BOOK OF DANIEL – The Kingly Pawn

Posted by on Nov 5, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – The Kingly Pawn

The Kingly Pawn.

The dedicated practice of Daniel praying three times a day was now used in evidence against him. Daniel 6:12-15 tells us, “Then they approached and spoke before the king about the king’s injunction, “Did you not sign an injunction that any man who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, is to be cast into the lions’ den?” The king replied, “The statement is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked.” Then they answered and spoke before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the injunction which you signed, but keeps making his petition three times a day.” Then, as soon as the king heard this statement, he was deeply distressed and set his mind on delivering Daniel; and even until sunset he kept exerting himself to rescue him. Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Recognize, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or statute which the king establishes may be changed.” (NASB)

The “they” in verse twelve is, of course, referring to the commissioners, prefects, satraps, high officials, and governors mentioned in verses six and seven. Whether all went before the king or a delegation was formed representing all positions we are not told. In any event, their illegitimate plan had total support. The full complicity of these men is evident by their tone in asking the king if he had not, indeed, signed an injunction that ordered no one to make a petition to any god or man with the exception of himself. They followed this up in such a way as to remind the king that if anyone disobeyed the king he had ordered that they be thrown into the lions’ den. In our modern day terminology, the king had truly been “played”. He was unwilling but altogether a pawn in the evil scheme of men who thirsted for their own power. We see the same underhanded or unscrupulous behavior in many facets of our society today whether it be either in personal or business dealings. Not that any of us have ever been faced with being thrown into a pit of ravaging lions. But many of us may have experienced deception at the hands of a company or official. Or an employer or employee may have been complicit in using deceitful means in order to discredit or limit someone’s opportunity for advancement. Fallen man will always look for ways to advance their own selfish ambitions and some will go to any limits to stifle anyone who gets in their way. Sadly, that can and has led to murder in many cases. This was what Daniel was facing with a real threat to his life that appeared was going to end in horrific circumstances. Now in his early eighties, many of the men we described in verse twelve would likely have been much younger than Daniel and were ambitious. They were looking for career advancement. They were not willing to take the orders of someone they viewed as a slave from Judah. They had nothing but utter contempt for Daniel.

The king replied that the delegation was correct and that the petition could not be revoked. One can imagine the delegates’ smugness in declaring that Daniel, whom the king had favored, was a mere exile from Judah and paid no attention to him. Their indictment, which was proven, was that Daniel had continued to pray three times a day to his God. As soon as Darius heard this we do well to recognize an interesting comparison. You will recall when Daniel’s three friends refused to bow down before the golden image made by King Nebuchadnezzar in chapter three, the king became angry and ordered the three young men to be thrown into the fiery furnace. But Darius showed no such anger. Instead, we are told he became deeply distressed. Not because of any perceived flouting of his law but because he immediately saw through the evil trap devised to have Daniel killed. The fact that we are told that Darius set his mind on rescuing Daniel and worked tirelessly until sunset to find a way of rescuing him shows two things. One is that Darius had foolishly not questioned why such an order had been requested. Had the true reason for the injunction been declared, Darius would never have signed it in law.  The second thing we see is Darius being too pre-occupied in thinking of his own position of self-deity. In any event, his tireless efforts to rescue Daniel were to no avail. The delegation reminded the king that he had to recognize the law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or statute was reversible. One can imagine Darius looking at each individual before him, knowing each man had used him to catch their prey. It was something he would not forget.