Monday 21 April 2014

Bible Book:

“When he came near the den where Daniel was, he cried out anxiously to Daniel, ‘O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you faithfully serve been able to deliver you from the lions?” (v. 20)

Daniel 6:1-28 Monday 21 April 2014


I'll start today with a confession. I am a biblically convictedrepublican. The example of kings in Scripture has been more thanenough to convince me that they are a bad idea, so no wonder Godtried to put the people of Israel off the idea (1Samuel 8:11-18). As the psalmist says "Do not put your trust inprinces, in mortals, in whom there is no help" (Psalm146:3).

In the wonderful story of Daniel in the lions' den we see howthe naiveté and vanity of King Darius allow him to be flatteredinto a bad decision, one he is apparently powerless to fix (alwaysa good excuse). Having failed to get anything right ends up relyingon Daniel's God for justice.

The contrast between Daniel and the other presidents, thesatraps and the king is stark.

Here we see King Darius completely failing to either thinkthrough his actions or take responsibility for the results. Theschemers and the powerful behind the throne get their way and a lawis passed that benefits them - if only things were differenttoday!

There is an interesting parallel with the story of Esther whenpowerful schemers got a law passed that could not be changed andwhich threatened the whole people of Israel with death. Esthermanaged to get an extra law passed that saved the people, whilehere Daniel is abandoned by the king to his death.

Then while Daniel is left in the sealed lions' den we read allabout how the king suffered unable to sleep or eat. Oh how thesafe, rich and powerful suffer! Yet despite my cynicism, at daybreak King Darius rushes to check on Daniel, calling out to see ifthe living God has saved him.

After remembering the resurrection of Jesus yesterday and thinking about new life, aform of resurrection, today we are left pondering how to apply thispassage from Daniel. Where is resurrection when the powerful claimto be unable to act to help the vulnerable and the victims of theiractions, and expect God to save others from the effects of thechoices the powerful have made?

To Ponder

  • How might decisions be manipulated by powerful peopletoday?
  • Who is ignored from decision making and how might thischange?
  • When unjust decisions are made who is responsible for changingthem and putting things right?
  • Is whether God will save people used as a test of whether theyare righteous today? Does God? To what extent is thisappropriate?
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