As I begin the Book of Daniel in my daily Bible reading, it reminds me of why Daniel is my favorite prophet of the Old Testament. Lately, I have heard a lot of Christians bash those who do not have the same political views as they do. It looks like they forget:
He (God) changes times and seasons; He (God) removes kings and sets up kings. (Daniel 2:21 ESV)
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (Romans 13:1-2 NKJV)
We may not be happy about the people who become our political leaders and our fellow citizens who voted them in, but the verse below from Daniel reminds me, no matter who is the earthly leader over me, God ultimately reigns. Look how God gave the king of Judah, who reigned over His chosen people and beloved nation to be conquered by the king of a wicked nation:
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. (Daniel 1:1–2 ESV)
And when it comes to the people who served the king of that wicked nation, look at the verse below and see how Daniel showed kindness and mercy to the other wise men of Babylon who were his adversaries and had a different god from him:
Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show the king the interpretation.” (Daniel 2:24 ESV)
Daniel could of just saved his own neck and had the other wise men executed, but he didn’t. My simple point in this article is that no matter who is ruler over us and how we may be surrounded by those who hold opposing views and may even want to destroy us, as when Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den, it is God that can make us flourish as long as we set our minds on Him first and foremost:
At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king. And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom. And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus. (Daniel 1:18–21 ESV)
An excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king (Nebuchadnezzar) named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.” This is the interpretation (Daniel gave) of the matter: Mene, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; Tekel, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; Peres, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” Then (king) Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made about him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed. And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old. (Daniel 5:12,26-31 ESV)
It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; and over them three high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. 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. So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian. (Daniel 6:1–3, 28 ESV)
What is mind boggling about Daniel is that Daniel prospered under two out of the six great empires that ever existed on the face of this earth (Babylon and Medo-Persia). He never wavered in his commitment to the Lord God of Israel, even in the face of death in the lions’ den. He served leaderships faithfully, no matter how godless they were and how corrupt the people were around him:
“Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord God . “Even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,” says the Lord God , “they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.” (Ezekiel 14:14, 20 NKJV)
Let’s determine to be the most righteous Christians we can be no matter what earthly leaders God appoints over us. May people find an excellent spirit in us, just like they did with Daniel.
We are here to serve the Lord not to mingle in the politics of this world. We are here to be a light unto all. Good Word!