Let me ask those who identify themselves as a Christ-follower this question. If a law passed that didn’t allow you to pray in your home, would you follow that law, or would you ignore it even if you knew there was certain punishment if you got caught?
In Daniel chapter 6, Daniel faced that very incident. Being now in his eighties, Daniel spends most of his life in Babylonian captivity. Because of his experience and impressive resume, he is hand-picked for a position as an administrator. King Darius is so impressed with Daniel he wanted to promote him. This didn’t go over well with the other administrators, so they set him up in a legal trap. They persuade the king to come up with a ridiculous rule that only allowed people to pray to the king and no other god for the next thirty days or be put to death. The laws made back in this period of time were binding with no way to retract the law. Once it passed, it’s a done deal. Of course, Daniel is set up and “tattled” on by the administrators to the king. The king though he tries to find a way out for Daniel has no other choice but to follow the law and sentence Daniel to be executed in the usual Persian way at the time, cast into the lion’s den.
So Daniel is cast in the den. The king (who by the way has a lot of respect for Daniel) is up all night. At the break of dawn, the king goes to the lions’ den to check on Daniel. Much to the king’s amazement, Daniel is still alive. God’s angel came and shut the mouths of the lions. The king then orders Daniel to be taken out of the den.
Think About This
It occurs to me that Daniel could have avoided this entire situation, deciding to pray somewhere else than in front of his window. Why did Daniel choose to ignore the law knowing he could be punished? Daniel chose to remain faithful and stand up for what he believed to be right. Knowing full well that he may be facing death, he trusted God, resolved to rely on Him no matter what the outcome would be.
It is getting harder and harder, even in this country, for Christians to live out their faith publicly. Intolerance for Christians is on the rise. In a book called So Many Christians, So Few Lions, it states that 32% of all Americans like conservative Christians significantly less than other social groups*.
We very well could be faced with situations that will put us in a position similar to Daniel’s. Do we stand for Jesus Christ, or do we “go with the flow”? Do we trust God and do what is right, even if the outcome may be prison or a death sentence? I propose we dare to be Daniels.
Shining the Light Brighter
Here is where you can dig deeper to help you learn more and apply God’s word to your life.
- Have you experienced intolerance by others because of your faith? How did you handle the situation?
- Do you have a story you would like to share? Leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you.
*George Yancy – So Many Christians, So Few Lions