The Living God

September 14, 2020 

Daniel 6:8-9, 16-17

24 And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.

25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: “Peace be multiplied to you. 26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. 27   He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth,  he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.” 28 So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

The end of the story of Daniel in the lion’s den has a disturbing twist. There is an irony to the events that happen afterward, much like the story of Mordechai in the Book of Ester. The satraps who wanted Daniel dead, who tricked the king into making an irrevocable decree were themselves executed by the same device (the lion’s den) that they used against Daniel.

But Darius is not content to put to death these men, he also executes their entire family along with them… they, their children, and their wives. Yes, the king has a change of heart towards Daniel’s God, but he is in no means acting for God or being used by God to execute judgement. But it does point us to the fact that earthly kings will never be able to satisfy the justice of God, they are temporary rulers who are given temporary power until the final king takes the throne.

A cursory examination of the law of Moses reveals the children are not to suffer for the sins of the fathers. Women are not to be judged for their husband’s guilt. We are all responsible for our own actions before God.

We are not told, but it must have grieved Daniel to see this injustice performed in the name of God. Darius has seen the power of God and now, and his decree is for everyone in his kingdom to have a reverential fear of the only living God.

The theme of the book of Daniel is God is sovereign. He lifts nations up and brings them down. He alone decides who lives and who dies, who becomes king and which kings will be defeated. He rules over the nation.

In our day we often forget these facts. We worry and fret over elections and politics and often lose sight that whatever happens God is in control and he is still sovereign over nations.

We cannot overlook the facts surrounding the formation of our country. A government for the people and by the people under God… this was the dream of our founders. We want justice and mercy to be the guiding truth and we have the great responsibility to vote our conscience, to put people into elected positions who will carry out the will of almighty God.

It has been a great experiment, but it will not last forever. There will come a day when our great nation will submit itself to the will of another great world ruler. Daniel saw it in a dream, it will come to pass. Darius was used by God, but he did not subject himself to the will of God. America has been used by God, but we are not submitting to the will of god. God is still sovereign, he is the living God, may his will be done.

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