Leadership in Context Episode 102 Show Notes
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
PASSIVE RESISTANCE: Believers who were already doing something when it was outlawed or commanded to be stopped. They weren’t looking for a cause or protesting against something. (Which is also legitimate, but that’s a whole other subject.) This is where believers were engaging in a legitimate practice of faith, and the government specifically tried to stop them from doing that.
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
The king of Egypt had said that the midwives were not allowed to help bring Hebrew children into the world anymore. Moses’ parents (and his sister, as we see her involvement later) understood that life came from God.
“They were not afraid of the king’s edict.”
There was no conscience violation. Moses’ mother clearly understood that the right to life, to have children, and to do something to protect them was more prominent than the king’s edict. Even if she was found out, it was worth whatever penalty, she would have to pay. It was worth the risk of penalty even if Moses didn’t survive. This is passive resistance. Moses’ parents were going to keep having children, even though it was outlawed.
Side Note: Believers in China face this exact dilemma with a limitation on children. The ultimate aim of radical environmentalism is population control. Don’t think that for one minute there aren’t many prominent people who, if they could get away with it, would not hesitate to impose a program in the United States to limit family size. But believers know that it is God who gives life, that children are a reward of the Lord, the fruit of the womb.
Then this Daniel began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit, and the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom. Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him.
There were people who didn’t like Daniel because the favor of God was on him. Engaging the government (often referred to as civil disobedience) doesn’t just happen because you have an unpopular opinion. Sometimes it happens because you are very popular, and some people don’t want you to have more favor or authority than you already have.
Then these men said, “We will not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God.”
“…unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God.”
They saw that to accuse Daniel of something, they had to create a situation where Daniel had to choose God over the king. They understood that a true believer would choose the King of kings and not a subordinate king.
For many of the things that confront us, our reputation isn’t what we should be focused on worrying about. We would worry about our reputation if we were doing something bad or evil. Jesus, obviously, was not worried about His reputation. He did righteous things that were misunderstood, but He lived in such a way that they had to look closely at what He was doing to judge Him.
That’s exactly what happened with Daniel. They created a law prohibiting prayer, but Daniel was already praying.
Then the king gave orders, and Daniel was brought in and cast into the lions’ den…
Why did that happen? Daniel was already praying.
Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God.
Why was he doing that? Because Daniel was already in the process of doing it. It wasn’t like a law was made against prayer, and then Daniel started praying. They made a law against what Daniel was already doing.
Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.
Daniel had a pattern of prayer prior to the law being enacted. If we had some of the so-called theological commentators back in those days like the ones we have today, they would have told Daniel, “No, Daniel. You have so much equity. You are going to get a promotion. Don’t risk that. Just pray in a clandestine way, and no one will know.”
Daniel decided to continue praying the way he had already been praying. He understood clearly that passive resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. Daniel wasn’t looking for a fight. He didn’t have a chip on his shoulder. They were looking for a fight. They were looking to set him up. He chose to serve God. They understood that if they were going to find an offense with Daniel, it was going to be in regards to what he was already doing.
There are people out there who are using this COVID thing to try to shut the church down, to try to get us to stop doing what we were already doing, to legitimize their authority over God’s authority. This is clearly happening. My response? At some point, you will be put in a position where you will have to passively resist--not because you have a chip on your shoulder or you are looking for a fight. You are going to have to keep doing the things that God has called you to do.
In Acts 4, the disciples were teaching and preaching. The government officials brought them in, whipped them, and told them that they were not allowed to teach or preach in the name of Jesus in the open air. They could go inside and do that, but they couldn’t do it outside. The disciples responded that they could not obey that because they were going to keep obeying God. That is what they were already doing.
Sometimes when it looks like there is a tripwire set up, it becomes a guide wire for us to walk the line and to do the right thing like Daniel did. There is a world that is expecting us, deep in their hearts, to do the right thing and not cave in. They won’t always cheer for us; in fact, they will jeer at us sometimes. But regardless, we need to do the right thing. Keep doing what God has called you to do, and make sure that He is really the King of kings and Lord of lords over His Church.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!