Public Relations (Part 5)
The Daniel Effect
Daniel answered and said: 'Blessed be the Name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things.'
Daniel 2:20-22 (NKJV)
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of Whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.
Daniel 4:37 (NKJV)
King Darius wrote: 'To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, and steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end.'
Daniel 6:25-26 (NKJV)
Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: 'All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of Heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!'
2 Chronicles 36:23 (NKJV)
What is the Daniel effect? It is public relations of the highest order. It is the witness of four young men in an alien nation. It is the effect of God's Holy Spirit on the hearts of three kings: Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon; Darius, king of the Persian empire; and Cyrus the Great, his successor.
Imagine it! The most powerful kings on earth declared the supremacy of the Most High God. King Cyrus took it further: After 70 years of captivity in Babylon, he released the Jews and helped them return to Israel--to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem.
Basically, the expertise of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in promoting the Lord of Hosts makes today's best publicists look like street vendors. How did they do it?
1) Professional excellence: 'In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom' (Daniel 1:20).
2) Unfailing integrity: When Daniel's jealous associates wanted to discredit him, they 'Could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent' (Daniel 6:4).
3) Proven loyalty: When 'The king placed Daniel in a high position... at Daniel's request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators' (Daniel 2:48-49).
4) Hard honesty: Speaking truth when it's easy is one thing. Speaking truth when it's hard is a bigger thing--especially to a king: 'Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity' (Daniel 4:27).*
5) Godly referral: When King Nebuchadnezzar questioned Daniel about his gift to interpret dreams, Daniel refused to take the credit: 'No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in Heaven Who reveals mysteries' (Daniel 2:27-28).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: remember the Daniel effect. Let your right actions precede your right words. When you act like Jesus, you build a platform of respect. From that platform you can most effectively speak about the Lord you follow, and people will listen--even kings.
To Be Continued...
* Please recall that Daniel was a trusted advisor to the king before he was called by God to speak this hard warning.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Public Relations series.