The Risk of Faithfulness
King Darius appointed three governors. Daniel was one of them. Daniel set himself above the other two governors and King Darius considered placing Daniel over the whole kingdom. So the other leaders set to find fault with Daniel.
Is Daniel’s predicament any different than what we see in our society today?
Take a look around your workplace. Pick out the hardest working, fastest rising, star employee. How are they treated by the employers? What about their co-workers?
Daniel’s employer was considering giving him more territory. More responsibility. In the eyes of his co-workers, more honor. Daniel was up for a promotion.
Daniel’s co-workers celebrated with Daniel and rejoiced in his blessing, right?
Nope, not at all. They did the same thing we see people do now a days. They set out to find fault in his work, but the couldn’t find anything wrong because he was faithful in his work.
The men determined that the only way to get Daniel in trouble would be through his faithfulness to God. So, they went to the king and asked him to make a decree that anyone who made any petition to a god or man for thirty days except for the king would be cast into a den of lions. It was signed and decreed by the king in a manner that could not be changed according to the law.
Daniel’s faithfulness in his work turned his co-workers against him. They set out, intentionally, to stab him in the back. Actually, they set out to feed him to lions.
Once might infer that Daniel just wouldn’t pray for thirty days, but Daniel was a faithful man. Upon hearing the writing was signed, he went home, to his upper room, with the windows open, knelt down on his knees three times that day and prayed and gave thanks to God. Daniel was faithful to God even when faced with lions.
The men looking to feed Daniel to the lions caught him, reported him, and expected the king to enforce the punishment. The king knew he couldn’t change the decree based on the law. He was angry with himself for making the decree and set his heart on trying to save Daniel.
Even though King Darius had made a bad decision, he was faithful to Daniel. He wanted to deliver Daniel from the lion’s den. However, he, like Daniel, was also faithful to his job, and his job required that he follow the law.
King Darius spoke to Daniel and told him, “Your God will deliver you.” And then Daniel was sealed into the den with the lions.
King Darius came back to the den early the next morning and called out, “Daniel, did your God deliver you from the lions?”
And Daniel answered that the Lord sent angels to shut the lions mouths because Daniel had been found innocent before Him and had not wronged the king either. Daniel’s faithfulness had saved him and he was removed from the lion’s den with no injury’s at all.
King Darius was faithful to Daniel and cast the men who had accused him into the lion’s den. He then wrote a decree that everyone in his kingdom must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius.
Sometimes we see faithful people get persecuted and we get discouraged. Sometimes we see faithful people get thrown into a lion’s den for a crime they didn’t commit and we become afraid. We can easily see the risk in these situations, but what about the reward?
Daniel was faithful, and that faithfulness brought two different results. First it brought persecution. His co-workers were jealous. Straight up jealous.
They wanted to make him look bad. That didn’t work. They tried to kill him. That didn’t work. Why?
God was faithful to Daniel.
Yes, Daniel got thrown in with a herd of starving wild lion. That’s bad. However, he got out with a testimony only God could provide. Not one scratch on his body from those lions. God sent an angel to shut their mouths.
Not only did Daniel survive, but Daniel THRIVED. Daniel 6:28 tells us that Daniel prospered.
When we choose to be faithful, persecution will come. People will talk bad about us even when we don’t do anything wrong. They’ll make stuff up just to make us look bad. The true test of faithfulness comes when we have to remain faithful when we’re told we can’t.
Daniel did and he prospered. Daniel had some friends who did, and they walked in the fire with Jesus. The disciples did. What about us? Are we willing to walk the walk or just talk the talk?
Will you take the risk of faithfulness or will you risk your faithfulness?