hc_logoHOPE Community

Message Text

Daniel 6:1-18

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; 2 and over them three high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. 3 Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.” 6 Then these high officials and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! 7 All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 9 Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction. 10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. 11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. 12 Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, “O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 13 Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.” 14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him. 15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.” 16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” 17 And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.

Message Notes

Babylon has fallen and a new king is ruling over the empire, which means a new form of government is being booted up. Daniel, being an old man versed in governmental affairs, was an easy pick for the king. His record and his reputation has proceeded him. Daniel was a sure bet, and when he got the chance the king was going to promote him over all the satraps. Darius or Cyrus the king was very favorable to the Jews in exile. God had raised him up for the express purpose of returning the exiled Jews back to Jerusalem and rebuilding the temple.

Isaiah 45:13 I have stirred him up in righteousness, and I will make all his ways level; he shall build my city and set my exiles free, not for price or reward,” says the Lord of hosts.

Ezra 1:1-4 1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.”

2 Chronicles 36:23 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the Lord his God be with him. Let him go up.’”

Even though the King was favorably disposed to Daniel and the Jewish people, the leaders of his new government were not. The rise of Daniel had created a uniform jealousy against him. An investigation into Daniel’s past and character was completed with no findings worthy of losing his position. Now it was time to take the witch hunt to the next level.

In a striking political move, the other satraps went to the king with a plan to ensure loyalty to the new regime. Presenting a false sense of uniformity, the satraps encourage the king to make an edict that for 30 days no one can petition anyone or anything other than the king. No praying, period. The penalty would be the lions’ den.

Daniel, in the face of death, conducted himself the way he had for his whole life. At the proper time, he went to his room with his windows open toward Jerusalem and prayed. His accusers, who seemed to be lying in wait, witness the crime. They rush to the king to inform him of the infraction and also to remind the king that he cannot go against the decree. Daniel’s fate is sealed.

The king is sick with grief. Daniel is tossed into the lions’ den and the king has the longest sleep-deprived night of his life. At the break of dawn, the king rushed to the den and shouted to Daniel to see if his God had indeed delivered him. Daniel responded with an a-ok, and the king with great gladness has Daniel lifted from the den and rejoices. He quickly turns to the punishment of Daniel’s accusers and tosses their whole families into the den of lions to face certain death. The king makes a decree to the whole nation about Daniel’s God, and Daniel prospers for the rest of his life.

1. Do it right no matter who is in charge.

Daniel does not hold back to see if the new administration is going to benefit him. His reputation was excellence, and he wasn’t going to change that because there was a new leader. His performance wasn’t based on whether he agreed or disagreed with policy or who was in power. He had a reputation because he was consistent in every season.

Colossians 3 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

An excellent reputation never comes from something you do once. Strive for a life of consistency.

2. Live a life that forces the devil to make something up.

Consistency is king. If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to hide. Never get rattled when they start looking.

6 Then these high officials and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! 7 All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 9 Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction.

Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Daniel wasn’t perfect, but he was consistent. People aren’t disappointed when we fail; they are disappointed when we cover it up.

3. Whatever you have been doing is what you will be doing.

10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Let them catch you doing what you have always done.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

4. Let your faithfulness be an example.

16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!”

The king was basing his hope on the faithfulness he had seen in Daniel. Hope has to start somewhere. What do people see in us?

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

A decree went out across the whole nation that a faithful God responded to a faithful man.