Daniel was broadly appreciated by King Darius the Mede but not equally loved by his coworkers. The fact that his excellence came from the hand of the God of the Hebrews did not endear him to the non-excellent workers who worshiped other gods.
They set a trap. Daniel saw it and defiantly walked into it.
It turns out that this was a God trap, not a human trap. His enemies lost.
The consequences of their failure are quite spectacular. First of all, think about the logistics. The lion’s den stunk. This is not a domestic cat with a nice clean box of kitty litter that got refreshed regularly. The feces accumulated as did the rotting flesh of the people and animals that were fed to the lions. Therefore, it stands to reason that the lion’s den was nowhere near the elite neighborhood of the palace.
So it is quite impressive that King Darius himself went to the lion’s den at the crack of dawn to see if there was any slim chance that Daniel’s God had intervened. Now think about it. From Darius’ point of view, the odds were slim. Why wouldn’t you just send a servant, of whom you had many, to check it out and bring back the sad report?
Because Darius really valued Daniel and because the king clearly knew that the satraps played to his ego and it was his own stupidity and his own ego that got him in the pickle of losing his prime minister to office politics.
Once the miracle became clear, something snapped in King Darius, and he lashed out at those who had played him for a fool. You know the King did not go hiking across town alone. There was always an entourage who also had to be out of bed, ready to roll at the crack of dawn. So his aides shot away from the lion’s den like a covey of quail to send the word, achieve the arrests and complete the executions.
“The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones. Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language throughout the land: “May you prosper greatly! ‘I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.’
28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.” Daniel 6:23-28 NIV
The problem is not unique to Daniel.
Throughout our tribe are men and women employed in businesses, ministries and government offices who work with excellence, and their excellence brings promotion which causes the jealousy of their less-than-excellent peers. And this is especially true where we are overt in proclaiming the name of God.
And what typically happens is that the bosses appreciate the hard workers, reward them but don’t have their back when it comes to office politics. Just like Daniel and his boss. The big bosses seem to think that one of the perks of the office is that they don’t have to deal with the small people below them – they can just let them fight it out among themselves.
Admittedly, the bosses have a vested interest in stability. The political minions under them do actually do some work along the way. After Darius had vented his fury, he had to replace an unknown number of satraps – the equivalent to our governors, perhaps. This is the cost of intervening in the jealousy battles of the minions.
But the laziness of administrators and their belief that the people below them should be loyal to them, but they don’t have to be loyal to their staff, is being savagely compounded by the Egyptian demons. And this is not necessary.
I like the way Daniel went from “atta boy” favor to real measurable favor of the boss having his back. That is a lovely new color of God-speed.
Let’s reach out for that, for our tribe.
Copyright July 2015 by Arthur Burk
From the Hub