“Then these commissioners and satraps came by agreement to the king and spoke to him as follows: ‘King Darius, live forever! All the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the high officials and the governors have consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall be cast into the lions’ den. Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document so that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked.’ Therefore King Darius signed the document, that is, the injunction” (Daniel 6:6-9).
Integrity is more precious than flattery.
King David once prayed:
O Lord, lead me in Thy righteousness because of my foes; make Thy way straight before me. There is nothing reliable in what they say; their inward part is destruction itself; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. Hold them guilty, O God . . . for they are rebellious against Thee. But let all who take refuge in Thee be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and mayest Thou shelter them, that those who love Thy name may exult in Thee. For it is Thou who dost bless the righteous man, O LORD, Thou dost surround him with favor as with a shield.
That could have been Daniel’s prayer as well, being surrounded by men who were rebellious against God who and flattered Darius so they could have Daniel put to death. By their own devices they would fall, but not before Daniel’s integrity was tested.
Darius yielded to deceitful flattery, decreeing that he alone could grant petitions. (His ego is reminiscent of Nebuchadnezzar’s [Dan. 3:12].) Daniel, on the other hand, was unyielding in his convictions, and God literally surrounded him with favor as with a shield.
Suggestions for Prayer
Pray that when your faith is tested, you will stand firm and have the assurance that God is surrounding you with His favor.
For Further Study
Psalm 5:12 says that God blesses the righteous man. According to Psalm 64:10 and Psalm 92:12-15, what are some of those blessings?
From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997.