The Longest Night Ever
(For the King)
It was a mystery that could not be solved. “How could I have allowed myself to be duped like this?” the king muttered to himself. He threw another scroll aside and one of the servants sighed as it fell on the floor where the hundred or so legal scrolls were scattered.
This scenario is one that I imagined may have happened to Darius, King of Babylon as he pondered what to do about the situation that he had found himself in. After he spent a whole day trying to figure out how to get Daniel out of the predicament that he had put him in, he gave up because there was nothing humanly possible that could be done about it.
After a while, he could no longer delay the judgement and of course, the ones who wanted Daniel out of the way were quite happy to remind him that he was the king, the law was signed and nothing can be done about. But then the conspirators were back: “Remember, O king, it’s the law of the Medes and Persians that the king’s decree can never be changed.” (Dan 6:15 MSG) Unfortunately, they did not know that there was a God who did not have to try and remove messages in stone but sends angels instead to remove stones and sit on them.
Daniel knew that the decision had been made and nothing could be done about it. He also knew that the King had his best interests at heart. The king said to him, just before he was thrown in the lion’s den, “Your God, to whom you are so loyal, is going to get you out of this.” (Dan 6:16) At least one can say that Daniel’s commitment to God was such that the King had a sliver of hope that he would be delivered.
However, for the king, it was the longest night that he had ever experienced. He refused to eat and fasted for the whole night. I’m sure that he could not wait for the morning to come.
Daniel expressed certainty of faith and trust in God that could only come from a deep experiential relationship with God. Today we may not be thrown into a den of lions for our faith but when life gets difficult how do we respond?
Do we act like Daniel, with complete faith and trust or do we react like the King? He paced the floor all night and worried himself about the fate of Daniel. In these uncertain times, the immediate human, visceral reaction is fear. Today however this is just a reminder that God has not given us a spirit of fear but power, love, and a sound mind. (2 Tim 1:7 KJV) The situation always seems worse than it is in the night hours. However, worrying about a situation never solved it, so cast your cares on the Lord today because he cares for you. (1 Pet 5:7, KJV)
Be encouraged by this song from the Band Jars of Clay.