Suffering and Deliverance (Part 32) - Daniel


25. Daniel A. Daniel was delivered in his youth for being faithful. i. As a young man, because he was skilful in wisdom and cunning in knowledge, Daniel was chosen to stand before king Nebuchadnezzar after the Jews were carried captive to Babylon (Dan 1:3-7). ii. He that is diligent in his business shall stand before kings, not mean men (Pro 22:29). iii. Daniel was a man of principle and conviction and purposed in his heart not to defile himself with the king's meat (Dan 1:8). a. He worked out a deal with the prince of the eunuchs to eat pulse and drink water for 10 days and then to be examined (Dan 1:9-14). b. Pulse n. - 1. The edible seeds of leguminous plants cultivated for food, as peas, beans, lentils, etc. c. At the end of the 10 days, Daniel and his friends where in better shape than those who ate the king's food (Dan 1:15). d. Daniel was able to eat his own diet from then on (Dan 1:16). e. Because of his wisdom and understanding, Daniel served in the government of the Babylonian empire until the Medes and the Persians conquered it (Dan 1:17-21). iv. There are some lessons we can learn from this. a. It pays to focus on gaining understanding and wisdom at a young age. b. It is important to make sure your children (especially your sons) get a quality education (not necessarily a college degree) which will open up opportunities for them in the future. c. If you work hard and set your eyes on being wise, the Lord will promote you, even when in a state of captivity. d. With every advancement in our lives, there will be challenges to prove us if we will fear God and keep His commandments, or compromise to get by. e. It's always best to try diplomacy first when faced with a confrontation. f. If we hold fast to our convictions, even when they are opposed to the will of the king or government, God will bless us and deliver us. g. If we hold to our principles, we will be recognized and promoted by men. B. Daniel was delivered from death in the lions' den. i. As part of God's judgment of Babylon, it was conquered by Darius the Median (Dan 5:30-31). ii. Because of Daniel's wisdom, faithfulness, and good reputation, he was made ruler over the entire realm of the Medes and Persians, including 120 princes and two other presidents, by king Darius (Dan 6:1-3). iii. He that is diligent in his business shall stand before kings, not mean men (Pro 22:29). iv. Because of his favor with the king, he was envied by the presidents and princes who sought to find occasion against him concerning his work in the kingdom (Dan 6:4a). a. A man will be envied by his neighbor when he does good work (Ecc 4:4). b. Men hate those who are better and more righteous than themselves (Mar 15:10). c. Envy is one of the most injurious things a man can suffer (Pro 27:4). v. The presidents and princes could find no fault or error in Daniel because he was faithful (Dan 6:4b). a. Daniel had a good report of them that are without (1Ti 3:7; 3Jo 1:5-6, 12). b. Daniel had a good name which is exceedingly valuable (Pro 22:1; Ecc 7:1). vi. His enemies realized that if they were going to find anything to accuse Daniel of, it would have to be something concerning the law of God which put him at odds with the laws of the land (Dan 6:5). a. Daniel was not going to suffer because he was a sinner or a criminal, but because he was a faithful follower of God (1Pe 4:14-16). b. When a man suffers for righteousness he is blessed and acceptable with God (1Pe 2:19-20). vii. The men then conspired to convince the king to make a decree that for 30 days anyone who made any petition to any God or man except the king could be cast into a den of lions (Dan 6:6-7). a. This was framing mischief by a law (Psa 94:20). b. These wicked men were using flattery to coerce the king into signing the decree (Psa 5:9). c. Having all men come to him with their petitions instead of God would make the king feel very special. d. They were spreading a net for the king to catch him and get him into a situation he couldn't get himself out of (Pro 29:5). viii. These men used a flaw in the law of the Medes and Persians which stated that a law could not be altered once enacted to ensure that the king could not go back on his decree once signed (Dan 6:8, 12, 15). ix. The king foolishly signed the decree (Dan 6:9). a. To be without knowledge is not good, and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth (Pro 19:2). b. This was apparently a weakness among the Medo-Persian monarchs (Est 3:8-11). x. When Daniel knew that the decree was signed, he went into his house and prayed toward Jerusalem with the windows open just like he had always done (Dan 6:10). a. We ought to obey God rather than men (Act 5:29). b. Daniel didn't protest the evil law in the street or intentionally make himself a target. c. But he also did not stop doing what God commanded him to do. (i) He didn't stop praying to God while the decree was in force. (ii) Neither did he go hide somewhere and secretly pray to God. d. He just kept doing what he always had done. xi. When his enemies saw him praying in violation of the law, they reported him to king (Dan 6:11-13). a. They first set the king up to not be able to defend Daniel by asking him about the decree that he signed. b. When he affirmed that he signed it and that it could not be rescinded, they then told him what Daniel had done. c. This was cunning craftiness. xii. The king was very displeased with himself and tried his hardest to deliver Daniel, but he was bound by the law of the Medes and Persians (Dan 6:14-15). xiii. The king was forced to order Daniel to be cast into the lions' den, but he trusted that Daniel's God would deliver him (Dan 6:16-17). xiv. The king went home and couldn't sleep because he was worried about Daniel, and he went to the lions' den early in the morning to see if Daniel was still alive (Dan 6:18-20). xv. God had sent an angel to shut the lions' mouths because he was innocent (Dan 6:21-22). xvi. The king ordered Daniel to be brought up out of the den, and he was unharmed because he believed in his God (Dan 6:23). a. He that calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved (Rom 10:13). b. Those who believe in the LORD will be established (2Ch 20:20). xvii. The king commanded that the men who accused Daniel, along with their wives and children, be thrown into the lions' den where they were brutally killed by the lions (Dan 6:24). a. Those who dig a pit will fall into it (Pro 26:27). b. God punishes people with the same punishment they thought to do to others (Mat 7:2; Deut 19:16-20; Est 7:9). xviii. King Darius then made a decree extolling the God of Israel who had delivered Daniel (Dan 6:25-28). xix. There are some lessons we can learn from this. a. If we are diligent and faithful we will be exalted by God. b. When men do well and are promoted, others will hate and envy them for it. c. We should live a life above reproach so that if someone is going to accuse us of something, it will have to be a false accusation. d. If our enemies can't find a legitimate fault in us they will make something up or make a law that we cannot abide by because of our faith. e. Never assume that because you are being faithful and living an upright life before God that you will not have enemies who will try to destroy you. f. Sometimes even good kings or people in authority can be manipulated into harming the people of God. g. We must always obey God rather than men, regardless of the cost. h. If we are forbidden by law to worship God or practice our faith, we must do it anyway and not fear the consequences. i. When we are persecuted, we must believe that God is able to deliver us and that He will if it is His will. j. Our enemies will eventually reap what they sow and be judged by God. k. If we are faithful during persecution, we can be a witness to those in high places and possibly effect their conversion.
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