“It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.  Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” (Daniel 6:1-5)

Daniel was one of many Jews taken captive by the Babylonians. God allowed him to be an adviser to both Babylonian kings, Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. After the Medo-Persian empire defeated the Babylonian empire, God allowed Daniel to be in a place of service under the Median king, Darius. Darius liked Daniel, “…because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.” Darius may not have seen an excellent spirit in his other leaders, but he saw it in Daniel, which no doubt is why he made Daniel the first president. Daniel was a servant to God, first and foremost. So his earthly boss—whoever it was—got an honest, industrious worker that he could trust.

As a cop, you see how others work. You probably know who cares about doing a good job and those who don’t. If you’re a boss, you know who needs little or no supervision, and who needs to be checked on. By the way, if you’ve trusted Jesus as Saviour, your co-workers, bosses, and subordinates should see “an excellent spirit” in you. As Christ’s servant, you are honest, industrious and care about people.

Another point: Daniel may not have liked where he was, but God had him there for a reason. You may be somewhere you don’t want to be, with bosses you may not like. But God has you there, so give the Lord your best work:  1 Peter 2:18 says, “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.” So respect your boss, whether he’s a good boss or not.

The others knew that Daniel prayed, and so they drafted a law that said no one could make a petition to anyone but King Darius (not even to God) for thirty days. Those who did would be put into the lions’ den. They tricked Darius into signing it. Daniel knew the law had been signed but he still prayed: “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime” (Daniel 6:10). Another point: do what God wants, and let the chips fall where they will.  

The other leaders were glad and told Darius what Daniel had done. Darius was angry with himself for signing the law. He tried to save Daniel from the lions’ den, but he couldn’t. The law had been written. So he sadly ordered Daniel to be thrown into the lions’ den. Early the next morning, he checked on Daniel and found he was unhurt and who told him, “My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me” (Daniel 6:22). Darius ordered Daniel out of the lions’ den, and his accusers into it.

When we “Trust in the LORD, and do good” (Psalm 37:3), as Daniel did, God has wonderful ways of working things out.

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Brian Miller 1/31/2018

Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44l44 | 216.671.2822