We’ve all seen enough courtroom dramas and enough real life court scenes to know how a judge swears in a witness. The witness places their hand on the Bible and the judge asks, ‘Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?” Traditionally, the reason for the Bible and God is to stress that there is a Supreme Lord and Judge who will have the final word and for the witness to understand that if they perjure themselves, there will be serious consequences in the present under the law.
Why all this serious stress upon telling the truth. Because truth matters. If it’s a murder trial, a false witness can cause an innocent person to be convicted or a murderer to walk out free. It’s obvious that lying is a serious offence in a courtroom, but it is also important in the day-to-day interactions of the leaders of nations.
When the leaders of the Persian Empire went in to King Darius with a proposal that glaringly appealed to his pride, he should have been careful, but he wasn’t. Check out how his government officials lied.
“So these administrators and the provincial governors conspired together and came as a group to the king. Then they said, ‘O King Darius, live forever! All the chief officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the provincial governors, the counselors and the governors have agreed that the king should issue a decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except you, O king, will be thrown in the lion’s den. Now O King, establish the prohibition and write it down so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians that cannot be revoked.’ Therefore King Darius put the decree down in writing.”
We learned yesterday that Darius intended to make Daniel his prime minister and that the two other chief officials were jealous. Do you think that they talked over with Daniel this major proposal that would challenge religious practice throughout the Empire? They lied before the king with the three-letter word “all.”
In a culture of “alternative facts” and blatant lying that can easily be documented by replaying the actual video for ourselves, this narrative challenges us not to be like these bad guys who tried to take Daniel’s life with a lie and an appeal to the king’s arrogance and self-worship.
LORD, this account challenges me not to be surprised at the plots and conspiracies swirling not only in Washington but also in state and local governments. I pray that all my brothers and sisters who believe in Jesus will resist this zeitgeist and not give in to spin and tales. Help me to be a truth teller today as I respond to your Spirit when I’m tempted to lie.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!