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Not giving in and giving up

Darius the Mede decided to divide the kingdom into 120 provinces, and he appointed a high officer to rule over each province. The king also chose Daniel and two others as administrators to supervise the high officers and protect the king’s interests. Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire. Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy. So they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.” Daniel 6:1-5

A new Persian ruler after Persia’s conquest of Babylonia promotes Daniel to serve as one of three commissioners over the entire empire. Daniel enjoys such amazing success among commissioners and the 120 provincial administrators. Daniel’s promotion caused discontent. The king himself is sympathetic to Daniel, but is easily tricked by the intriguers that the other leaders plot in jealousy to ruin his career. Their zeal is fueled especially by news that Darius the king has plans to appoint Daniel over the whole empire. Daniel’s integrity is so firm that the enemies can discover no grounds of accusation that they can make stuck. So they cleverly connive to deceive the king by inflating his ego to have the support of his subjects. King Darius was forced to sign a decree that would make Daniel’s practice of his faith illegal. “The king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions” (v. 8). But Daniel was firm in his commitment to God that he did not compromise his belief. Daniel went on with his practice of praying to God. “But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God” (v. 10). He knew that the penalty for violation was to be cast into the den of lions (v. 7). Given a choice of death or denying his God even for a month, or a day, he chose to face the peril of death. He even gave thanks to God. In the midst of the difficulty, he was upbeat and not downcast. Daniel in a crisis reacted true to the governing conviction he had built into his life. The same should be our attitude when we are being tested. Our faith and spirituality should be reflected in our actions. This is what will strengthen our character and integrity. This is also what will sustain us in times of difficulties.


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