Devotional: Daniel & King Darius
By: Emily Lehner
On Wednesdays, I volunteer at my junior high youth group. This week, we were discussing Daniel 6, or better known as Daniel in the Lion’s’ Den. I have truly realized how applicable the book of Daniel is to our country’s current situation. I want to shed some light and peace for the scenario at hand. In the midst of the recent political process, I am sure we can all benefit from this.
We see immediately that Daniel was favored by King Darius. The king placed Daniel as one of the three high officials (v. 2).
Verse 3 states, “Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.”
Daniel was a follower of Christ, placed under rule of a king who denied even the existence of Christ. Sound familiar? I think we can learn something from the way Daniel responds to King Darius.
Romans 13 says, “Let every person be subject to governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” Daniel understands the meaning of this verse. He realizes that, although he disagrees with King Darius, he is called to obey him until it relates to his faith. When King Darius signs a law that forbids worship to any god or man besides himself (v. 7-9), Daniel realizes that law is something he cannot follow.
So, Daniel went to his house, got down on his knees, prayed and gave thanks before God (v.10). When Daniel is found disobeying the new law, King Darius is distressed to hear about it. The king does everything in his power to overrule Daniel’s designated punishment, but there is nothing he can do (v. 14-15). The king found favor in Daniel. He was his highest official, soon to be appointed over the whole kingdom.
Later on, as Daniel survives the night in the lion’s den, we read of King Darius coming to know Christ. Verses 25 and 26 says, “Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: ‘Peace be multiplied to you. I make a degree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.’”
I believe we can take two key things away from Daniel’s example.
- Because Daniel respects, loves and serves King Darius, the king finds favor in him. This eventually leads to King Darius believing and following God. How great is that? Daniel’s actions and faithfulness to God act as examples for King Darius, and eventually, the king declares to everyone that it is worth it to follow God!
- We can’t change the hearts of people or our nation by ourselves. We see Daniel immediately goes into prayer. He seeks God and praises Him regardless of whether he believes the situation at hand is good. Without the miracle of surviving the lion’s den, King Darius wouldn’t have believed in God and His sovereignty.
Therefore, whether you agree with the election results or not, God is in control. He isn’t surprised by the winner, and He provides examples in Scripture that allow us to know how to respond as Christians. It is my prayer that many will come to know Christ over the course of the next four years. I pray that Donald Trump comes to know Christ. I trust that God is able to do immeasurably more than we can imagine for ourselves and for our country.
Written by Emily Lehner, a writer for the Alumni Center and a sophomore Writing major at IWU. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others and writes often on her personal blog at www.emilylehner.wordpress.com.