I recently read the account of an honorable government administrator who was wronged by his fellow managers. It all could have been avoided if the king had been aware of the corruption and dysfunction of his advisers, but alas, he wasn’t. Let me recount the story and share with you a few worthy lessons I learned from it. You may have already heard this story about Daniel, but have you ever considered how his friend King Darius was affected? I found four lessons from Darius tucked in this story. (Of course, there are other lessons from Daniel and Darius, but I will note four.)
Be wary of flattery
Because they were jealous of Administrator Daniel’s goodness and great abilities and his high favor with the king, they plotted to frame him in some way. As hard as they tried, however, they could find no charges to bring against Daniel because he was so trustworthy and free of corruption and negligence. The only thing Daniel’s adversaries could find to persecute him with was his faith so they used his greatest strength against him. Despicable, right?
Meanwhile, the king remained unaware of his administration’s deep problems. They flattered him, and because he trusted that they had the best interests of the king and nation in mind, he listened to them and enacted an unjust law. Soon after, he realized his mistake, but he couldn’t retract the law.
The ridiculous law was that no one was to pray to any god or man except to the king for 30 days. The punishment? To be fed to the lions.
Realize who can save
Of course, the king felt sick over his mistake. What could he do? He worried all night, eating nothing and avoiding any form of entertainment. I bet he prayed all night. King Darius was not angry with his friend Daniel. Instead he was distressed and looked to save Daniel from his hasty law. Although Darius did not share the same faith as Daniel, I think that he realized the only One who could save Daniel was Daniel’s God. I believe God saw Darius’s heart and how he feared for Daniel, who had been unjustly treated and was, in fact, a very good man.
At first light of dawn, Darius rushed to learn Daniel’s fate.
I’ve always read the story of “Daniel in the Lion’s Den” with Daniel in mind. His faith and trust in God impressed me. If you’re familiar with the story, you know that no wound was found on Daniel because God did indeed protect him. Darius was overjoyed. During this particular reading, I thought of Darius’ heart and of his genuine care for his friend.
The men who falsely accused Daniel and their families were thrown to the lions, which overpowered them before they even reached the floor. How horrible it must have been.
Four lessons found in this story
What lessons from Daniel and Darius can we learn?
- Always think things through. Don’t let people push you to do something in haste. Be wary. If someone starts showering you with flattery, consider their motives. They may have plans to hurt you, or they may want something that benefits them but not you or those you care about.
- Remember what you do does affect others. The families of these evil men were punished along with the guilty. Anyone who says what he does doesn’t hurt anyone but himself needs to take a closer look at how results affect others directly and indirectly.
- Doing the right thing even when it is hard is always the right choice. Although Daniel and Darius spent a stressful night, it all turned out well in the end because God honors the righteous. Daniel prospered during the reigns of Darius and Cyrus. Darius praised God to his entire realm.
- Praising and thanking God brings honor to God, who holds our lives in His hands. Even people who don’t share the same faith know when God works a miracle. If they aren’t drawn to God, they at least will pause to think about Him, and that is always a good thing.
I hope you’ll take a new look at Daniel 6. What other nuggets of wisdom have you gleaned from this story? Please share your lessons from Daniel and Darius.
To read about lessons I learned from a blind man, click here: https://www.michellekaderlywelsh.com/lessons-from-a-blind-man/.