Most of us have heard the phrase “A quiet life.” How many of us have said to ourselves “I just want a quiet life – no hassle, no problems, no conflict, no hard work – just a nice quiet life.”
We look at retirement as the time to enjoy a quiet life. The problem is as believers, we probably will not get a quiet life.
For as long as Jesus decides to remain in heaven Christians will have the task of declaring the name of Jesus to the world.
Over 60 years have passed since the young Hebrews first arrived in Babylon. Daniel is now in the region of 80 years old. He has spent his lifetime in this foreign land. He had spent a lifetime in exile. He had spent a lifetime in exile still worshipping God.
Daniels lifetime of worshipping Yahweh had turned him from a tenacious teenager to a provocative pensioner.
And Daniel is not going to have a quiet retirement!
At the end of chp 5 we have Babylon falling to Darius the Mede, who now rules Babylon, and he appoints Daniel as one of the rulers over the Satrsps.
And even after 60 years, Daniel keeps making enemies. Daniel is not liked. His abilities, his willingness to everything as well as he could made people jealous of him. They were jealous that Darius planned to make Daniel the number one guy in the Kingdom.
Faithfulness to God requires us to be faithful in EVERYTHING we do, from friendships to chores in the house, to obeying our parents, to doing our school work. And as we are faithful, people will see that we can be trusted and that we are honest.
Joseph, in Genesis, was just the same. His brothers sell him into slavery, he is sold to Potiphar who then sends him to jail on a false accusation – but in EVERYTHING Joseph did he did it well, even when he was in prison.
Jesus was faithful to the Father in EVERYTHING he did – and that led him to the cross.
Being faithful, honest and trustworthy does not lead to an easy life, or even to being liked by people.
One person that you will definitely make an enemy of as a believer is the devil – and he will never stop trying to destroy YOU. As a believer in the one God of the universe, revealed to us in Jesus Christ, you have made an enemy of Satan. There will be no rest bite – there will be no quiet life as long as you declare jesus Lord.
But Daniel’s behavior was such that they could not find any charges against him. He was a man of integrity – trustworthy, not corrupt or negligent.
I wonder what would happen if someone tried to find some dirt on us? How easy would it be for them to discover something about us? Would it be easy or hard? Would someone trying to make trouble for us discover that we too are trustworthy, not corrupt, false or negligent?
In the end the only way to try and get rid of Daniel was to dupe a gullable Darius into signing a decree that meant everyone had to worship Him for the next thirty days.
Darius probably fell to flattery and pride – how would you like a nation to worship YOU for 30 days. It showed Darius’ weakness. Being influenced by flattery is so easy isn’t it! There is an old saying which says: beware of the person trying to butter you up – he is preparing to fry you!
What is interesting about this is that they limit the time to 30 days. This shows that they knew Daniel’s way of life and that there would be no doubt that Daniel would break this law.
There is a strong connection between this chapter and chapter three where Shadrach, Meshach and Abedego are thrown into the fire. The similarity is striking – but there is one difference – the three where thrown into the fire for REFUSING to worship an idol.
Daniel is condemned for REFUSING TO STOP WORSHIPPING YAHWEH.
Despite the peer pressure – the public pressure – the pressure of death, Daniel KNEW that it would be a SIN to stop worshipping Yahweh – no matter who said so and matter the cost.
Is there anything that would stop us from worshipping God? Peer pressure? Public pressure? Family Pressure? Reputation pressure?
Daniel knew it would be so wrong to stop.
And his enemies KNEW this too – which is why they set this plan up.