You have to admit - it's a fantastic story.
Against all odds, a well-known polarizing figure gains the leadership of an entire nation - the world's number one superpower. But he's an outsider. He's not one of the establishment folk, and his path to power was an unconventional one.
Not everyone is happy about this - especially the members of the ruling class. This new guy's a legitimate threat to their self-serving agenda, and his early successes force them to rethink what they most want to believe about themselves.
While the new leader gained his position through proper process, plenty of people think he's illegitimate. They feel sorry for themselves, and they lick their wounds daily.
Right away, the new guy gets the job done well - certainly better than those around him are doing. He's got that touch, that "git-'er-done" reliability. He's the classic "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" kind of leader, and he holds people accountable to their responsibilities.
He's good on his word too, and he doesn't play political games. He's respected by those who matter most, and he gets more powerful with each decision he makes.
What's particularly maddening to the dyed-in-the-wool establishment hypocrites is this new guy supports Israel! He even has the right view of Jerusalem, and he makes that point public.
The bloated establishment is beside itself with fear and rage. The "big boys" won't admit it to the new guy's face, but they can't stand him. Their mutinous ideas start percolating just under the surface. They cultivate a seething hatred for this new leader, and they decide they must get rid of him.
They commit themselves to finding some fault or flaw in the new leader - and so they make mountains out of molehills. They peer into every corner, turn over every stone, and probe every deal he's done. They lament the way the laws of their land have protected him, and they seek to change the rules so they can achieve their goal.
In their rabid mania, the deep state bunch dismisses their own glaring faults. They ignore their own ethical fiascoes. None of their scandals matter to them because they are gripped by a fanatical obsession to overturn this new leader's appointment to office.
The new leader's political foes stick together because their ambition to overturn a legitimate leader is a corrupt one. They have to maintain that all-important safety in numbers thing to achieve their goal. But they can't find anything to pin on this guy. His record is sound.
With their options running out, the establishment becomes increasingly frustrated. Rumors mount that they want to assassinate the new leader. They want him dead, and covert ideas to achieve that are proposed and discussed.
The new leader was Daniel - of course. Who else did you think it was?
You can read about everything I just wrote in the Scriptures. Daniel Chapter 6 has all the details, and to answer my own question, it does sounds an awful lot like what we're seeing today with President Trump, doesn't it?
Let's hit the high points of the story.
Daniel, a Jew in exile, rose quickly within the ranks of the new Medo-Persian leadership because he was different. He was better than his peers, and King Darius noticed. Daniel was more trustworthy and he always did his job extremely well. He achieved his promotion by the king's appointment, and he was slated to be the #2 guy in the entire empire. In effect, he'd be ruling the kingdom. Daniel's situation was a lot like Joseph's under Pharoah.
Yet, people were then as they are now, and jealousy and pride marinated most of the political landscape as it continues to. They felt entitled to their power, and they couldn't tolerate this unexpected development. They were determined to put an end to it. The picture that emerges in Daniel Chapter 6 is painted by the same blind rage and sleazy motives that characterize human nature today.
You know the rest of the story. These other leaders plot against Daniel, play deceptively to the king's ego, and eventually trap Daniel by outlawing his faith. They manage to get Daniel tossed into the den for the ravenous lions. What's clear throughout the whole account is Daniel hasn't done anything to deserve this kind of treatment. What's also obvious is the brazen treachery and evil ambition of his foes.
The good news is Daniel supernaturally survives his ordeal when God sends an angel to shut the lions' mouths. And so the king yanks Daniel up, throws Daniel's adversaries in, and the lions have a feast when no angel shows up a second time. Justice is served - literally!
We may wonder if the second part of Daniel's story will parallel today's events as much as the first part already has. I don't know. But a friend once told me, "God is not done writing the story." The bottom line is God hadn't lost control when things looked their worst for Daniel, and God remains in absolute control right now.
Daniel is not President Trump, and President Trump is not Daniel. I get that. God's got different intentions for each. But here are a few takeaways from Daniel's story that we can - and should! - apply to what we are watching today:
THE BATTLE WE SEE IS A SPIRITUAL ONE. Hillary is on her (latest) book tour. It's little more than an organized tantrum of poor excuses for her election loss. She blames Bernie, excoriates electorates, trashes Trump, criticizes Comey, and rips Republicans. She sees nothing wrong with herself and her choices. Her palpable rage and denial of reality is truly clinical.
This is consistent with a much larger national phenomenon I've observed. The anger of the left is way out of control and their claims are baseless and self-serving. Like their leader they didn't get, it's an outward sign of an inward problem.
I've also watched a half-dozen or so videos of people who are reacting in odd fashion to President Trump's election win, to his policies, to his supporters, and even to his "Make America Great Again" cap.
The videos are disturbing to watch. There is moaning, shrieking, growling, roaring, flailing about, eyes rolling back, contortions, foaming and spitting - and these aren't even Berkeley demonstrations! They are just straightforward displays of weird and atypical behavior. Well, it's weird and atypical for humans - but it is standard stuff for demons!
Here's my conclusion. President Trump's election was a surprise to the principalities and powers of the unseen world (Eph. 6:12) as much as it was to the flesh and blood folks in DC. His win shoved a stick in the spokes of the dark side's agenda. Their resulting rage is erupting through the veil that hangs between their spiritual world and our physical one. It shows up in these bizarre behaviors we can see, hear, and record.
It seems that Satan's hordes are beside themselves with fear and rage. Those people who serve the rulers of darkness (and may be possessed by demons) naturally display in their physical behaviors the reactions of the malevolent spiritual forces that control them.
In other words, God played his trump card on Satan. LA Marzulli, in his book The Cosmic Chess Match, describes how there is a constant move-countermove-move-countermove dynamic between God and Satan. Satan is struggling to gain the upper hand, but God is God and Satan's not. God always has a masterful - and sometimes unexpected - plan to set the devil back on his heels once more. President Trump's election might be God's latest move.
That brings me to my next takeaway as I consider the parallels of Daniel's story with current events: GOD PUTS LEADERS IN OFFICE AND GOD TAKES THEM OUT OF OFFICE. This is clear in Daniel 2:21, but let me put another angle on it: if God wants to protect President Trump, He'll shut the lions' mouths if he has to.
I'm reassured by this. It's plain to see President Trump gained The Oval Office against all human odds. As a result, we're seeing a cosmic battle play out in real time as the establishment and deep state are now going to great lengths to try to remove him from office. This may be Satan's countermove if we consider Marzulli's argument.
Our President's path to power was an unconventional one, but it was transacted by God, and he'll remain President as long as God wants him there. The attacks against President Trump are fierce, unwarranted, and unprecedented. They are saturated with blatant hypocrisy, evil intent, and violent corruption - but until God achieves His sovereign purposes, the enemy's attacks will be to no avail because God remains in full control. Case closed.
Here's a third takeaway from Daniel's story: GOD IS NOT CONSTRAINED IN ANY WAY BY MAN'S BEST-LAID PLANS. By giving us simultaneous glimpses into the spiritual and physical dimensions, the book of Daniel reinforces the truth that God employs the conditions of life on planet earth to achieve His heavenly purposes.
It's a plain fact that many of life's most difficult challenges are introduced by people and processes that are governed by sinful ideals. Daniel had to cope with that truth, and so does President Trump. There was nothing righteous in the conduct of those who wanted to remove Daniel from office, and there's nothing righteous in the behavior of those who have committed themselves to bringing down our President.
But as I said earlier, God is God and nobody else is. Mankind may construct his best watertight case to achieve his ambitions, but those plans are as leaky as a sieve from God's point of view. We serve the greatest God, and He can quickly confound the schemes of the wicked if He so chooses (Ps. 55:9).
Let me wrap up here by saying that these issues are not confined to the leaders of this world like Daniel and President Trump. You and I are not immune to facing the trials of this life for the very same reasons they did and do.
God has always placed His leaders, His saints, and his intentions squarely in the path of the devil's ambitions. If you exercise faith like Daniel, or if you confront a globalist agenda like President Trump, you will be mocked, attacked, and persecuted. Some may even try to kill you.
The Word of God is under assault, and it's only going to get worse. Lives which embody its truth, and policies which reflect its standards, are unwelcome to those who love darkness rather than light (John 3:19). It's always been like this.
I don't know what plans God has for President Trump going forward - nor do you. God used Daniel to great effect well past his trials of Chapter 6, and God could do the same with President Trump long after he leaves The Oval Office. It's all up to God.
What I do know is this: Daniel was faithful in his prayer life and he was committed to being a good and upright citizen. It's these qualities that got him in "trouble," but to be right with God has often meant to be wrong with man.
It remains incumbent upon each child of God to faithfully endure under trial as Daniel did, and to positively impact our world by choosing to live out the standards of the Bible.