Read Daniel 6
Focus on verse 5
It cannot be an easy thing to be a honest politician in our current political environment, and though I would not say it is impossible, it does seem that most truly honorable people for some reason seem to be choosing other occupations. I would also add that this trend is unfortunate. It is exactly because honest, honorable people avoid getting involved in politics that the political landscape has turned into somewhat of a moral cesspool.
As I consider what I know of the history of politics it would seem evident that corruption within the ranks of political power is not a new problem. Apparently it was already rife in the courts of the Persian Empire and perhaps even further back in history.
In today’s reading we find Daniel to be the main character of the story. His reputation in the kingdom is squeaky clean. His fellow high officials who are seeking to dig up some kind of charge they can bring against Daniel keep coming up with nothing. They finally have a little secret meeting where they admit that the only way they will find anything against Daniel is if they cook something up in connection with Daniel’s allegiance to God.
They finally come up with a plan that involves convincing the king to sign an edict that forbids the worship of anything other than the king himself for thirty days. The plan seems to work initially as Daniel continues to worship his God as always, so the king, bound by this edict, is required to sentence Daniel to be night lunch for the lions at the local zoo. This situation distresses King Darius greatly because he likes Daniel and realizes too late that this was a plot cooked up by the other officials who were jealous of Daniel’s position. The king reluctantly goes through with the execution praying that somehow Daniel’s God would prevent the inevitable hoping against hope that perhaps Daniel would be inedible to the lions. Miraculously, in the morning when the king goes out to the lion pit – he finds Daniel unscathed and immediately arranges for him to be rescued from the lion pit. The king then arranges for the men who accused Daniel to take his place. Unfortunately for these unscrupulous individuals – the lions were apparently very hungry and not in a very good mood after fasting all night.
The lesson in all this once again seems to be how God uses the greed and unscrupulous pursuit of power of a few corrupt politicians to highlight the impeccable reputation and stalwart faith of Daniel ultimately causing a secular Persian King to issue the following decree to all the people in the kingdom:
I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end.” (v. 26)
So I wonder… is it possible that all it would take for America to begin to return to her biblical moral roots is for one faithful politician to be willing to be thrown to the lions trusting that God would come to his or her defense?
It was desperate measures that prompted the officials to attempt to set Daniel up to be cat food. It was desperate measures that prompted Darius to toss and turn and pray all night as Daniel undoubtedly prayed in the lion’s den. It is often desperate measures that place us in a position where if God does not come through – we are done, however, it is in exactly during desperate times such as this that God’s power and sovereignty is most clearly evident. What is most often lacking seems to be a person willing to risk everything to honor God.