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Book of Daniel Bible Studies Series – Part 4
“Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the Governors and Satraps,
because an excellent spirit was in him; and the King gave thought to
setting him over the whole realm.”
Daniel survived the Babylonian Empire and found himself promoted to great power and influence in the Media-Persia Empire governed by Darius. Daniel, as ever, and being the man of God that he was, “distinguished himself above the Governors and Satraps.” This greatly angered his governing colleagues and thus they conspired to bring him down. Knowing that he was so conscientious the only way, they concluded, to get rid of him would be to attack his faith in the God of Israel. So, our text from Daniel 6 reads:
“Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel
unless we find it against him concerning the Law of his God.”
We learn from this that:
1. The people of God should excel in places of darkness (Ephesians 5:8-14).
2. The people of God should know that God places them in very difficult places so that a greater purpose can be accomplished. In this case it was to lay the groundwork for a decree to be made that would release Daniel’s people from exile (Daniel 6:28; Isaiah 45:1-7).
3. The people of God should be “salt and light” in the world (Matthew 5:13-16). Salt, to make the ungodly thirsty for God and light, to show them the way…………and,
4. The people of God should always be ready to experience pushback and resistance
(2 Timothy 3:12).
As things happened, Daniel found himself facing an Antichrist trap, as his three friends had before under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar. This phenomenon is emphasized to warn the people of God that time and time again they will have to face and engage Antichrist. John the Apostle states that many Antichrists will step onto the stage of history (1 John 2:18). This certainly applies to our generation and sadly, Christians who think that they will escape this trap are quite frankly deluded. Just eighty years ago the Christians of Germany faced an Antichrist in Adolf Hitler and many of them failed because they were not prepared for it. Paul warned the Thessalonian believers of this challenge and emphasized it by saying, “Do you not remember that when I still was with you I told you these things?” (2Thessalonians 2:5).
By intrigue, and appealing to the pride of the King, a non-retractable decree was made forbidding the worship of any god, save that of the King (Daniel 6:7-9). Those disobeying would be executed in the most savage manner. Darius, by so doing, undermined his most loyal and efficient Governor in the empire and therefore set Daniel up to be thrown into the Lions’ Den. Everyone knew that he would not abandon the God of Israel and thus, as expected then, Daniel, we are told, “as was his custom”, opened his window and facing Jerusalem prayed three times a day (Daniel 6:10). He would not bow down to another god no matter what the cost. My friends, we learn that:
1. Many Antichrists have come and one global Antichrist is about to step onto the stage of history. The signs all around us are now warning us of this; the trap is being set! We will have to endure his test.
2. We have to be like Daniel and openly display our obedience to Jesus Christ…..and,
3. We must count our lives as worth sacrificing for the kingdom of God. Daniel had a personal relationship with the God that he served and therefore, nothing could break this bond. If we are going to navigate our way through the days now before us, we will have to be strongly rooted in Christ (Colossians 2:6-7).
As we know God, “sent an Angel and shut the lions’ mouths” and Daniel was saved and had a good night’s sleep. The King on the other hand, could not sleep and was greatly troubled all night (Daniel 6:18). Those who stand strong in the day of testing will be vindicated by the God of Heaven. Standing strong, means living a holy life, working in all realms as unto the Lord and having a clear conscience ( 2Timothy 1:3; Daniel 6:22). By the way, this passage demonstrates that, these are the attributes that will get us safely through the coming Great Tribulation! The cry should not be, “Are you rapture ready?”, but, “Are you character ready?”
Finally, Daniel’s detractors ended up in the pit they had cleverly planned for Daniel to be destroyed by. As for Darius, like Nebuchadnezzar, he gave honor to the God of Israel. The lesson is clear, Jesus honors those who take great risks for Him and by so doing He will use them to change the world. Darius expressed this when he made a decree that henceforth the God of the Bible was to be honored and exalted in the earth:
“I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble
and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God and steadfast
forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His
dominion shall endure to the end.”
Would it not be cool if the God of Israel, would be made known as the God of your name? This privilege was given to Daniel and will be given to those who stand with Him no matter what the challenge.
This is Malcolm Hedding.