Living in a Hostile Environment!
Updated: Mar 23
Before I get into my blog today I want to invite all my blog readers to our Christmas program, “Christmas Eves”, which we will be hosting on Saturday afternoon at 3 PM and Sunday evening at 6 PM. Hope to see you all there and please let me know what you think about our blogs.
A few weeks back in my blog I was talking about the difficulty of having a right thought process in a world filled with corruption and distorted news reporting. I would like to blog the next couple of weeks (maybe resuming after Christmas) by considering the example of someone who very much lived in a God-honoring way in the midst of hostility and political corruption. In Daniel 6 we see Daniel being placed in a very important governmental position. We read how the king honored Daniel in v. 3, “Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and satraps by the exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom”, (Dan.6:3 NIV). What we see right at the beginning of this chapter is that Darius seems very quickly to have judged Daniel as a man of great integrity. He seems to have recognized something extraordinary about Daniel’s character and he is about to put him as his chief administrator over 120 satraps who ruled in various portions of his kingdom. It is important to point out that Daniel was probably at least 85 years old at this time. Without getting into too much detail I will simply say that he was a young man when he was carried off into captivity to Babylon and he lived for 70 years of captivity in Babylon and is now serving in a governmental position for the Medo-Persian Empire. We must commend Darius that he would prefer a man based purely on his integrity and not on his age or his popularity. Daniel had been a great man in the kingdom Darius had just conquered and remembered the reason that he is appointing these satraps as administrators was to stop the flow of corruption that was happening in his government (v.2). Do we know anything about corruption in government?
We see that while Daniel was honest and very careful in watching over state affairs, the other leaders were the ones who were, in fact, stealing from the king and covering this fact up with false accounting. That’s why Darius had reorganized his government and had set three administrators over the process, Daniel being the chief one. We read that as these adversaries tried to find fault with Daniel, they could only find fault with him because of his obedience to the living God. We read in v.5, “Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God,” (v.5). It is at this point that they go to the king and appealed to his pride and convince him that it would be right and proper for all of the subjects in his kingdom to pray only to him for the next 30 days and to no other foreign gods. This is the trap that Daniel’s adversaries had set for him. According to this new decree, anyone who failed to fulfill bringing their petitions to the king was going to be thrown into the lion’s den.
Here is the first point that I would like to make about living in a hostile environment, we need to start with an understanding of the nature of the spiritual warfare that we are involved in. Paul writes to the Ephesians and states clearly, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,” (Eph.6:10-12 NIV). We are involved in intense spiritual warfare. The power of Satan is very present in our world as we see the deception of lies which come right from the father of lies – the devil. We must identify the fact that we are in a raging spiritual battle and the eternal destiny of millions of souls is at stake because of the deceiving spirits in our world. It’s important as we go through this spiritual warfare that we walk with God in an honoring manner, because there are many eyes upon us, and many are watching to find fault with us, even as God has called us to be faithful in our service for him.
I think it’s interesting to note as well that Daniel made enemies at work by doing his job with excellence. I wonder if you have ever had a similar experience with your coworkers? I have a good brother in the Lord who a number years ago moved down to Orlando, Florida and was hired as a trim mechanic for Disney. Shortly after he started working, he was told by his coworkers to slow down, because he was making them look bad and he wasn’t in New Jersey any longer. When we began to excel our coworkers might not be happy with us, but each of us as followers of Christ, need to conduct our lives in a way that gives glory and honor to the Lord. The only basis they could find for their attack on Daniel was his faith, wouldn’t that be a great complement in this world that the only thing people could find wrong with us is our faithfulness to our God in all circumstances?
All for Christ,
Pastor Rich Sivo