It didn't matter what the government said. It didn't matter how temporary the law was. It didn't matter who got offended. And it didn't matter if he endangered his own life in the process . . .
The Prophet Daniel did not make such excuses. He was going to continue worshiping God the same way he had always done, and no one could convince him otherwise . . .
No one required him to worship an idol. No one demanded that he reject God. Nobody tried to make him change religions. The requirement was light, really. And it was only temporary.
For thirty days, no one was allowed to make a request to any god or man, except for requests made to the king himself. This meant no public prayers. If Daniel could just respect this law, avoid scandal, and avoid public worship for one little month, then the danger would pass. He could go back about his business as if nothing had ever happened.
Imagine if the Prophet Daniel had used the Coronavirus excuses that are so popular in churches today. He easily could have avoided facing the lion's den . . .
"God says I need to obey the government. I don't want to rebel against the law."
"This isn't permanent. It's only temporary. They are only requiring me to avoid public prayers for one month. If I just lay low for a few weeks, then everything will go back to normal."
"Even if I do pray, I can just do it secretly, hidden from sight. I would not want to do it openly and cause a scandal. I wouldn't want to offend a brother."
"Being in a den of hungry lions would be a life-threatening situation. God would not want me to put my life in danger by publicly worshiping Him."
Thankfully, the Prophet Daniel did not make such excuses. He was going to continue worshiping God the same way he had always done, and no one could convince him otherwise:
- It didn't matter what the government said.
- It didn't matter how temporary it was.
- It didn't matter who got offended.
- It didn't matter if he endangered his own life in the process.
This holy man of God was not swayed by any threats. He knew that the godless government had no authority to dictate the terms of his public worship:
- He openly disobeyed the king's decree.
- He ignored the temporary ban.
- He risked offending anyone who saw him worshiping in public.
- He got himself thrown into a den of hungry lions.
He did all of this, because this is how a faithful man of God is supposed to respond. This is what Saints do.
Today, there are numerous clergy who have closed the doors of churches. They have not only forced their flocks to avoid public worship for one month. They have forced them to avoid it for two. And they haven't just forced them to avoid a few public prayers. They have forced them to avoid participation in Holy Communion — the very Body and Blood of Christ.
And why did they do these things? Why did they forsake the assembling of themselves together? Because "the government told them to". Because it's "only temporary". Because they "didn't want to offend anyone". And because they "didn't want to risk their lives" through exposure to the Coronavirus.
Lord, have mercy on us. And please send us more leaders like Daniel. We desperately need them.
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