Daily Notes & Observations: “Violating the Law but Committing No Crime” (Excerpt)

September 15

Violating the Law but Committing No Crime

Daily Notes & ObservationsAfter being delivered from the lions’ den — which was his punishment for praying to the Lord — Daniel declared his innocence before the king.

My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime” (Daniel 6:22).

Daniel said he was innocent toward the king and had “committed no crime.” But was this accurate? After all, Daniel violated a law that had been signed by the king.

‘All the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the high officials and the governors have consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall be cast into the lions’ den. Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document so that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked.’ Therefore King Darius signed the document, that is, the injunction” (Daniel 6:7-9).

Daniel clearly violated the law, yet he did nothing against God or the king. While Daniel’s statement — “I have committed no crime” — may seem inaccurate on the surface, his statement actually reflects a Scriptural principle: God’s people are to obey Him first and should not feel any guilt for refusing to submit to an ungodly law as the one Daniel refused to obey.

Remember what Peter declared to the Council: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Later, in writing about our responsibility toward civil authorities, Peter said, “Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God” (1 Peter 2:16).

We are to act as free men because that is what we are. We have no obligation to comply with anti-God legislation.

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