Verse of the Day Devotion. Daniel 6:5
“Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God.” – Daniel 6:5
Now Darius, after defeating Belshazzar and Babylon overall, appointed 120 Satraps over his kingdom. Satrap is a word that means ‘protector of the kingdom.’ Because of the Persian Empire’s vast size (the largest empire the world had known), it was divided into many smaller territories, and the satraps spoken of here evidently denote lesser officials who ruled over these smaller areas. Now Daniel was, by the Satraps and the king himself, thought highly of. “Then this Daniel began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit, and the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom.” Daniel 6:3.
After some time had passed, the commissioners and the Satraps were trying to find some fault in what he did. However, they could find nothing. “Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him. Then these men said, We shall not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God.” Daniel 6:4-5. Since they could not find anything against Daniel regarding his government dealings, they decide to take another course by looking at his religious dealings.
So they went to Darius with a recommendation. “King Darius, live forever! All the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the high officials and the governors have consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall be cast into the lions’ den. Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document so that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked.” Daniel 6:8-9. So, Darius signed the document, and thus the injunction.
Now, when Daniel heard about this, he made no changes in his devotion to God. “Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.” Daniel 6:10. He saw what was designed, but he knew whom he served. It was not any other gods but the True God, Yahweh. As a point of interest, when the Jews were in distant countries in prayer, they turned their faces towards Jerusalem; and when in Jerusalem, they turned their faces towards the temple.
Now it was obvious they were watching Daniel closely, for “these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God.” Daniel 6:11. It would have been ok if he had gone before the gods of the Medes and Persians, but because he went before his God, that had him trapped. So they approached the king and asked him to agree that he had signed the petition outlawing going to any god but theirs. He responded with, “The statement is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked.” Daniel 6:12b. Then these men responded. “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the injunction which you signed, but keeps making his petition three times a day.” Daniel 6:13. What broke the injunction was his prayers to his God rather than their gods.
Now, I will finish chapter six next time, but what I wrote here brings out an important point that we also must follow. Daniel, upon hearing of this decree, chose not to follow it because first, he would not stop going to his God and giving Him glory as well as lifting up his requests to God. And secondly, he would give no credence to their gods for they were false gods and he would never go to anyone but the true God. And as we get closer to the time Jesus returns, more and more Christians will be ridiculed for worshipping and praying to God Almighty, but they will not complain about worship to other things. Moses warns against Idolatry. “When the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise? You shall not behave thus toward the LORD your God, for every abominable act which the LORD hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.” Deuteronomy 12:29-31.
When it becomes illegal to worship our God, the true God, we must be as Daniel was and continue worshipping Him and ignore the false gods that will be presented to us. He is worthy of this, and it is laid out above by Moses. If we, as Christians, give in to what they tell us and honor these false gods, we will be denying Him, and thus will be walking away from our faith. If we do what He desires, our eternal future will be glorious.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.