Daniel in the Lions’ Den – Daniel 6

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“Daniel in the Lions’ Den” is a story of devotion, deception, despair and deliverance. This specific event in the life of Daniel reveals the character of a man who lived the life of faith (cf. ). From the time he was a teenager through to his later years, Daniel proved to be faithful. This story is the faithfulness of Daniel on public display.

Devotion 6:1-4, 10-11

So as to have order in his kingdom, Darius sets over his kingdom 120 satraps. Over these 120 satraps, he appoints three high officials (of whom Daniel was one). God caused in Daniel an “excellent spirit“, which resulted in excellent conduct (“distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps“). This internal possession was the source of how Daniel would respond to the events that would transpire in this chapter. As a result of Daniel’s character, Darius planned on promoting Daniel by setting “him over the whole kingdom” ().

When his fellow ruling officials found out about this promotion, they “sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom” (a). These men did not like Daniel and they certainly did not like the idea of him being promoted above them. The consistency of Daniel’s life stood in their way and in their minds an old Jew who is faithful to his God was a threat, so they wanted to eliminate him. They evidently placed a close eye on him in the way he carried out his kingdom duties. After careful investigation of what he is like at work “they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him” (Dan. 6:4). Daniel displayed faithfulness in all situations. He was a man devoted to the Lord.

Deception 6:5-9

After this failed investigation, these men formed a conspiracy against Daniel. The focus moves from devotion to deception. These conspirators concluded, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God” (). The only way they can bring accusation against Daniel is by making his loyalty to God a crime. Being aware of Daniel’s faithfulness, the officials (by means of deception) approached the king claiming that “All the high officials of the kingdom” agreed to their proposed plan (). This plan was the prevention of making petitions to any god or man for thirty days (a cleverly devised plan making Darius god for a month). The penalty of those who do not conform was death by lions. An injunction was made and sealed by the king. It was now illegal to pray to anyone apart from Darius.

How does Daniel respond? He didn’t panic or compromise, but instead he displayed faithfulness. When he arrived home “he got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously” (). Daniel didn’t overreact to this difficult situation – instead he was simply faithful, doing what he normally did. As expected, the conspirators caught Daniel in the act! These men assumed that they had Daniel right where they wanted him (Dan. 6:11).

Despair 6:12-17

Because Daniel was loyal to his Lord, the conspirators had ground for his punishment, and that was to be cast into the lions’ den. They brought this situation to the king by first reminding him of the newly appointed law, of which the king had affirmed and signed off on (cf. Dan. 6:12). Then they revealed to the king who the one was who broke the law – it was Daniel. As soon as Darius heard this, it would have become clear that this was a set up, and he was distressed and did all he could to reverse this law (). Despite his great respect and admiration for Daniel, there was no loophole in the law (Dan. 6:15). Darius then gave the orders for the punishment to be enforced. He said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” (), and the den was sealed.

Deliverance 6:18-28

In this portion of the narrative the reader sees the kings distress and Daniel’s deliverance. In the night of Daniel’s trial, the king ate nothing, received no entertainment and was unable to sleep (Dan. 6:18). In the morning, Darius rushed to the lion’s den and called out for Daniel. Daniel responded by giving God the glory for shutting the mouths of the lions and preserving his life. Darius gave orders for him to be released and issued a command that brought the demise of the conspirators and their families (). King Darius writes a decree revealing his understanding of what truly took place in this situation. These words testify of the sovereignty of God. Daniel was faithful and therefore showed integrity by simply living in response to the fact God was sovereign. Wherever Daniel found himself, he knew it was God who placed him there, so he would respond faithfully. By God’s sovereign plan “Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian” (Dan. 6:28).

This is a story of triumph in the midst of lies and deceit. The temptation to compromise was before Daniel but he remained faithful. Daniel may have experienced a miraculous deliverance, but all God’s people can expect an eternal deliverance. Regardless of the earthly outcome, by God’s grace we are to devote ourselves to Him and His glory.

 

33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other presidents and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.

Then the presidents and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him.

Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”

All the presidents of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.

10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.

14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him.

16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!”

24 And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.

The Necessary Components of Genuine Worship

worship 1What is needed for worship?
It is common for people to think that the necessary components of worship are lighting, a band, instruments, and perhaps a good voice etc., but does that create spiritual worship? Paul declared to his readers,

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” ().

At the end of this verse Paul speaks of “spiritual worship“. This is a reference to the kind of worship that is reasonable, genuine and spiritual in contrast to ritualistic or man-made manipulation. What are the necessary components of this genuine God exalting spiritual worship? Continue reading The Necessary Components of Genuine Worship

12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Worship: The Believer’s Duty and Delight

Worship1

The idea of worship means many different things to people today. Of course, extremes of experience and traditionalism have distorted and distracted people from genuine worship.

The word ‘worship’ is from the old English, “weorthscipe”, which means “a recognition of worth”. In the Scriptures, the concept of worship carries the idea of serving God by means of an attitude of fear and adoration. What is worship? Worship for the believer is the act of recognizing God’s worth and responding to that in service to Him. Worship is to be exclusively offered unto the Lord (; ; ; ; ; ; ). How do we worship God? If we are going to do this, we need to have a right recognition of three realities:

Continue reading Worship: The Believer’s Duty and Delight

“You shall have no other gods before me.

“‘You shall have no other gods before me.

Deuteronomy 6:13

13 It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”

And Jesus answered him, “It is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and him only shall you serve.’”

26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.”

Acts 14:15

15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.

18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,

10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Revelation 22:8

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me,

How to Develop a Mature Christian Mind – Guest Post

The following post was written by Demian Farnworth, blogger for  Fallen and Flawed. To learn more about Demian, click on the links at the end of his challenging post.

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Last week I got a little frustrated when a friend emailed me this question: “Are you intimate with Jesus?”

Partly because I’m a guy and when I think of intimacy, my mind doesn’t immediately race to another GUY. But I was also frustrated because that question was attached to one of Oswald Chambers devotions.

Why would an Oswald Chambers devotion upset me?

Continue reading How to Develop a Mature Christian Mind – Guest Post