Have you ever been the victim of an unfair law? On a local level? State level? National level? Have you known people who have been hurt by these laws or who stand to lose their livelihood or freedom or life?
It doesn’t seem to matter which faction is in power, someone is at odds with the authorities. There are marches in protest. Rallies against the injustice. Different sides can’t seem to find a solution that works for everyone and the whole country, sometimes the world, ends up in unrest.
This is unsettling for all. Disturbing to our way of life. No one wants to have this constant turmoil in our country but no one has a solution.
In the book of Daniel, we read that Daniel is one of the top three government officials. He has the king’s ear. But there are others just as powerful and many who are trusted advisors that the king also listens to. And some of those officials are jealous of Daniel’s place in government and would like to get rid of him, especially when Daniel became distinguished above all the others.
You’d think this would give Daniel protection and power. However, the advisors have those silver tongues and know how to word their request so it flatters the king and he doesn’t take time to consider the consequences. (A danger to those in power is listening to advice and not taking the time to hear all sides.)
“Then these high officials and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.” Daniel 6:6-8 (ESV)
How many of us would have been furious about this? Might have joined a protest or organized a rally? Done a march through the city to get support?
Remember, the king loved Daniel. I’m sure Daniel tried to talk to him but there were so many others who were convincing and complementary so the king listened to them. He signed the decree into law.
What did Daniel do? He followed his normal pattern.
“When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.” Daniel 6:10 (ESV)
It’s interesting that Daniel didn’t rail against the injustice. He didn’t tell God what He should do. I don’t believe he asked God to strike down the king and the advisors. Why? Because, he prayed and gave thanks like he normally did. Nothing new here. Just praising God for Who He is and what He’s done.
Of course, we all know the story. Daniel was thrown in the lion’s den. The king stayed up all night concerned for his friend and trusted official. Daniel was saved. The lion’s mouths were closed by God. Daniel was released in the morning.
We can learn two important lessons from this story. First, we need to have a daily pattern of meeting with God—praising Him and acknowledging who He is. Second, we have to trust Him to take care of us. Even when the situation looks dire. When the worst that could happen is happening. Still we must trust Him.
The next time we want to rail at injustice or complain about new laws that we don’t agree with, we should go to our place of prayer and lift up some praise. Show God that we put Him over anything that comes against us. Show Him our utter devotion and trust. Just like Daniel.