God Rescues His Faithful People - Daniel Chapter 6
What's wrong with this picture?
|(Daniel was NOT a young man when he faced the lions)
Daniel has now been in Babylon for 66 years, and aged about 80. So far we have seen that God never leaves His People (chapter 1), that God Rules & Reveals (chapter 2), that God Humbles Man's Pride (chapter 3), that God Delights in Mercy (chapter 4) and that God is Number One (chapter 5). Now we see that "God Rescues His Faithful People" in this chapter.
Goodness Seen v1-3
- a new king and a new government (3 presidents and 120 satraps. Satraps were the governors of the many provinces) - Daniel rose to top of 3; shone out v3 "because an excellent spirit was in him".
- honest - no bribes, no lining of his pockets, no lies
- no back-stabbing
- not lazy
- faithful - ie trustworthy - trust-able, reliable
- at home, at work, at school? You & me? Do others see that "excellent spirit"? They should (whether you are an excellent fast food shop face or an excellent Prime Minister)
- Daniel served his God AND his king - and the second is part of first (Col 3:23 "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men").
- Darius plans to make him Prime Minister (like Joseph in Egypt).
Goodness Hated v4-9
- V4 - Jealous plot - "why him! We're as good as he is!" - envy is blind (they were in no way as good as Daniel) - envy is bitter & twisted (if they were king they would NOT tolerate crooked men like themselves!)
- V4,5 - They look for something bad in Daniel; mud to throw and muck to rake, BUT CANT FIND ANY! - how would you pass that test at work (shirker, fiddles, theft, blind eye)? At home? At school?
- V5 - "Get him for GOOD!" - "except we find it in connection with the law of his God". They lie ("All the presidents, etc."; no only two of them) - they flatter the king - "you're so great (like a god) - no one should pray to any man or god but you, or else to the lions!". A stupid law, and a foolish king signs it. No going back (another silly law; as if a king never got it wrong! "There is none good but one; that is God" Mark 10:18)
Goodness Tested v10-13
- V10 - Daniel knows the new rule, but goes to pray as usual
- Cannot leave off praying to God - as soon stop breathing
- Will not deny his God by sneaking into a hiding place to pray
- Will not show off and tempt God by a protest prayer out in public
- Rather, in his own house, he prays and gives thanks to God, "as he had done previously". He just kept doing what he had always done.
- plotters gather together to spy and peep at him; "Got him!" and off to the king "O king. Did you not sign??" Hypocrites! - they didn't care for king or his law, just their own selfish ambition.
Goodness Loved v14-20
- v3 - A king's favour; see how well Darius thought of him (not guaranteed for us - but God's favour is, to those who trust in Him)
- v14 -The king is horrified - in anguish at what he had foolishly done to his friend (who was as a wise father to him) - worked all day (calls in his lawyers); but at last he must give in.
- Daniel in the den - see king's love and prayer "May your God whom you serve continually deliver you!". Den sealed (with Darius' own signet ring and those of his lords too) - the king's tormented night - no sleep or food.
- Heart-broken, at first light he rushes to den, crying aloud in distress v 20 "O Daniel! Has your God.........?"
Goodness Rescued v21-28
- A miracle! - Daniel replies to the king "YES!" "God shut the lions' mouths" - why? "because I was found blameless" by God.
- King has him out in a flash - not a scratch! Daniel had a better night of it than the king.
- King's anger shows that he was no toothless tiger. "Throw in the wicked schemers" Proverbs 26:27 "Whoever digs a pit (trap) will fall into it". The schemers are devoured and crushed by the lions - see they were no tame, toothless cats. (the schemers' families too - it was the way of pagan kings; it was against God's law, Deuteronomy 24:16 - see how the fathers' sins affect the family)
- King's decree - to all his vast kingdom v25 - he says the same thing as Nebuchadnezzar - v26 "he is the living God .. his kingdom (unlike mine) ... shall never be destroyed" - v27 "he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions"
- Daniel made Prime Minister and honoured.
Goodness Killed (Another Daniel - his name means "God is my Judge" - we see Him in the rest of Daniel's book)
||Jesus the Son of God
|Innocent (no wrong to king)
||Innocent (no wrong ever)
|Rescued (God shut the lions' mouths)
||NOT rescued (God did not shut the lions' mouths - Psalm 22:1,13)
WHY? - 2 Corinthians 5:21 - "For our sake He made Him to be sin, who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God". "It pleased the Lord to bruise Him". Daniel can not help us on the judgment day - But Jesus the Son of God can! "He will see the labour of His soul and be satisfied." Only at cross of Jesus Christ is there rescue and safety - Where are you today?
In the cross of Christ I glory, standing o'er the wrecks of time; all the light of sacred story gathers round its head sublime
|My heart is filled with thankfulness
|To Him who bore my pain;
|Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace
|And gave me life again;
|Who crushed my curse of sinfulness
|And clothed me in His light
|And wrote His law of righteousness
|With pow'r upon my heart.
|("My Heart Is Filled with Thankfulness" Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend Copyright © 2003 Thankyou Music)
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