Do all laws drafted in a country have the right intent and motive? Yesterday we saw that “The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (AARTO) has been ruled unconstitutional and invalid by the Pretoria High Court.” This was after many people had paid many fines and some most likely jailed and their vehicles impounded. Then we saw what the satraps did, their intent was malicious. They wanted Daniel discredited and removed from his powerful position out of jealousy because of whom he was, not because of any lack of ability on his part though. We ended yesterday with a brief glimpse at:
Da 6:6 So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: “O King Darius, live forever! 7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. 8 Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” 9 So King Darius put the decree in writing.
This was because they could find no fault with Daniel.
Da 6:4 They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. 5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”
1) Their actions were premeditated. This was not a spur of the moment matter, it was calculated, intentional and out of extreme ethnic hatred. We have already seen under two previous kings and now under Darius that Daniel was exemplary in all his actions, both in government and in private. We have seen he was a godly man, indwelt by the Spirit of God. We have seen how God had worked through him in interpreting dreams of the kings. Although the satraps were as a body not the same body as the leaders under the Babylonian reign, some of them must have been, but only as individuals would they have been part of the previous regimes. However, those who were would be showing their true colors and feelings about Daniel. Jealousy … yes. Hebrew … yes. When we think that in our country or any other countries in the world there are those government employees and appointees who are brilliant in their understanding of the arms of government as the they ought to function … yet at the same time there are those who are incompetent, lacking knowledge, but not realizing their inadequacies. In a church I used to pastor we had a fair amount of government employees. In listening to their stories I realized how much back biting, jealously and pure hatred there was amongst the subordinates as well as between them and their superiors. Without personal knowledge I will suggest this to be true in all countries. Most have ambition. Most want the next promotion. Someone high up in the ranks of a particular department told me that if you refuse to do “X, Y and Z” you would never be promoted … and possibly worked out. But then, this behavior and attitude exists in business as well. We need Christians in business and we need Christians in government as well as in NGO’s … yet Christians are different and must be different. Our ambition must not be to climb the corporate ladder because if this is an ambition it becomes and attitude and an attitude could become cruel and callous. Christians need to be without corruption and negligence. They … we … must to be seen as trustworthy. When the State Capture Commission started to break ground, a certain gentleman exposed the company he worked for, including his wicked deeds. The bosses of the company we church people. They held prayer meeting at work each day … yet the Jekyll and Hyde syndrome was exposed in the testimony of this man. My plea for you and me beloved is that we lives our private and public lives, our home and work lives as well as all our business dealing is such a way that no one may point a finger blaming us for giving the Gospel and the King of the Kingdom a bad name. Let us “Dare to be a Daniel”! Although it is challenging in the culture of the world in which we live, we have God’s gift of prayer and we have God’s gift of His Spirit to help us be what He intends we be … holy and blameless. If we believe in the Sovereignty of God, we can and must work towards our eternal condition and morality (Romans 8:29).
2) The satraps purposely deceived the king with their request. The king must have thought what they wanted would improve his image and authority over the kingdom. The idea was any religious request to a “god” be banned. Only the king would be able to do this, meaning he alone was the sole representative to interact with a “deity”. Maybe it was a moment of weakness, maybe Darius was a despot … but whatever he was, he would regret what he agreed to. To ensure that their request (advise) would be carried out, the satraps insisted that the king commit this “law” into writing. Once it was signed and sealed, it could not be altered. It had to be carried out. Although it was not in writing, in the presence of his dinner guests at his birthday party (Matthew 14:9), king Herod make a promise with an oath.
Mt 14:6 On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for them and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked.
Herodias was actually Herod’s brother’s wife, now Herod’s wife. She was evil and because John the Baptist told Herod he was living in adulterous sin, she instructed her daughter to request John’s head
Mt 14:8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
Even though Herod wanted to kill John, we read
Mt 14:9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison.
King Darius’ written law and king Herod’s verbal oath were the same and needed to be executed. Christian, be careful what you promise. Think through it before you say it or write it so that you don’t regret it.
Father, help me to be a Daniel, serving faithfully as unto the Lord. Amen.