test in the face of death. Yours can too! Will it?
I’m sure you’ve all noticed all the signs everywhere these days. Vote for so and so! The primaries are just around the corner and we will be appointing men and women into the offices of public service for another few years.
Politics is a cutthroat place to be sometimes. An honest politician who stands by what he knows is right even in the face of great opposition is a rare bird indeed.
One recent politician said that he would do whatever it took to be elected. I say, any man who will do whatever it takes to be elected is not someone I want in office. Thank God for anyone like Daniel who works in Washington DC today.
Today we will look at a man of God who served in political office for many years. Some of his record of service is recorded for us in the book of Daniel.
Chapter 6 tells us one of the most popular stories in the Bible. It all happened in Babylon when Darius the Mede was king.
First we learn that Darius took notice of Daniel’s abilities and lifted him to a high position. Verses 1-3
Second we see that not everyone was happy about Darius’ decision. Verses 4-5
Third we see the devious nature of Daniel’s enemies and how they conspired to get rid of him. Verses 6-9.
Next we see the highlight of the whole story. It is not that Daniel was rescued from the lions. That was just a fringe benefit. The high point in this episode is how Daniel proves faithful to God, even in the face of this law that stood opposed to Daniel’s faith and practice.
We may find ourselves facing laws that are against God’s Word today. What about laws that tell our public school teachers and staff that they can no longer pray or share the Bible with their students? What about the laws that protect the so called right to kill an unborn child by abortion? What about the laws that endorse homosexuality and the move to ban a Christian’s right to speak out against it?
Our country has always been plagued with immoral laws. What about the laws that made it possible to own blacks as slaves? What about the laws that created the trail of tears? Immoral humans make immoral laws. There is only one perfect set of laws in this world, and they were given by one perfect lawgiver and recorded in one perfect book. Human lawgivers are all imperfect and so are their laws. There will always be people like those who conspired against Daniel, and there will always be political leaders like Darius who will be blinded to the evil intent of such conspiracy by pride or greed or whatever, and will put into law immoral legislation and have to enforce it. By God’s grace, there will also always be people of faith who will take a stand, people who will risk everything because they know and love the God of heaven and earth and are loyal and faithful to Him above all else.
My challenge to each of you is this: be one of those people. Dare to be a Daniel. Dare to stand alone. Dare to have a purpose true. Dare to make it known.
Isn’t it amazing that Daniel’s enemies couldn’t find anything in him to accuse him for? At least not in truth. Perhaps they were fearful of making a false accusation. They could have, you know. But maybe Daniel’s nearness to the king made that too difficult. What was known about Daniel was that he was a man of faith in his God. What a wonderful reputation!
When others look at your life, what are you known by? What is the first thing that others who know you well would say is the greatest feature in your life?
Daniel was certainly not a closet Christian, was he. He didn’t hide his faith at all. While this is true, it is obvious that he didn’t flaunt it either. Daniel didn’t need to try to make others think he was faithful to God, he just was faithful. When you are faithful to God, you don’t have to wear a tag saying so. It shows. You sound faithful. You look faithful. Your actions, attitudes and words all point to the truth of your heart.
Jesus, in the sermon on the mount, speaks of the private life of the one who is faithful. In prayer, in deed, and in fasting, Jesus taught us to do these things before God, to be seen by God, not men. Yet Jesus did say, You are the light of the world, and, let your light so shine before men so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. There is a difference between trying to look religious and really being that way. Daniel was really and truly a man of faith. A great religious show on the outside may convince some, but it won’t stop the lions. God knows.