SUBJ: The faith
and devotion of Daniel in the face of the vain operations of men and the
example to us that we will be maintained in faithfulness toward God.
AIM: That we
should be encouraged in an age where threats toward our faith are
looming large even employing the law to counter faith and practice
certain biblical characters are mentioned it is typical that a singular
event comes to mind and with Daniel the earliest remembrance is the
encounter with the Lions.
1. It has been well observed that the three
Hebrew children refused to participate in idolatrous worship while
Daniel refused to be stopped from the worship of His Lord and His God.
2. It is here that the character of Daniel is confirmed into his old age
and he along with a great cloud of witnesses have stood firm in the
faith without regard for their lives.
3. The ultimate example to us,
of course, is that of our Lord Jesus Christ who became obedient unto the
death of the cross. The mouths of the lions were stopped, the judgment
upon Him was not.
there is much contempt for God and for the things of God in the world,
where His living presence is sensed there will be an acknowledgment of
His sovereignty even while failing to believe in Him.
I. The Plot
against Daniel (vv. 1-9)
1. It is interesting to note that men such
as Moses, Joseph and Daniel have risen to favored status even in pagan
and idolatrous kingdoms.
1) The character of Daniel was established
in Babylon early on and it continued to be observed through subsequent
2) Where the grace of God is manifested and a life of faith
and trust in God is on display it serves the interest of those in power,
even if they do not embrace that faith. There is no record that Pharaoh
ever embraced the Lord or the faith of Joseph.
2. Such a blessedness
will excel above the way of the best of the ungodly and promotion often
follows but not without danger.
1) Such was the case here in that
resentment of success reigns in the hearts of the prideful.
could find no problem with his service to the king but then hatred
against the servant of God does not need a reason – it just exists.
3) They concluded: Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion
against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of
his God. Daniel 6:5.
3. So it was that they played to the vanity of
the king and under the pretense of showing him honor proposed a law
which entailed exclusive worship for thirty days and
1) Set a trap
for both Daniel and the king in that they knew that any writing could
not be undone.
2) Darius signed the decree and supposedly the doom of
II. The Trap is sprung (vv. 10-15)
1. While Daniel was
a faithful servant to King Darius, there was a King higher that owned
the heart of Daniel.
1) The scripture is plain. When he heard of the
writing he proceeded with the worship of God as before. Some things of
importance to note:
i. He prayed facing toward Jerusalem as was
directed by Solomon at the dedication whereby he declared his faith in
the substitute, the sacrifice.
ii. He kneeled as an indication of
submission and true worship
iii. He did it three times daily (and
they knew it) and he allowed nothing to interrupt this, which we are so
prone to do.
iv. He prayed and gave thanks and had done it for a long
2) The same mob that approached the king now spied out Daniel
adding that he made supplication (They understood him to be declaring
submission to another – he prayed aloud).
2. The report is brought,
the king is caught by his own decree and
i. They charged him with
disregard of the king and his decree
ii. They disregarded the regret
of the king and prosecuted their case to the fullest.
and the lions (vv. 15-23)
1. It is interesting to note that the king
was powerless to change what he had written even knowing that he had
been defrauded – So is the compulsion to obey our pride rather than God.
2. With great reluctance the sentence was carried out:
1) Even though
the king looked for a way out
2) Sealed by the king and the men who
would assure the demise of Daniel
3) With the hope that Daniel’s God
was able to deliver him
4) Resulting in a sleepless night
subsequent report from the lions’ den -- There is no word of how Daniel
spent the night only that
1) God had sent His Angel (either an angel
in the sense of Hebrews 1:14 or as some suppose the Angel of the
covenant – the Lord Himself).
2) He did not change the nature of the
lions – they were still the same ravenous beasts
3) But He did
restrict them in their intentions and Daniel passed the night in peace
and confidence in his God.
4) An important issue was resolved:
innocence was found with regard to God and he had done no wrong toward
the king – there had never been a real conflict.
constrained declaration (vv. 24-28)
1. The end of the conspirators
was as expected – the wicked are taken in their own devices: Their sword
shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. Psalms
2. Even the king is constrained to declare that only the God of
Daniel bears the title THE LIVING GOD.
3. And Daniel continued to