Post by the Husband
“All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counsellors and the governors agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O King, shall be cast into the den of lions.”Daniel 6:7
In the story of Daniel in the lions’ den, King Darius was almost used by his own officials to execute his own right-hand man!
This is a picture of the work of Satan.
Here you can see that the officials have connived to trick the king and appealed to his sense of pride. In those days the king was as a deity to the people, and so it would be quite natural for Babylonian kings to feel as if they were “gods”.
The officials knew that there was pride in the King, perhaps as a result of the system and culture — clearly King Darius in this instance thought that it would be quite a reasonable request to stop all petitions except unto him! It was merely an extension of the pride that he already possessed: why be just one “god” when you could be the “only God” for 30 days?
And so we can see how Satan works – he takes a weakness – in character, or attitude, and merely pours a bit more kerosene on it. He takes something that we may compromise on, something that seems almost okay – and takes it to the next natural conclusion.
To the King it might be that he felt important – so why not be more important? To someone else, it may be quite the opposite, if one feels incapable and pathetic, the natural conclusion is perhaps completely helplessness.
Hence it is important for all of us to take a stock-take of those attitudes and sins that seem almost okay and follow their logical progression to wherever that may lead – because eventually, it is likely that we will be tempted to go down that path, which turns out actually destructive.
For King Darius it was pride. The natural progression of pride is for self to take the place of God. For others it may be fear. Perhaps just a little bit of fear. Like the fear of getting sick. But take it to its natural conclusion, one can become a hypochondriac, unable to live one’s fullest life because of the constant fear of getting sick.
What could yours be?
I know for many it could also be lust – wanting things that are not yours. The devil could easily take it further and when full-grown, it leads to the devastating fruit of adultery and fornication. Or laziness — which results in a complete lack of fruit in one’s life. A bit of doubt in the word of God can lead us questioning if the Bible is just a book of myths and stories with no truth in it.
The Scripture said “all the high officials of the kingdom…. agreed”. Satan lures us firstly by explaining to us that indeed, everyone is in agreement with this. Why would you want to do anything different when everyone else is agreeing that it’s okay?
This is a trap, sadly, when we begin normalising sinful behaviours and attitudes. We become desensitised towards sin, and a callousness of heart can result.
And such is the nature of temptation and sin:
1. The tempter tempts us where there is weakness.
2. This weakness is normalised so it doesn’t seem like sin as “everyone else” agrees.
3. The weakness is taken to its natural conclusion.
4. The resulting sin leads to destruction
But, how I thank God that He sent His angels to protect Daniel!
Despite the edict of the King, Daniel did not die. What would have resulted in murder, resulted in justice and the promotion of Daniel and his God.
Friends, Jesus has saved us from the consequences of sin, which leads to ultimate death. Despite our weaknesses and our tendency to fall into sin, Jesus is able to turn things around and declares victory over us on our behalf.
TRUTH TO CLING TO:
“Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.“ (James 1:15)
Father, there are things that tempt us and thwart us off course. Please help us walk with others in the light so we can remain victorious in You.