DANIEL AND THE DEN OF LIONS
Daniel -- Chapter VI
AIM: To show the value of a godly life, lived uncompromisingly for God.
INTRODUCTION; This chapter introduces us to the "Second World Empire" of the "Times of the Gentiles," the Medo-Persian Empire. Babylon had lasted for 67 years and now the "arms and breast" of silver of the "Image" appear. Babylon fell in 538 B.C. and Darius died in 536 B.C. Thus the events of this chapter occurred during those two yrs.
Daniel is almost 90 years old and God had blessed him during those years for his faithfulness and he was still living an active life. In this chapter, God further uses him, and through Daniel, God causes the nations of the world to hear of HIM. Let's study how this is brought about.
I. His Position - Vs. 1--3.
The Medo-Persian Empire was not an "absolute monarchy" such as had existed in the Babylonian Empire. The Presidents and Princes composed a sort of Congress that had a voice in the making of laws which had to be ratified by the king, and once ratified the law was unalterable.
It didn't take Darius long to see the worth of Daniel. He preferred him over all the others because he had an excellent spirit within him. He was godly even in the midst of an evil generation.
NOTE: The world may not readily accept us if we lead Godly lives, but they will respect us and trust us. When they need truth or want honesty they will seek out Godly Christians.
II. His Peril - Vs. 4-9
1. The Cause -- Envy, Vs. 4. Proverb 14:30; 27:4; Matthew 27:18.
2. Their Testimony - Vs. 4 & 5. They could find no fault in his ability, his intellect, his integrity, nor in his administrative ability, nor in his faithfulness to God.
3. Their Plot -- Vs. 6-9. They plotted together how to get rid of this godly man. Note: Satan would like to rid the world of godly Christians. Satan is the father of lies. John 8: 44. These men lied when they came to Darius and said "all" of the presidents, etc., had agreed to this Royal Statute as stated in Vs. 7.
First, they had flattered the King in vs. 6 and in vs. 8 they further did so again by saying that in the decree it would be alright for anyone to pray to him. Darius fell for it. Beware of flatterers: Proverbs 26:28. Beware of Liars: Beware of envious persons: Beware of the Unsaved: Satan doth control them. Ephesians 2:2.
III. His Piety - Vs. 10 & 11.
1. The circumstances of it. "When Daniel knew..." He knew what it would cost him to take a bold stand. Matthew 10:32-39.
2.The character of it. Bold, uncompromising, deliberate. Daniel was no "secret" disciple. John 12:42,43.
3. The confession of it. A public declaration of his faith in God. It was his custom to pray, on his knees, three times a day, and that toward Jerusalem, just as Solomon had prayed.
II Chronicles 6:36-39.
He had to choose between loyalty to God and loyalty to his king. He "wisely" chose loyalty to God even though it would mean physical death.
Why didn't he pray in secret? Couldn't he enter into some secret chamber in his own home and lock the door and pray silently so his enemies would have no evidence against him? Most of us would be tempted to do that. But Daniel was not made of that kind of stuff. He was no coward. He did not value his life nor his feelings when it came to a question of loyalty to his God.
Note: Do you let others know where you stand? Do you pray before meals at home, at school? Do you witness for God to your unsaved friends? "Dare to be a Daniel!"
IV. His Persecution - Vs. 11-17.
1. The Accusation - Vs 11-13.
2. The Intercession - Vs. 14-15. The King had acted hastily. If he had only stopped and thought, he would have realized Daniel wasn't present when he was requested to sign the decree. A little thought would have reminded him that Daniel, as a godly man, would not have favored making himself (Darius), a god--which is what the decree did. Proverb 19:2b. Often when we do things in haste, we are later unable to undo the wrong that has been done.
3. The Execution - Vs. 16 & 17; Deuteronomy 32:31. The King testifies of Daniel's safety. Satan meant it for evil but God meant it for good. Romans 8:28.
V. His Preservation - Vs. 18-23
1. The King's Concern - Vs. 18-20. When people do God's people harm their conscience is greatly affected.
2. The Lord's Care: - Vs. 21-22. The lions got lock-jaw. The Creator can govern His creation. All of the animal kingdom obeys God. Only man is disobedient.
3. The King's Joy -- When the unsaved do that which will bring harm to God's people, they soon will be hoping that no harm comes and will rejoice if it doesn't.
Daniel wasn't hurt because he believed in His God. I Peter 5:7; Hebrews 11:6; Mark 11:24.
VI. The Punishment - Vs. 24. Cf. Mark 9:42; Galatians 6:7.
Even their children. Children often have to suffer for the sins of their parents.
VII. The Proclamation - Vs. 25-28.
Thus was God glorified through Daniel. Note the description Darius gives of the "God of Daniel".
1. Living -- 26. Not like the dead idols.
2. Immutable -"Steadfast".
3. Everlasting -- "Ever".
4. Delivering -- 27. I Timothy 2:34; Titus 2:11.
5. Omnipotent and Working -- Vs. 27. Mark. 10:27.
CONCLUSION: God is looking for some Daniels that will dare to be different, will dare to be a bold, uncompromising witness, will dare to pray regularly, faithfully, earnestly, will dare to be true till Jesus comes. Will you be a Daniel? What a record you could write of your life if you would.