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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Barcus & Laura Neal

February 28th, 2024: Faith in Times of Trouble- Daniel 6:10-27

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. 

(Psalm 95:6)

This lesson is about keeping your faith during a threat to your personal safety.   Just as the three Hebrew children maintained their integrity when facing a Fiery Furnace, Christians today are threatened in countries all over the globe.  Those of us fortunate enough to live in freedom can also see aggression and persecution looming on the horizon.   God’s prophet, Daniel, faced the death penalty as the result of jealousy among his peers.  Notice that in both Daniel’s circumstances and in the case of Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego, the accusations from their enemies were true. They were guilty of placing their devotion to God above all earthly allegiances.  Both of the encounters are beacons of strength to us as we face our own battles.  While studying, remember who the accusers represent.  Think about how often we are presented with the temptation to slide quietly into compliance rather than to stand on the word of God with confidence, regardless of the consequences, in fully committed faith. Satan himself, the adversary, the accuser, uses everything he can to push us to fear him and to mistrust our all-powerful all-knowing Creator. 

By most accounts Daniel was an older man (in his 80s) when facing this trial.  Babylon had been overpowered by the Medes and Persians.  There is a new King. There are new governors and princes over areas of the kingdom.  A shake-up in the power structure is taking place.  The story is as old as time…..  

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and 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.

So, to summarize the verses not included in our lesson, the other leaders (governors and princes) have tried to find a punishable fault in Daniel. They want to get rid of him- permanently.  The only fault they can find is in his faithfulness to his God.  Wouldn’t that be a nice testimony! If our accusers could find no fault in us except in our devotion to God!  So, these leaders plot together to convince the King to make a decree that for 30 days, no one could pray to anyone but the King.  The thought behind it would be to emphasize the greatness of generosity of the King.  This would appeal to his regal pride.  It places the king in the position of ultimate provider and not God.  The King agreed to this vain proposal and made a proclamation to put whoever should disobey his edict, into the lion’s den as punishment. Basically, his inner circle had constructed a trap and an inescapable dilemma for Daniel that would most assuredly lead to his death sentence.   

The suspense increases as we find out that Daniel knew about the decree, but went home, threw open his windows toward Jerusalem and prayed, exactly as he always had done.  He did not change his routine.  There are no conversations about any concerns or a crisis of faith that he had.  Nothing in the text suggests Daniel considered waiting for the decree to run out or how he might change his routine to get by for those 30 days.  Daniel does not compromise, share concern, or rethink his actions - at all.  So many points can be made here. Are we this dedicated to prayer or is it something we easily dismiss?  How much emphasis do we put on the priority of talking to our Father- one time a day, two times, if we remember?  Would we have been able to justify changing what we did because of fear of punishment? How important was prayer to Daniel? 

Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? 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.

Can you just hear the evil pleasure in their voices as they rushed to the King, to give their report on Daniel. They had watched long enough to know that  Daniel would remain faithful to his God. Their plan worked. I bet they thought to themselves - Finally, we’ll be rid of Daniel! But little did they know, God has a way of turning evil back upon itself.  They won’t be smiling long. 

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 Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.

The King recognizes the trap, but it is too late. Far from making the evil conspirators more valuable in his sight, he now feels manipulated and angry with himself.  There is obviously a relationship of mutual respect between Daniel and the King.   As he tries to figure a way out of the mess his blind trust,  arrogance and pride has caused, he is deeply troubled.  As expected, the accusers see his concern and remind him that the law of the Medes and Persians cannot be changed.  Checkmate - so they think!

Then 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. And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and 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.

The King could not get out of his dilemma, so he ordered Daniel to be placed in the lion’s den.  There is no record of discussion, second chances to get it right, any conversation at all, except for the king saying that Daniel’s God, the deity Daniel served continually, would deliver him.   I’d love to know about how Daniel had witnessed to this ruler, it was effectual because the king believes that it is possible that God will save him.

The mouth of the den is secured.  A stone covers the entrance; it is sealed with the seal of the King and his lords.  Remind you of any other biblical account?  Same motives, to make sure he doesn’t get out and that no one else can get in to free him. Notice the King doesn’t rest well, no sleep that night.  Interestingly, he also fasts, repenting of what he has done. 

Then the king arose very early in the morning, and 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, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

Can you hear the expectation in the King’s voice as he cries out to Daniel?  He wants to believe.  If God doesn’t protect Daniel, this King is guilty of murdering a loyal friend.  He has been trapped by his  pride, but it seems that he has genuine concern for Daniel.

Then said Daniel unto 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. Then was the king exceedingly 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 in his God.

Just like the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace,  Daniel endures the lions’ den, and returns unscathed because he believed in God.  The question usually rises here as to why God doesn’t always bring every painful encounter to a similarly miraculous end.  Many people, Christians all over the world today for example, are persecuted, imprisoned, and killed for their faith in Jesus Christ.  Their stories don’t always end like Daniel’s.  Make no mistake, Daniel was not obedient because he believed God would rescue him from the consequences, he was ready to die.  He understood that this life is temporary, it is an opportunity to know and glorify God. 

It doesn’t say he was saved because he believed in deliverance, he believed in his God.  As in the case of the three Hebrew children, their miraculous rescue was a witness to the witnesses of that pagan nation and to the king as well. We don’t understand God at all if we only look at situations from a temporal earthly point of view.  It is the heart and passion of God to save all that will believe on His name.  We do know God is sovereign.  He is righteous.  He is Just.  He is all loving. He does what he does in complete consistency with who He is.  We can’t see the future or the possibility of redemption in the hearts of those around us,  Neither can we know the purpose and plans of God, but we know Him, and that is enough to put confidence in the fact that nothing comes upon us that He will not use for our good.  The book of Hebrews says that the world is not worthy of the faithful martyrs who will obtain a better resurrection. 

Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection. And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. (Hebrews 11: 35-38)  

Thankfully in this situation, Daniel was unharmed and God’s testimony calmed the heart of the King.   Daniel believed in God, do you? 

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, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.

These verses are hard to hear.  They are a reminder to us that our actions have consequences.  We not only cause ourselves harm but as this event shows, our families suffer because of our sin.   This is a horrific ending, but God is a just God. We will all die, but those who put their trust in God have comfort and hope.  Those who have rejected the grace and goodness of God have nothing to hold on to when their end comes. Just like Haman in the book of Esther,  the punishment the conspirators had intended for Daniel was placed upon them.  

Then king Darius wrote unto 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, and 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.

Nebuchadnezzar and now Darius, both kings write reverence and praise for God into the law of their nation.  They testify that Daniel’s God is God.  The living and powerful God.  A God who can save.  He is a Lion taming God.  He is my God.  Is He your God?

Thank you for studying with us! God bless!



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