In 1765 the British passed the Stamp Act. The Stamp Act was supposed to be about gaining revenue for Great Britain to pay for the troops the Americas needed for protection. The colonists revolted, calling it “taxation without representation,” among other things, and eventually the British government relented. They didn’t learn. In the 1930s, the British sought to control the production of salt in India. Mahatma Gandhi and his followers began a protest. the British sought to breakup the protests with arrests, but eventually had to negotiate with Gandhi and other Indian leaders.
Governments can make some pretty stupid laws when they’re trying to maintain power over people, especially economic power. In ancient times, bad advisors could work on kings to enact bad laws for many reasons. Daniel had to deal with some of the effects of those bad laws. After Darius and the Medes overthrew the Babylonians and came into power, some of the leaders thought they had a way to get rid of Daniel. They convinced Darius to make a law that people could only pray to him for 30 days. “So King Darius put the decree in writing. Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” (Daniel 6:9-10)
If you read that whole story, you will note an amazing fact about Daniel: the only way these jealous administrators could find any way to discredit Daniel would be in his faithfulness to God. In business and in his personal life, Daniel’s reputation was flawless. They sought to turn his regular practice of prayer into a club to use against him. They made the preferred punishment so devastating, that Daniel couldn’t escape. Daniel’s response was to continue praying. Naturally the others caught him in the act, and Daniel faced the lion’s den. His faith was so strong that he didn’t even flinch in the face of the law; he disobeyed a stupid law because of obedience to God – willing to face any consequences.
Some people disobey laws, that happens. There is nothing good about disobeying laws just to disobey them. Sometimes laws are inconvenient. God doesn’t allow us to disobey laws just because they’re inconvenient. When laws seek to prohibit us from being obedient to God, then we are justified in being obedient to God and being willing to accept any punishment from the state for being obedient. Daniel realized that he could face the lion’s den when he went and prayed in defiance of the law. He prayed. He prayed because he knew that his life was in God’s hands. It’s easy to make compromises to a world that glorifies sin, because that allows us to keep on living. Life is going to happen today. You will be faced with choices that will allow you to remain faithful to God, or to compromise. You probably won’t face any lions dens; but you may face life changing consequences – loss of job or income; loss of prestige at work. The joy of walking with God will completely outweigh whatever loss you may think you’ll suffer.
Each day I have decisions that will change the course of my life, Lord. Give me wisdom to make the right decisions. Let my decisions reflect a heart of faithfulness so that my life will be a witness to Your love and grace.
Daily Devotion by Bob James https://dailyenduringtruth.com/https://www.amazon.com/Daily-Enduring-Truth-January-February/dp/1983973955