“But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open towards Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. Then the officials went together to Daniel’s house and found him praying and asking for God’s help.” – Daniel 6:10-11
Daniel disobeyed the king’s law. He knew the penalty for doing this. Surely he could have responded to this challenge differently. He could have closed his windows so people couldn’t hear him pray. Also he could have simply found a more secret place to talk to God. Doing as he always did, doesn’t that feel kind of like an “in your face” approach to the king’s new law? What would you have done?
Put your seatbelts on because I am going to bring up a sore subject here. I hear many preachers reminding us to obey the government. And while I tend to do just that, where should we draw the lines of battle? When is it ok to stand against what we are told to do?
Daniel obeyed the 1st commandment, the one about worshiping only God. This new law was a direct challenge to the 1st commandment. And since this man trusted the God to whom he prayed he continued to pray as usual. I would say he took quite a risk in order to do such a simple thing. I dare say I don’t know many people who would do exactly what Daniel did. Would you?
Weighing our current choices in the balance of God’s commands just when can we boldly disobey? Does “Thou shalt not kill” mean if fetal stuff gained from abortion is in a certain injection then we should not partake? And if we do not know for sure something is really safe then should we go along to get along? If an order is based upon a lie then must we still go along with it?
What about “not forsaking the gathering of yourselves together?” When government says don’t go to church should we obey or gather anyway? Some pastors say yes while others say no. Looking at scripture we can find guidance, but have we really been looking in scripture or just blindly going along with what we have been told?
History has given us examples of going along to get along that are not good. In World War II many churches and Christians went along with the persecution of the Jews. Did their consciences bother them? Yes they feared retribution if they didn’t go along to get along. Still some did help the Jews, taking the risk because they knew right from wrong and did right. Would you have taken such a risk?
And so I ask you this morning to weigh what we are being asked to do. Will what you are told to do harm you or help you? Does God’s word say anything about what we are told to do? Get in the word and search actively for answers. Don’t just go along to get along.
These morning meditations written by Christian believer and author, Patricia Hawkins, who offers these meditations for your personal edification. You may contact Patricia at email@example.com.