Sun, Feb 18, 2018

Not Retired, Re-Fired

DANIEL 6.1-28   NOT RETIRED, RE-FIRED

70 years have passed since the beginning of the exile of Judah.

Daniel is in his 80s at this point – healthy and vibrant!

Daniel 9:1–2 (AMP)

1 IN THE first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus, of the offspring of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans—

2 In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the books the number of years which, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass by before the desolations [which had been] pronounced on Jerusalem should end; and it was seventy years. [Jer. 25:11, 12; 29:10.].  [1]

 

Daniel 6:  What Sunday School child doesn’t know the story of Daniel in the lion’s den?

 

Daniel 5:31   And Darius the Mede received the kingdom when he was about sixty-two years old.

  • The image of Daniel 2 was a reliable prophetic word
  • From the head of gold to an inferior kingdom of silver – God places whom He desires in Empires of the World.

2 Peter 1:18–21

18 And we ourselves (Peter, James, John) heard this voice brought from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain,

19 and we possess as more reliable the prophetic word, to which you do well if you pay attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,

20 recognizing this above all, that every prophecy of scripture does not come about from one’s own interpretation,

21 for no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

 

A co-regency with Cyrus the Persian (Medo-Persian Empire – 2 arms)

Daniel 6:28   So this Daniel prospered during the kingdom of Darius and during the kingdom of Cyrus the Persian.

 

1 It pleased Darius, and he set up one hundred and twenty satraps over the kingdom, that they were throughout the whole kingdom,

Book of Daniel:

  • Chapters 1-4 – Nebuchadnezzar
  • Chapter 5 – 1st year of Belshazzar
  • Chapter 6 – Darius at startup
  • Chapter 7 – 1st year of Belshazzar
  • Chapter 8 – 3rd year of Belshazzar
  • Chapter 9 – 1st year of Darius
  • Chapter 10 – 3rd year of Cyrus
    • Daniel 11:2-4Greek Kingdom prophesied to come –
      Belt and waist of Bronze in Daniel 2.

Daniel 11:2–4 (NIV84)

2 “Now then, I tell you the truth: Three more kings will appear in Persia, and then a fourth, who will be far richer than all the others. When he has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece.

3 Then a mighty king will appear, who will rule with great power and do as he pleases.  (Alexander the Great)

4 After he has appeared, his empire will be broken up and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven (4 Greek Generals). It will not go to his descendants, nor will it have the power he exercised, because his empire will be uprooted and given to others.   [2]

 

 

2 and over them were three administrators (“presidents”), of whom Daniel was one, so that these satraps were giving account to them, and the king would not be suffering loss.

3 Then Daniel began distinguishing himself above the administrators (presidents) and the satraps because an exceptional spirit was in him, and so the king planned to appoint him over the whole kingdom.

  • 5632 סָרַךְ [carek /saw·rake/] n m. Of foreign origin; TWOT 2893; GK 10518; Five occurrences; AV translates as “president” five times.
    1 chief, overseer.   [3]
    • Daniel was the chief “president” of the new Medo-Persian Empire.
      • Darius really loved and appreciated Daniel.
    • Why? – What had Daniel done to distinguish himself?
      • We should look to Daniel 9 – written in Darius’ first year of reign:

Daniel 9:21–23

21 As I was praying, Gabriel,

whom I had seen in the earlier vision,

came swiftly to me at the time of the evening sacrifice.

22 He explained to me, “Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding.

23 The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God. Listen carefully so that you can understand the meaning of your vision.

 

  • How much does God love you?
  • How much does he treasure your life and love?
  • How much “insight and understanding” can we have through the Holy Spirit?

 

James 1:5. (AMP)  If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.  [4]

Every day Daniel would walk by these reliefs on the walls of Babylon, by the Great Ishtar Gate:

  • The Lion’s den existed far before Daniel was thrown into it.
  • He knew men, women and children were tortured and killed there.
  • He knew the extent of the inhumanity Darius was capable of.
    • What did Daniel think these reliefs of lions on the walls AFTER his experience in the lion’s den?
    • Points of faith – Ebenezers

 

 

4 Then the other administrators and satraps began to seek to find a pretext against Daniel in connection with the kingdom, but they were not able to find any pretext and corruption because he was trustworthy, and no negligence or corruption could be found in him.

  • Above reproach – not to be understood as “perfect” [5]

1 Timothy 3:2   Now a bishop (Elder, superintendent, overseer) must give no grounds for accusation but must be above reproach, . . .   [6]

 

  • Integrity (from the Latin word integer, “entire”) may be defined as the condition or quality of being undivided. It describes those who adhere to their ethical or moral standards without hypocrisy or duplicity. People with integrity lead lives that are one with their stated convictions; they walk what they preach.” They are honest, sincere, and incorruptible. In biblical terms, those with integrity are “above reproach”—a quality that is to characterize all believers (Php 2:15; 1Ti 5:7), but especially elders (1Ti 3:2; Titus 1:6).

 

5 Then these men said, “We will not find any pretext against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”

6 So the administrators and the satraps conspired with respect to the king and so they said to him, “Darius, O king, live forever!

7 All of the administrators of the kingdom, and the prefects, the satraps, the counselors and the governors took counsel and have agreed to establish an edict of the king and to enforce a decree that whoever will seek a prayer from any god or human except from you for up to thirty days will be thrown into the lion pit.

8 Now, O king, establish the edict and you must sign the document so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians which cannot be revoked.”

9 So the king, Darius, signed the writing and the interdict.

10 Now when Daniel realized that the document was signed, he went to his house (now he had windows in his upper room that were open toward Jerusalem), and three times daily he knelt on his knees and prayed and gave praise before his God, just as he had been doing previously.

  • When Daniel realized his life would be in danger from worshipping, fasting and praying to the Lord God Almighty
    • He ran?
    • He stopped praying and carrying on?
    • He prayed silently so no one would see or hear?
    • He carried on, in spite of his personal cost?

 

11 Then these men came as a group and they found Daniel praying and pleading for mercy before his God.

  • Where was Daniel praying and praising?
    • Anywhere he wanted to – but always facing Jerusalem and the Temple.

 

1 Peter 2:11–12 (NLT)

11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.

12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.

 

  • The story of Daniel and the lion’s den reminds us that there is a spiritual battle raging all around us. The devil himself is like a roaring lion who would devour us if he could (1Pe 5:8).
    Therefore, it should not surprise us if the devil has an army of supporters whose major call in life is to harass us, trick us, and trip us up if they can. You can tell a lot about a person by the quality of his enemies. Daniel must have been a good man because he had the right kind of enemies. The people who hated him were no friends of God. They came after his faith because they could find no fault in him, and they had no answer for what he believed. (How to Tame Lions - Dr. Ray Pritchard - January 2000) [7]

 

12 Then they approached and spoke with the king concerning the edict of the king, “Did you not sign an edict that any person who would seek anything from any God or human within thirty days except from you, O king, would be thrown into the lion pit?” The king answered and said, “The matter as you have just stated is certain according to the law of the Medes and Persians which cannot be revoked.”

13 Then they responded and said before the king, “Daniel, who is from the exiles of Judah, is not paying any attention to you, O king, or to the decree that you have signed, and three times daily he says his prayer.”

14 Then Darius, when he heard that report, he was extremely distressed over it; and concerning Daniel he was determined to rescue him.

And until the setting of the sun he was making every effort to deliver him.

15 Then these men came as a group to the king and said, “Recall, O king, that with respect to the law of the Medes and Persians that any decree or edict that the king establishes cannot be changed.”

16 Then the king gave the command, and Daniel was brought in and they threw him into the lion pit.

Then the king said to Daniel,

“Your God, whom you serve faithfully, may he rescue you!”

17 And a stone was brought, and it was put on the entrance of the pit, and the king sealed it with his signet ring and with the signet rings of his lords, so that nothing would be changed concerning Daniel.

 

I love this painting, look at the expressions on the lion’s faces!

 

18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night in fasting, and no food was brought in before him and his sleep fled from him.

  • We should all be disturbed by the decisions we sometimes make.
    • Fasting is ALWAYS the right choice in a difficult decision.

 

19 Then the king got up at daybreak, at first light, and he went in haste to the lion pit.

20 And when he came near to the pit, he cried out to Daniel with a distressed voice, and the king spoke and said to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, your God whom you serve faithfully, was he able to rescue you from the lions?”

21 Then Daniel spoke to the king, “O king, live forever!

  • Like a Father who only wants to hear his child’s voice after a disaster.
  • Daniel’s voice settled the case of which God reigned supreme for those who love Him.

 

22 My God sent his angel and he shut the mouth of the lions and they did not hurt me, because before Him I was found blameless, and also before you, O king, I have not done any wrong.”

  • Can you be found blameless before the living God who knows all things?

 

23 Then the king was exceedingly glad over it and commanded that Daniel be lifted up from the pit; and there was not any wound found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

24 The king then commanded, and these men were brought who had accused Daniel, and they threw them and their children and their wives into the lion pit, and they had not reached the floor of the pit before the lions had overpowered them and they had crushed all of their bones.

Daniel 3:27     Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!

 

25 Then Darius the king wrote to all the people, the nations, and the languages living in the whole earth, “May your prosperity become great!

26 (NLT)  “I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel.

For He is the living God,

and He will endure forever.

His kingdom will never be destroyed,

and His rule will never end.

27  He rescues and saves his people;

he performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth.

He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

28  So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian. [8]

  • No one owns a cat
  • Cats are unpredictable loners that allow humans to feed them and give them what they want.
    • They do what they want, when they want.
    • No one can explain away what happened that night in the Lion’s den.
  • GOD rescued His son Daniel.
  • GOD saved His son Daniel
  • GOD does signs and miracles every day – often un-noticed by His children.

 

 

 

[1] The Amplified Bible (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1987), Da 9:1–2.

[2] Alexander the Great (356–323 BC) died suddenly at the age of 32, leaving no apparent heir or appointed successor. Some 40 years of internecine conflict followed his death, as leading generals and members of Alexander’s family vied to control different parts of the vast empire he had built. The Battle of Ipsus, fought in Phrygia, Asia Minor (present-day Turkey) in 301 BC between rival successors, resulted in the empire’s irrevocable dissolution.
The kingdom of Cassander (circa 358–297 BC), consisted of Macedonia, most of Greece, and parts of Thrace.
The kingdom of Lysimachus (circa 361–281 BC), included Lydia, Ionia, Phrygia, and other parts of present-day Turkey.
The kingdom of Seleucus (died 281 BC; later the Seleucid Empire), comprised present-day Iran, Iraq, Syria, and parts of Central Asia.
The kingdom of Ptolemy I (died 283 BC) included Egypt and neighboring regions.

 

[3] James Strong, Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon (Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1995).

[4] The Amplified Bible (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1987), Jas 1:5.

[5]

[6] The Amplified Bible (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1987), 1 Tim 3:2.

[7] http://www.keepbelieving.com/sermon/how-to-tame-lions/

[8] Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013), Da 6:26–28.