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Daniel 6:1-28 - Integrity In The Lions Den

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Introduction:

In our past studies, we’ve learned some important lessons on how to Stand Firm:

1.             Standing Firm In Spiritual Integrity (1:1-21)

a)             Daniel, and His Three Friends New Home (v.1-3)

b)            Daniels Reeducation (v.4)

c)             Daniel’s New Diet (v.5)

d)            Receiving New Names (v.6-7)

e)             Daniel Had A Shameless Courage (v.8)…  Proverbs 4:23-27

f)             Daniel’s Protection and Persistence (v.9-16)

2.             Standing Firm In Worship (3:1-30)

a)             God Wants & Desires Our Worship: Because He Is Worthy And Wants To Transform Us

b)            Satan Also Desires Our Worship: Because He Wants To Destroy Us.

c)             Standing Firm In Peer Pressure (3:8-18)

d)            Standing Firm In Persecution (3:19-30)

e)             The Conclusion of the Matter: Such strength of character can carry us through all of life’s ups and downs, especially when we know God will be pleased with our response:

For all his laws are constantly before me; I have never abandoned his principles.  I am blameless before God; I have kept myself from sin.  The Lord rewarded me for doing right, because of the innocence of my hands in his sight.”  (Psalm 18:22-24, NLT)

Now I want to talk to you about another excellent characteristic of Daniel:

 

3.             Standing Firm In Prayer (6:1-28) 2:17-18; 6:10; 9:3-19; 10:2-3, 12-13

a)             In this chapter we spend a day in the life of the Prime Minister of the Medo-Persian Empire—Daniel.

b)            Daniel is not a teenager in this chapter; he is a man in his eighties.

c)             Age is no barrier to serving Christ, nor is it any protection against temptation and testing.

d)            Because Daniel started young as a man of faith and prayer, he was faithful to the Lord even in his old age because, Daniel Maintained His Daily Walk With God!

4.             This Chapter Emphasizes Satanic Hated And Persecution.

The Holy Scriptures Declare that "we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  (Ephesians 6:12, NKJV)

You And I Live In A Lion’s Cage, The World.  And there roaring lion prowling up and down the cage.  And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”  So Satan answered the Lord and said, from going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”“  (Job 1:7, NKJV)

Peter Calls Him Our Adversary, The Devil "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”  (1 Peter 5:8, NKJV)

1.            Standing Firm in Promotion (v.1-9)

a)            I pleased Darius to set over the kingdom…  Three governors, of whom Daniel was one (v.1-2)

(1)           God Had Honored Daniel For His Faithfulness…  He was the Second Ruler in the Land
(a)           There Were Actually 124 Persons Involved In The Leadership Of The Land:
(b)           Darius the king, the three presidents (with Daniel as #1), and 120 princes.
(c)           Darius was so impressed with Daniel, he was planning to make him second ruler.

(2)           Daniel’s Promotions in Babylon Are Proof That God Is the One Who Promotes Not Man.

"For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south.  But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.”  (Psalm 75:6-7 cf. Prov.3:3-4)

"The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man and his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand.”  (Genesis 39:2-3)

"So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him.  Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority.”  (Genesis 39:4, NKJV)

The Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field.”  (Genesis 39:5, NKJV)

"But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”  (Genesis 39:21, NKJV)

"The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.”  (Genesis 39:23, NKJV)

 

(3)           A Believer Does Not Have To Compromise To Succeed: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)

b)            Daniel Distinguished Himself (v.3)

(1)           He Proved Himself To Be More Capable Than Others…  Marked By A Good Reputation

Paul put it this way, "Let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27)

(a)           The word “worthy” is also very significant, It means, to fit, correspond, be suitable.

The greatest weapon against the devil is a godly life, "You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men;" (2 Corinthians 3:2, NKJV)

You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you" (1 Thessalonians 2:10, NKJV)

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”  (1 Timothy 4:12, NKJV)

 

 

c)            An Excellent Spirit Was In Him (v.3)

(1)           This Is The Life Of The Holy Spirit Within Us.
(2)           The Spirit of the Holy God was in him (5:11, 14)
(3)           The Spirit of God Lives within us as well (1Cor.6:19-20)

d)            They could find no charge, error of fault… because he was faithful (v.4-9)

(1)           A Plot Against Daniel Is Conceived (v.4-5).
(a)           Only Daniel’s Commitment to God Could Be Found against Him
(b)           You cannot keep people from talking about you, but you can live in such a way (integrity) as to make them liars when they do talk about you:

No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn (Isaiah 54:17, NASB95)

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world," (Philippians 2:14-15, NKJV)

I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men.”  (Acts 24:16, NASB95)

(2)           The Danger of Flattery (v.6-9).
(a)           Darius Yielded To His Weakness, Pride.

They speak falsehood to one another; with flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.  May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that speaks great things;" (Psalm 12:2-3, NASB95)

For our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit.  But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.  For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know… — God is witness (1 Thessalonians 2:3-6)

2.            Standing Firm In Prayer (v.10-15)

a)            Daniel knew the writing was singed but continued to pray three times that day (v.10)

(1)           Daniel Did Not Fear & Then Become An Undercover Christian.  
(a)           Daniel Could Have Followed The Easy Path And, Let Go Of His Standards Of Integrity.

The Fear Of Man Caused King Saul To Sin By Disobeying God…  Saul admitted, “Yes, I have sinned.  I have disobeyed your instructions and the Lord’s command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded.”  (1 Samuel 15:24, NLT)

And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him…  Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.”  (Luke 12:4-5, 8-9, NKJV)

 

(b)           “My friends” example of “Evander Holyfield” protecting you at school. 

 

From the pages of church history there is a story told of a Christian who was arrested and brought before the Roman Emperor and told to deny his faith in God or he would be put to death.  The Emperor said to this Christian, “renounce your faith, give up Christ, if you don’t I’ll banish you!  The Christian said, “you cannot banish me from Christ, for God said I will never leave you nor forsake you”.   The Emperor said, “Then I will confiscate your property”, the Christian said, “hey my treasures are laid up in heaven, you can’t touch them”.  The Emperor said to him, “then I’ll kill you,” the Christian said, “I’ve been dead to this world in Christ for 40 years, my life is hid with Christ in God, and you can’t touch it.”  The Emperor turned to some members of his court and said in discus, “what can you do with such a fanatic.”    

 

 

(2)           Daniel Obeyed God Rather Than Men (Acts 4:13-21).
(a)           Daniel sought the mercies of God in (Daniel 2:17-18)
(b)           Daniel set his face toward the Lord God: prayer, supplication, fasting, sackcloth (9:3)
(c)           Daniel set his heart to understand & humble himself before God (10:1-3, 10-13)

3.            Standing Firm in the Lions Den (v.16-23)

a)            Daniel was cast into the den of lions (v.16)

(1)           You and I Live in a Lion’s Cage, the World.

And there is a roaring lion prowling up and down the cage.  Peter Calls Him Our Adversary, The Devil "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”  (1 Peter 5:8, NKJV)

Jesus Prayed to the Father saying: “And now I am coming to you.  I have told them many things while I was with them so they would be filled with my joy.  I have given them your word.  And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not.  I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.  They are not part of this world any more than I am.  Make them pure and holy by teaching them your words of truth.  As you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.”  (John 17:13-18, NLT)

 

b)            Your God whom you serve continually, He will deliver you (v.16-20)

(1)           Daniel’s Faith and Life of Integrity Left a Strong Impression on the King.  Darius was willing to give credit to the true God because he had witnessed Daniel’s uncompromising life.

c)            My God sent His angel and shut the lion’s mouth…  I was found innocent… & done no wrong (v.22). 

(1)           Daniel Was Not Kept From Danger But Kept Through Danger

The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.”  (Psalm 34:7, NKJV)

For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.  In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.  You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.”  (Psalm 91:11-13, NKJV)

4.            God Is Glorified (v.24-28)

Voice Mail—What would it be like if your trying to talk to God in prayer, but heaven installs voice mail.  Imagine praying but getting this:

            Thank you for calling heaven: for English press 1, for Spanish press 2, for French press 3, for all other languages press 0.  Please select one of the following options: press 1 for requests, 2 for thanksgiving, press 3 for complaints, press 4 for all other inquiries.  I’m sorry all of our angels are busy helping others right now, however, your prayer is very important to us, and will be answered in the order it was received, so please stay on the line.  If you would like to speak to the Father press 1, to the Son press 2; to the Holy Spirit press 3.  To find out if a loved one has been assigned to heaven enter his or her social security number and then press the pound key.  If you get a negative response, try area code (666).  For reservations at “My Father’s House” press letters, “JOHN” then “316”.  For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, the age of the earth, and where Noah’s Ark is, please wait till you arrive.  Our computers show that you have already prayed today, please hang up and try again tomorrow.  The office is closed for the weekend to the observation of a religious holiday.  Please pray again Monday after 9:30 a.m. if you are calling after hours and need emergency assistance; please contact your local pastor.  Have a blessed day.  

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