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GOVERNMENT AND PRAYER – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        Biblical view on government, our part is
.             to obey God rather than men
SCRIPTURE:    Dan.6:1-15, Acts 5:29
Style:        drama/conversation: King Darius
.             and two satraps discuss the punishment
.             for Daniel after making it unlawful to
.             make petitions to anyone else but Darius
Cast:         KING DARIUS, SATRAPS 1-2
Set & Props:  throne

SCRIPT:

(SATRAPS 1 and 2 gather at one side of the stage.)

SATRAP 1   We have him!  We finally caught Daniel
.          breaking a law!  I knew that would
.          only happen if we made a law which
.          conflicted with the law of his God.

SATRAP 2   Excellent.  There is no way we can allow
.          a slave, let alone a foreigner,
.          to run our own country.

SATRAP 1   Let us take this to King Darius at once.

(SATRAPS 1 and 2 walk across the stage to throne,
where DARIUS enters and sits.  SATRAPS 1 bows low.)

SATRAP 1   King Darius, live forever!

(SATRAP 2 bows also, then DARIUS motions for him
to speak.)

SATRAP 2   King Darius.  We have come to you
.          with a great matter of importance.

SATRAP 1   Did you not sign an injunction
.          that any man who makes a petition
.          to any god or man besides you, O king,
.          for thirty days, is to be cast
.          into the lions’ den?

(DARIUS thinks and nods.)
.                                                       2
DARIUS     The statement is true, according to
.          the law of the Medes and Persians,
.          which may not be revoked.

SATRAP 1   Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah,
.          pays no attention to you, O king,
.          or to the injunction which you signed,
.          but keeps making his petition
.          three times a day to his God.

SATRAP 2   This is concerning one of your appointed
.          commissioners - Daniel.

DARIUS     Yes.  And careful, Daniel is your superior.
.          Any charge you bring against him
.          better be well founded.

SATRAP 1   It is.

DARIUS     I find that very difficult to believe.
.          Daniel is my most trusted officer.
.          He has distinguished himself, so that
.          I was going to appoint him commissioner
.          over the entire kingdom.

SATRAP 1   Well, he is not as trustworthy as
.          you would like to have us believe.

DARIUS     No one has EVER been able to find a ground
.          of accusation against Daniel in regard to
.          any government affairs.  There’s never been
.          any evidence of any sort - of corruption
.          or negligence - on his part.  Ever!
.          He has been most faithful and upstanding.  

SATRAP 2   But you just acknowledged your approval
.          of the 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.

DARIUS     Yes, I do recall that it was your suggestion,
.          and at the time, it seemed to make sense.

SATRAP 1   And as you just stated: it was done according
.          to the law of the Medes and Persians.
.                                                       3
DARIUS     There must be a way around this.

SATRAP 1   It cannot be revoked.

SATRAP 2   And Daniel continues to pray to his God-
.          three times a day, with windows open
.          for all to see.

DARIUS     Perhaps he does not know-

SATRAP 1   Oh!  Daniel knew all about this law.
.          In fact, I believe he continues to pray
.          to his God in complete defiance to us.

DARIUS     I am sure that he prays for our country.
.          (upset and thinks feverously)
.          There- still – there must be something.

SATRAP 1   Recognize, O king, that it is a law
.          of the Medes and Persians that no injunction
.          or statute which the king establishes
.          may be changed.

SATRAP 2   There is nothing to be done except
.          throw Daniel into the lions’ den.

DARIUS     Then – sadly, it must be done.
.          But I will fast all night.
.          I am sure that the God whom Daniel
.          constantly serves will deliver him.
.          If God’s laws are greater than man’s-

(SATRAP 1 catches himself in a chuckle.  DARIUS looks
sternly at them.)

DARIUS     Have you so soon forgotten the story
.          of Daniel’s friends who were thrown
.          into the fiery furnace?  This God
.          chose to deliver them.  This same God
.          will deliver Daniel.  And if this so happens,
.          it will not be a laughing matter
.          for you or your family.

(DARIUS exits swiftly.  SATRAP 1 and 2 are not sure
if they still have the upper hand.)