Daniel 6:1-28 Dare to be Daniel in the Modern-day Lion’s Den

Daniel 6:1-28 Dare to be Daniel in the Modern-day Lion’s Den

Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks of you on earth. Be concerned with your relationship with God, ultimately, that’s all that’s going to matter. In the end it’s not going to matter about what people thought, or what they said. There is a great lesson out of this book we call the Bible, on that very thing and strangely enough I don’t think it’s taken seriously enough, because it sits in a book that has often been discredited, it’s been the source of much scrutiny. But I take you today to a message out of the book of Daniel. Now Daniel has two, really two main themes to it. One is the sovereignty of God, the other is the end times or eschatological prophesies that are woven into Daniel’s book. Daniel was a young man of nobility taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar, and if you’ve read the book you know Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. The Babylonians desired to remove all the vestiges of national and religious identity, so if you’re reading through the book, hence the name change, Daniel’s referred to as Belteshazzar, not to be confused with Belshazzar, which is the son of a king who is not present for a time. Daniel, as we know, was transported from his homeland to Babylonia in his youth. We know the timeline, if you read interwoven in the histories at the battle of Carchemish, which is about 605 BC, and he was, as I said, a young man then, and we know that probably the span of his life is, well, although there’s no particular specific age reference, we can kind of chronicle a little bit based on the reigns of the kings referenced within his own book that he might have lived anywhere in the bracket, the timeframe from 80 to 100 years old, based on the reigns of the kings that are woven into this book. What I would tell you, I don’t want to give you the history, I mean, I’d like to just kind of give an overview to those people who are not that familiar. I don’t assume; I’m trying to not assume, as we have many new listeners and many new people coming to the ministry, that everybody is well-versed on historical perspectives and places and things. It’s really an error on my part to make certain assumptions like that when there are so many people who are constantly coming and listening, it puts them at a disadvantage because right off the bat they’re trying to say, “Well, I don’t know about this. She’s talking as if I should know this.” And we all started at a place at some point where we didn’t know either. So the recap is for those people who might just be beginning. Some, some oddity about this book is it’s written in two languages, one, Daniel 1:1-2:4, which I have here the approximate verse count, and 8:1-12:13 is approximately 157 verses written in Hebrew. And from Daniel 2:4-7:28, almost 200 verses are in Aramaic. Now there have been lots of hypotheses as to why the book is split into two languages, I personally would like to believe that it’s not some convoluted error. Aramaic was the lingua franca; it was the language of the day in Daniel’s time, so if the bulk, 200 verses or so written in Aramaic, we might say that those were used for the general population of gentiles or the world at large to be able to read, understand, and perhaps ascertain, if they could, the meaning. And the portions that are in Hebrew, maybe they were designed with some definitive target audience, those people who basically only spoke Hebrew. It’s entirely plausible; no one has really come up with, in my opinion a better explanation, so I’m going to stick with that one. And the other thing is when people argue about the authenticity of this book, and that’s all I want to say because often this book is treated like a good little story that’s made up, or it’s fantasyland. Well, if you’re going to have fantasyland, friends, you’ve got to travel back at least to 2━ maybe, we’ll call it 200 BC, all the way to 100 AD, somewhere in that realm because we know that eight manuscripts found in the cave at Qumran are really quite extant. When I say extant they’re; they’re not complete-complete, but they’re very, eight of them really parallel the Hebrew Bible in such a way that if this is a fabricated book, it was made up 200 years BC. And I find that kind of very interesting considering that you’ve got a lot of historical personages that we know, we know that archeologically speaking have been confirmed. So if you’re going to talk about something made up, I think you should probably do a little bit of homework, archeological and historical. Although there are certain things that people argue don’t line up, the bulk of the book is so well preserved, including what I just mentioned about these two different languages that I really feel we would do well to take Daniel, and not only take it as a historical book that has great relevance, but anyone who’s interested in prophetical, end time events has to have absolutely some fabric of Daniel woven in, because it’s in Daniel that many of the prophecies; without Daniel, Revelation and Ezekiel are going to be very hard to put together, as prophetic requires that you confirm within the book itself, not just speculation on “woo-woo,” what you think sounds good. Which many people in Christendom do anyway because they just like to sound like they sound good. If I were to give you a brief overview, we’ve got the opening of the book is the ministry of Daniel in Babylon, which includes his identity, his character, Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, the famous three friends who are thrown in the furnace for not bowing down to that great statue of the king, and surviving it. They were not harmed, in fact, many years ago I had a great conversation with, with someone who actually had heard, I didn’t hear it delivered, but Oral Roberts had had a sermon that he called “The Fourth Man.” Of course he wasn’t the only person and most people who do scriptural exegesis say the fourth man in the furnace was Jesus, or a Christophany or a Theophany, and that’s, you know, standard. But there’s an excellent excerpt somewhere in one of the, one of these preaching records that probably dates back somewhere in the ’50s of Oral Roberts delivering his “Fourth Man in the Furnace” sermon, and something that he says in that sermon that is, whether you’re a fan of Oral Roberts or not, or if you were a fan or not, it doesn’t matter. What he says about it is kind of interesting, but the gist of it is that it didn’t matter where these young men were as long as they had the faith that they did in the living God. And of course he added in the fourth man in the furnace was nearby, just as Christ is always with us, even in the things we’re going through. Now the way he said it had a better delivery than I did, but that really did stay with me, that’s included in this book, and I don’t believe that it’s some made up you know, “Did that really happen?” You know, “Was, is this put in here as some entertainment for us?” I believe it really happened. I believe that if you’re going to start reading the Bible you better take what is, and say that God can do anything. If He can, you know, people have debated did God make the sun stand still? Or you know did these certain events happen? Well, you know once you start asking the question can God do a certain thing in the light of essentially saying, “It’s not possible for God to do a certain thing,” you’ve knocked out the possibility of God being sovereign over all creation and over everything. He can break the natural laws, He can break the laws of gravity, He can break any law He wants without consequence. No one’s going to write Him up a ticket, right. So I believe the three friends were actually thrown in the furnace. In fact, there’s a parallel that is three friends in the furnace surviving, and what we will, I will talk about today which is Daniel in the lions’ den, and both I believe represent, they are actualities, and they also represent a picture of the remnant preserved of God. And they also have another meaning for us, which is faithing that God is able to take us through things, including the trials that we can’t quite wrap our mind around, it doesn’t make sense, but the Lord knows exactly, sometimes at His hand, and sometimes not, but He’s always there with us. In this book as well, the famous handwriting on the wall, and I could go on and give you highlights, but these are the main things regarding the person, or the people surrounding Daniel, and not tipping into the prophecies and the end time events that are chronicled in here. A key to understanding Daniel’s greatness would be in the 6th chapter, and if you want to turn to the 6th chapter we’ll be in this book, in and around this book, but the key to something that is said here in the 6th chapter and the 3rd verse, it says, “Because an excellent spirit was in him,” referring to Daniel, “an excellent spirit was in him.” And maybe that excellent spirit━don’t go all Garth and the other guy on me. If you weren’t around in the ’80s or the ’90s, never mind. But “an excellent spirit” or you might say admirable, but perhaps we might also say spirit that excelled was in him. So when we talk about that it’s kind of interesting to kind of pick apart, you know, people think what makes an individual great, and we’re talking about in the things of God, and usually it begins with the Spirit God places in us, not the spirit we posses on our own, because that’s the natural man who’s at enmity against the things of God. But when it says here “an excellent spirit,” whether that means the Spirit that excelled in him, and then you start kind of putting what I’d call these “pegs” about Daniel. And the one thing we can glean right off the bat, is Daniel was a person of purpose. Right there in the beginning of the book, it talks about Daniel purposing, he “purposed in his heart,” if you’re wanting to follow along, otherwise I’ll just read it to you. Daniel 1:8, “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with wine which he drank.” So let’s talk about this first, because I’m going to set up the character of this individual, and then I’ll jump to really what is the purpose of this message. “But Daniel purposed in his heart,” is very important because what it, it does for me is it tells me we’re not talking about a man, a young man who said, “I won’t partake, because!” But he was a man of purpose. So kind of just put that as a, as I call a mental peg, as was a man of purpose. In the things of God if you don’t have a purpose, you’re going to have a problem. I’m not trying to be poetic and I’m not trying to be Keswicky today, I’m trying to━that means everything that begins with a P like some people like to do, they, everything has a thing that you go down the list. I’m not trying that, I’m just simply telling you that without a purpose in God’s economy you are going to be just as good as a lost person. Now let me define what I envision, or what I, based on the Scripture, what I would say purpose, in here obviously Daniel purposed in his heart he wouldn’t defile himself with the portion of meat and drink. We must purpose in our hearts the things that are important to us concerning God. That’s why I said pay no attention to what people think of you, your attire, your speech, whether you look like a brother or a sister; forget about that. What does that look like? I’ve always said, would you be more satisfied if━I mean speaking out of the mouth of a former Catholic, would, would someone be more satisfied if I was in an attire that had more religious appeal to it? Would that make me more spiritual? Would that make me more━oh, it might make me more respected in the eyes of the world. You know you see a priest or; and this is no disrespect to priests or nuns, but you see them in their garb and you might change the way you think about, they just cut you off, what type of signal you’re going to give them, as opposed to somebody just wearing a T-shirt, right? That’s the way we are. So pay no attention to the on looking audience that if you are so concerned about that, your concern is in the wrong place. Have a purpose in God’s economy, and that means for just a generic statement here, the purpose foremost should be that you should grow in the knowledge of who He is and in, in that way you are growing in the knowledge of His word. That’s imperative, the purpose for every single person that comes into a church. You see the stuff on TV; it’s stomach turning. Why? Because there is no; hear the term, forgive me for using it, “religious education,” I don’t care if you’re a Jew, if you’re a Muslim, I don’t care what your faith is, learn about what it is you supposedly stand for, and if you’re going to stand by it, know what it is you’re standing by. The purpose for coming into a church is to be educated in the things that pertain to God. And that’s not man’s machination and man’s ideology. It all comes back to opening up the word of God. And I’ve said time after time, you know, there are people that come in, and they come in and it’s a novelty, they saw me on TV, and it’s, it all looks great, “Well, you know somebody’s on TV,” but they’re not coming in many times for the right reasons, they’re not coming in to learn, they’re looking for something. So let’s just begin with this, just as Daniel purposed in his heart, every believer should have a purpose in their heart. That begins with knowing God’s eternal Word: Christ, knowing that His word is forever settled in heaven, and knowing that His word must abide in you. These begin the foundation of purpose for every person who comes through the door of something called the church, and anything else; I’m not a fundamentalist, I’m not a perfectionist, I have no, there’s no self righteousness; anything else is garbage. There isn’t any other form of spiritual, religious education that one needs to define the purpose. We’re not talking about Dr. Scott’s taxonomy, although we could go there. I’m simply talking about looking at why. You know, life without purpose; I know a few people like that, they have no reason for being. This is the shame of our society, and it is a shame. We take people who have contributed into the work force, for example, their whole life, they get to a certain age and they’re told they must retire, or they are forced in to retirement, and then wake up for what? And that’s why I said━and that’s just in the secular. Imagine spiritually if a person has no purpose spiritually. I exist, like there used to be a person here who thought that the whole ministry existed for him! You know who that is, raised up, Dr. Scott was even raised up for him! Good Lord, well, at least I’ll give that guy credit though, he did have a purpose, albeit it was not aimed in the right place, but he had a purpose. And, you know if you can apply that in the secular realm, I just used the example of somebody who has no reason for getting up in the morning. Have a reason for getting up in the morning, as in the first thing I want to do is pray, the first thing I want to do is, there’s something that I need to do in that purpose that pertains to God that gives the rest of my life meaning, otherwise it’s just motions until the motor gives out and you have, there’s no life left in you, what’s the point? So purpose is important, and Daniel was a man of purpose. Now it seems like in Daniel’s case, his purpose was a simple one. He put it in his heart, he would not defile himself, we’ll call it the dainties of the king, whatever was put out there. Now many people have taken up Daniel’s choice, and people who want to give some Scripture credence to vegetarianism will say, “You see, Daniel didn’t eat any meat.” Now listen, I’m not against vegetarianism, I think that’s wonderful, but I’m saying you could look at all types of things and find different angles of things and say, “See! That’s the purpose,” but that’s not the purpose either. The purpose is that he had determined in his heart a certain thing that in his eyes would be displeasing to God. That’s probably the best way to understand this. What he purposed in his heart that would, if he did not, if he went through it would be displeasing to God, it would be dishonoring God, and therefore he would look at it as defiling himself. Now we don’t have to be that, I use the word puritanical, but there should be a mindset that talks about purpose. It’s the same problem we have when we get to the holidays. People forget about the purpose and they, unfortunately, just come. And people say, “Oh, well, you know, it’s great people come into the church during the holidays; Christmas, Easter,” but what is the purpose for that? Forgive me, I’d like to just skip over Christmas, because we’ve probably, I’ve probably said many things over and above about Christmas that I haven’t said about Easter. What’s the purpose of showing up one day, and I don’t, I’m not discrediting that, I’m━it’s wonderful if somebody will come one day instead of no days. But what is the purpose if an individual actually believes in the preaching that He is risen? That should make the life of the one who is listening to that message say, “Well, wait a minute. If He is risen and this is the One that they’re talking about and I have life eternal with Him and all this other good stuff that I’m being told and taught, then that should be a new set that restructures how I order my life, especially towards the church and coming in.” Do you know what I’m saying? There’s purpose in that, but unfortunately with most things, there is a lack of purpose. So the idea, I guess, is just to get people to get out of bed real early to come to a sunrise service, so that they can say they went. Or the folks that will go, you know, Ash Wednesday; I have nothing, listen, I have nothing against those people who want to practice. Practice whatever you want to practice, but know why you do it, and if you’re going to be a Christian, find it in the book and then celebrate it. I don’t care if you want to celebrate something that is more of, we’ll call it, Jewish/Hebraic origin. Well, it’s at least in the book. But I asked somebody when it was Ash Wednesday, I said, “Do you know why you’re even doing it? I mean what’s the point of that? Is that even in the Bible?” That individual could not tell me, by the way. It’s just something that you do, and therefore that becomes the purpose, not the purpose if one was understanding technically however you want to understand the forty days of Lent, whatever that means; giving up something for forty days. Listen, it says Jesus fasted, He, He hungered and He was, by the way, the missing ingredient in all of that Lent part is He was also tempted. Do you ever hear anybody teach about that? The portion of Lent that things that people give up, you also ought to warn people that the devil came to tempt Jesus when He was hungered, when Scripture says when He was hungry. Now, okay, don’t talk to me about that. Just give up something and you’ve done your placation for the time and enough’s enough. And as I said, I’m not dissing anybody’s faith. I’m saying know why you believe, get into the word; find the purpose right there. So Daniel is a man of purpose, and I love that. He’s also a man of prayer. In a casual reading, just, if you were just going through, you find that Daniel gathered his friends together to pray. He prayed three times a day, and something all important, it says that when he prayed, he prayed in front of that window facing Jerusalem, and a lot of speculation about why he faced that way. Maybe Solomon’s words resonated in his heart. He said if, Solomon said if the people were ever carried away or lost, if they at least pointed their face towards the city of Jerusalem that God would see, basically, their intention to look back towards Him and have favor and mercy upon them. Now I’m not sure if that’s the, the gist of why, but let me just talk about this individual man of prayer. The person who has a prayer-less life has a dead spiritual life. Now I believe that there are people, we all go through at times where praying is difficult, but even when we don’t pray with our mouth, many times we’re praying inside our head quietly. Even though we can’t utter the words, our heart is still crying out to God, and I’m not, that’s not, I don’t want you to think that that’s what I’m referencing. I’m referencing people who it’s never a thought at all, because that’s your spiritual communion and contact with God. That’s where you do all of your petitioning, where you give thanks, and in fact, it speaks, one of the verses in the 6th chapter talks about, I believe, Daniel, who prayed━well, we’re going to be in the 6th chapter, you might as well stay there. But as he prayed, he prayed prayer and thanksgiving to God. And something interesting about Daniel’s prayer habits, praying three times a day, one might say that is excessive. But one minimally eats three times a day; is that excessive? There’s prayer for, there’s food for the belly and there’s also food for the soul. Now people engage in legalism and say, “Well, if Daniel prayed three times, then we ought to pray three times.” I don’t think there’s a prescribed time or times. I think the important thing is this is a man of prayer and I believe probably the best thing that can be said is that he prayed, and I believe if you read through the book, you find that he prayed as though he was indeed in God’s presence. He didn’t pray as praying to God who is not present; he prayed to a God who was present and there. And I think that’s super important, apart from having a purpose once you define your purpose as a child of God. I’m not talking about ambition to be a music director or to be a preacher. I’m talking about purpose that’s you and God directly and your purpose in life spiritually with Him; that’s not vocation, that’s not calling; then having a prayer life is important and cultivating a prayer life is important. You may say, “Well, this is a most simple talk that you could come up with.” Yes, it’s very simple because I believe sometimes preachers, including yours truly, tend to complicate things that should just be left simple. You don’t hear of Jesus speaking words to people unless they, the design was that they were not to understand, the words that He spoke most of the time were in simplicity and their design was to reach the soul of the individual, not with complexities and do you really think that Jesus stood and thought, “How will this theologically be understood 20 years from now? Will somebody be writing this down, because I want to be sure that I include these particular words that will be buzz words later on. Webster’s will write volumes about the things I’ve said.” There’s no such thought. They’re, for the most part, although complex in their deep meaning, simple in their delivery, like the woman at the well, “Woman, the hour cometh when you will not worship God on any mountain,” particular place. God is a Spirit to be worshipped in truth, in spirit and truth. That’s His━those are simple words. They are complex, but they are simple. So I’m delivering something simple because I would like you to carry away something that could potentially, for some, I don’t care how long you’ve been listening, change the way you look at what you feel perhaps you may have not even considered your spiritual purpose or your prayer life. We are taught, at least most of us are taught eventually, at some point, that prayer is important, but there’s a point where, when you start looking at patterns in the Bible, you recognize, especially with Daniel who was carried away into a strange land and he could have very well just, you know, adopted the ways of where he was, just, “I’m in a strange land therefore I will do like these people do.” But he kept the mindset, which by the way, the Psalms are chockfull of these indications that although somebody may be fallen away or fallen behind or not necessarily paying attention to the things of God. They are still looking in the right direction, the heart is still desiring. You know, when people talk about, “Well, maybe So-and-so’s committed the unpardonable sin,” well, that happens when you, you’ll know that’s happened when you no longer desire, you have no desire whatsoever. The desire to read, to pray, to even take care of the things pertaining to the church of God; you have no more desire, it’s out of you. It’s quenched. Until then, you’re in good company with a whole bunch of other people that are just kind of like making their way and sometimes off the path. But prayer is important. So you’ve got a good record of Daniel’s prayer life in the book, and then you see Daniel as a man of power. And I’m, there’s a reason why I chose these three things to highlight: purpose, prayer and power. A man of power because we know absolutely he was the one to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, and eventually works his way, not as he worked his way up, but he is, he is put into the most important ranks of a government official overseeing much. And even in that position, he was not immune to the enemies and the evil that swirled around him. There’s something very important about this. Now I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what position you hold, you are not immune, you’ll never be immune, as much power as an individual has, from either the temptations that come from the devil or the attacks of the enemies around you. And the minute you think that you’re so important that you’re above all that, you are cooked because it doesn’t; there, there are some principles, I’ll call them spiritual laws that if we’re paying attention to what happens in this book, we can be pretty sure that even as a microcosm, we will experience. So he’s elevated to the important ranks, he’s a high ranking official, but not immune to the pitfalls, and why is this important? Because it was his purpose in his heart and his prayer life that secured well beyond what he achieved in the secular realm. He didn’t, I don’t think he set out to be ambitious and to say, “This is what I desire to do. I will, I will get to the ranks of the highest ranking person in the land.” I don’t think that’s the way he chose, but the power that I want to talk about is the power that he had that came from God, because whatever is granted to us in the secular realm, again, I’ll say it again, in the big picture at the end of time it means nothing. And if somebody says, “Well, if you can climb the ladder in society, then people will listen to you”” that’s a, that’s just a load of stuff, because unfortunately, if you listen to the people who are high ranking in society, they’re talking all right, but they’re not saying anything that matters. Their mouths are going. Same thing is true when you come into the church with testimonies. And I’ve said this before and I’ll keep saying it. It’s nobody’s business if you were a junky, if you were homeless. And believe me; I’ve got a friend of mine who probably fits the bill of all the things that you could possibly have happen to you and then some, and glory to God. The problem with that is that becomes the impetus for people to start either trying to use that as the sympathy tool, “You should have sympathy on me because I’ve been through so much.” Well, listen, we’ve all been through a lot. The eyes are not on what we’ve been through unless the eyes are on Who was with me when I went through it. Jesus was with me. My eyes are fixed on Him. I give Him the glory for bringing me through, for delivering me, for bringing me to this place, and for what He is yet to do for me, which I don’t deserve. But if He never did another thing, I look back and say He brought me through. No credit is needed for me to tell you about my mess-ups or you to tell me about yours, because Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned,” and I drew you a short version of Dr. Scott’s the difference between the vilest sinner and the pope. And if you put them side by side and omitted to say and the distance from the top of their heads to the distance to the sun would kind of give you an idea that it really doesn’t matter about the best, goodest, mostest on the planet, versus the worst and the trashiest and the whatever. God sees that, that distance I just described from the top of their heads, both of these, as no different. And in fact, I hate to tell you, at least the one who is the vilest, dirtiest, worst or whatever, in his or her heart knows. We don’t need to have somebody put on the garb of pretending to be. And the inside is just as dirty as the vilest one. What makes it a more egregious sin is to paint the outside as if, as Jesus called it, “a whited sepulcher,” like whitewashed. So, when you think about these things, I went on this sidebar for a reason, we don’t read about Daniel writing, “I was carried away and I had a good life over there; I want you to feel sorry for me because I’m a child of captivity,” like those who wrote the psalm and said, “How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” Well, here is a man who managed to pray in a strange land. It means no matter what your circumstance, there’s no excuse. You know, it’s great to say, “Oh, I have sympathy for somebody and I can relate, or have an idea,” but you don’t read any of that here. You read a man of purpose. He was brought here, much like I referenced Joseph last week, like Joseph was in prison for a reason; Daniel was here for a reason. It wasn’t just randomly. And this prayer life of his wasn’t random either, and the power that he had, and now I’m no longer talking about the secular power, but the power that he had that could only come from God. And here is all of that is background to read the 6th chapter about something that I want you and I to leave here with today that is the core of my message. And that is how we, as Christians, recognizing purpose, prayer and power that comes from God, can survive just like Daniel in unfair circumstances thrown into the lions’ den; for what? The 6th chapter: “It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; and over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them,” and to the king, “and the king should have no damage. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes,” preferred, by the way, “because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.” There’s a man of power in the secular sense. “Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.” Now you just stop right here to think about something, which I could be the poster child for. You know, you’re suddenly awakened to God’s presence in your life and God’s calling, you see and identify what the purpose is for your life. We’re not talking about vocational purpose, we’re talking about with God, the withness of God in your life, and suddenly, and I could take it from here. Daniel━I, I’m not like Daniel. I don’t have the most excellent spirit that he had or the qualities that he had, but any individual who is willing to take a stand for the things of God, whether you are the vilest like the thief on the cross or whether you seem to be maybe like, you know, note the difference between a person like maybe, in the chronicles, you could find many of these, but it doesn’t matter. Throughout the book, you will always find people, no matter what their standing that once they take a stand for God, people will come against. They’ll try to find fault. It was the same thing with Nehemiah and the people that came back, the Sanballats and the Tobiahs. You’ll always have this occasion. And I will tell you straight up that it is the lot, it is simply the lot of those people who will take a stand to have people come against them. And unless you’re ready for that━somebody asked me a couple of weeks ago, I wish I would have given this answer. They said they were considering potentially, you know, going into the ministry, and I should have said, “Forget about the preparation which only God can do in your life, you really need to stand back and count whether or not you are willing to stand when everybody turns against you, even if it means you end up standing by yourself.” And here is a great chronicle. Here’s a man, by the way, as a type, there could be no better type than Daniel, who’s like Joseph, a type of Christ: perfect in his purpose, in his prayer; his power is unmatched. “Then said these men,” verse 5, “We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God”━we can’t find anything wrong with the man, so we’ll go straight to the thing that’s at the very core of what he believes. Now if that is not demonic I don’t know what is. You can’t find fault with him, but you’d better go at what he believes, because there you’ll find something; surely, you’ll find something. “Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. And all the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.” So you see, aha! I got you! They knew Daniel’s purpose; they also knew he was a man of prayer. That’s why I highlighted these two things, because this is where people tend to just read this and make this into some cartoon caricature that Daniel’s in the lions’ den, but it took a conspiracy of people to understand, or at least analyze his pattern, his way of life, to recognize there’s this one area they could get him in. Twisting a little bit and under false pretence, make a decree to the king that they knew, they knew darn well Daniel would not even go there. Just it wasn’t going to happen. “Now, O king, establish the decree, sign the writing, that it not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed,” there’s a most important thing. I wish I could highlight it in your Bibles, “when he knew,” when Daniel knew “that the writing was signed, he went into his house; his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” In other words, nothing is going to change what I do. There’s a passage in the psalms that says, “I will not fear what any man can do to me.” I will not change my behavior before God for any individual on earth. I wish that there were more people that had a spirit like Daniel, who said, “It doesn’t matter what the world thinks of me, and it doesn’t matter about the decrees. It matters only how God looks on me this day. In my decision, will I be, will I lean towards compromise? Will I be a coward? Will I shrink back from the very thing I did while I did it, when it didn’t matter and now, now is a time of controversy and danger and peril; will I shrink back?” Let me read that verse 10 again, because it’s right there, “When Daniel knew that the writing was signed,” what writing? The decree, when he knew it, he knew about it; he was aware of it. And don’t think this is reckless. This is what the life of faith is about. The life of faith isn’t fighting, by the way, like Paul encountered when he went to different places and there’s infighting and people are petty; the petty, the petty, silly, stupid stuff. We’re talking about the real men and women of God; they stand for the things of God. They stand for the principles of God, they stand for the purpose of God, they stand in prayer or kneel in prayer, regardless of the circumstance. These are men and women like Daniel with power, not secular power, but power with God to say, “I know the same God that I served before the storm hit is the same God that will be with me in the storm and through the storm,” or you want to put in Dr. Scott terms, and he used to say, “Blessed men go through valleys of weeping.” Well, why are they blessed? You can say that’s a state of mind that doesn’t change, but it’s a state of mind that doesn’t change because the word declares something that you have come to know: God’s word that does not change regardless of the place you find yourself in. When you come to that place, that’s why I said this message has more to do, believe it or not, with something called deep moorings for the church when people get carried off, like Paul warned the Galatians about every wind of doctrine, versus purpose. Because I don’t care how young you are or how old you are, or if you’re standing behind the pulpit or seated in the pew, each person is a pilgrim on, is a pilgrim on a journey. That journey is not some random, you know, transcontinental type thing. It’s a journey that is supposedly, as we approach heaven, heaven-bound, eternal-bound creatures, some; I’m just going to say it. My God, if you haven’t figure out your standing purpose with God, and I said it and I’ll say it again, not vocation, that’s not to cause contention, that’s not to rip down or be judge of somebody else, that is not think that what all the people say about you matters. It’s what God is going to see, and God decided, by the way, whoever you want to attribute to writing this book, to memorialize something about Daniel that if it could be embedded into the hearts, and maybe it’s already there today. Maybe people already have this embedded and it’s, it is the concept is there, but the fear of what could happen if indeed you took that action; daring to be like Daniel. You know that the people have conspired against you, or you know that these things are against you or the enemy’s against you; you already know that. But I love; you know, you could say, “Well, this is a rebellious spirit.” No, it’s not. It’s an obedient spirit to God. It says, “No matter what, I’m going to keep talking to my God.” He kneeled on his knees, faced towards Jerusalem, and something else that’s said there. He didn’t just pray; he gave thanks, prayer mingled with thanksgiving, not just prayer for the sake of petition; prayer mingled with thanksgiving. And I’m sure Daniel had a lot to be thankful for, he wasn’t living a terrible life as we’re looking at his life in this book, as we know it, but I’m sure that his thanksgiving wasn’t limited to the things he experienced that we would call the tangible nows. “Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.” This is a bunch of perverts. They just laid a trap for him, knowing that he would go into it. It says they “found Daniel praying and making supplication.” Now it’s no secret, the windows are open. I don’t know how high or how low the window was. It doesn’t matter! And they knew he went to pray three times a day. It’s one of these “Aha! We got you!” Now let me ask you a question. Even to these enemy people, why would you want to rid yourself of Daniel, of a Daniel type? What? What good does it do you to get Daniel out of the way? Remember, Daniel was the only one that could interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Daniel, there’s a lot of things that only Daniel could do, why would you want to get rid of Daniel? Unless you’re stupid, right? Unless you’re just not a thinking person, because probably these same folks, they might have needed Daniel eventually and probably could have used Daniel eventually, by their fate. “Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree that every man shall ask a petition of any God or any man within thirty days, save of these, O king, shall be cast into the lions’ den? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him. Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and the Persians is, That no decree or statue which the king establisheth may be changed. The king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.” Find me some, a couple of heathen like that that actually believe the potential of God delivering the child of God in the time of trouble. And you know, think about what’s worse than this. What’s worse than this is this man did no wrong. Can anybody tell me, and it’s rhetorical because you can’t, what wrong this man did, except be obedient to serve his God? That’s all. That’s his crime. “And the stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.” It’s kind of interesting that the king didn’t sleep all night, and methinks Daniel slept quite peaceably, even in the den. That’s the power of God working because of prayer and purpose being understood. “The king arose very early in the morning, went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God,” the living God is thy God, “whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?” Big, big question right here, because if he answers, the answer is y-e-e-s-s! “Then said Daniel to the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” Now I like this: “The king was exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed,” or he amened “in his God. And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them,” in other words they had a buffet! “brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.” I’ve got to go back to that in a second. “Then king Darius wrote unto the all people, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. So Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.” Now let me just say one thing, because this is a true thing that’s brought into the New Testament, and unfortunately I don’t think people believe this. Be careful about what you do, like judging. You know, people like to toss that around, but I say to you be careful what you do. It’s just like judging, with the measure that you judge, you shall be judged. Be careful what you plan on the people around you that other people might see as children of God. Be careful because the very designs that you imagine to happen or befall to that individual may actually come upon you. This wonderful passage tells me one thing. God never promised to spare us from trial. He never promised to somehow guard us away from the dangers of the world, the flesh or the devil, but being clearly minded to see in your life and in mine, purpose, and that purpose then accompanies a prayer life, and that prayer life has accompanied with it power; not my power, not my strength, but His. It means through it all, even in the worst of circumstances, He will be with me and He’ll see me through, and He’ll be with you and He’ll see you through. Even if it is, we’ll call it a modern-day lions’ den, when it seems like the worst things should befall you. That one thing that I can look at Daniel and say remarkably, he didn’t change his ways no matter what was happening. He stood by the thing he knew to be true, which is his commitment to God and what He had placed in his heart, which didn’t change. Now you can call this a wonderful caricature, some fabulous story that didn’t really happen, but I prefer to look at it as something that left embedded and memorialized in this book to bring encouragement to every child of God, past, present, and future, who will find themselves in some great trial of affliction and some great conflict somewhere, and there seems to be no possible way for you to be extricated. Just remember the courage to be like Daniel. There’s no cowardice here, just one commitment to the one, true, living God, a purpose in his heart to stay true to that commitment, a prayer life that communed and petitioned, and the power that came as a result of those two other things that brought him through. That same, we’ll call it purpose, prayer and power is available to each and every believer no matter what type of situation or circumstance you find yourself in, whether it’s today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. Why? Because God is God and He does not change. The same God that saw Daniel through will see you through your trials as well. That’s my message. You have been watching me, Pastor Melissa Scott, live from Glendale, California at Faith Center. If you would like to attend the service with us, Sunday morning at 11am, simply call 1-800-338-3030 to receive your pass. If you’d like more teaching and you would like to go straight to our website, the address is www.PastorMelissaScott.com

One thought on “Daniel 6:1-28 Dare to be Daniel in the Modern-day Lion’s Den

  1. Thank God and Melissa Scott forthis message on Daniel 6 I fully receive. I thank Abba Father after years of desperation I found have good hope and purpose again in my life in the name and by the blood of Jesus Christ at the foot of the cross of Calvary, amen and hallelujah. Annelies Bakker, the Netherlands.

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