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A Busy Man's Devotional Life

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
July 15, 2020 8:00 am

A Busy Man's Devotional Life

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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July 15, 2020 8:00 am

Taken captive and marched off to another country, Daniel and his friends have some amazing adventures in Babylonia. But through it all, they are faithful to God. As you enter into their story, you'll learn more about: the sovereignty of God, and why we must be holy and Christian living in a secular culture. In the latter half of this book, Daniel's own visions are recorded, and--in them--we catch glimpses of the future. How are these visions relevant to our lives?

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Welcome to the Bible study reviewing Internet Ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce for more information please contact us by calling toll-free one 804 88 18 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our bearing you to think and act biblically is a verse in the sixth chapter of Daniel that I wish could be spoken of every Christian, though I confess, in advance, it probably can't be.

Daniel had risen to a position of great prominence once again under various story tells us that Darius had appointed 120 rulers throughout the kingdom over these she had set three administrators and the one of these three administrators was Daniel. Daniel was well on his way to being promoted even over them so he would have been Prime Minister of the kingdom under Darius and the other administrators. That is, say, to who are not being so promoted as well.

As number of the under rulers who were called satraps were unhappy were jealous of Daniel, so they decided that they would try to bring them down.

They investigated them and they discover there was nothing for which they could bring fault against Daniel. He was not corrupt.

I could find no corruption. He was not lazy. They couldn't accuse him of negligence and finally they confess. Verse five we will never find any basis for charges against this man, Daniel, unless it has something to do with the law of his God wonderful would be wonderful if I could be said about every Christian. We will never find anything to bring charges against him are hard unless it has to do with the law of his or her God. Yet as I say, I'm afraid that is not true monster many things for which we can be folded.

Sometimes we can be accused rightly of outright sin. They world looks on and says what that Christian is doing something that's not right.

Why not live then the world would acknowledge that that's proper conduct. If that is true of us. We need to confess that we need to come to the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness and cleansing.

Sometimes the world looks on and says well that Christian are those Christians are lazy there so much that needs to be gone but they're just not doing anything there, sitting back their contents their wedding.

Other people carry the burden of the work that's what they tried to find wrong with Daniel. They wanted to accuse him of negligence, but Daniel was innocent of that we should be as well.

Sometimes the world looks on and accuses us of pride. They say look those Christians behave like everybody else and they're lazy to boot. And on top of all that they're proud to be that way and that's the case we need to confess our pride can be cleanse of it and be changed by Jesus Christ would be a wonderful thing even though perhaps it can't be said of us in this hour, yet, and perhaps in part as a result of this study and other studies, we take that one day people will be able to look at us though they may not favor where we stand will nevertheless have to confesses these men confess concerning Daniel. We won't find anything wrong with him or her lesson has to do with law of God. Now, this verse is set in the context of the story, which is the best known story in Daniel and one of the best-known stories of the Old Testament has to do with the story of Daniel being thrown into the den of lions.

As a result of the evil stratagems of these jealous people. They found that there was nothing in Daniel for which he could be accused so they thought. Well, they would have to resort to a strategy so they came to Darius to like most rulers was very susceptible to flattery, and they said what we think there should be a new law passed this new law should indicate your importance and it should be. To this effect that no one in the kingdom should be allowed to pray to any daughter make a request of any man save you okay and for the space of 30 days and furthermore they said we think this should be done in a very efficient way to be established according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which meant that that was a law that couldn't be altered in any respect. Furthermore, they said, in order. I'm afraid I'm going to be facetious in order to put some teeth into this particular law. We think it should be that anyone who disobeys it should be thrown into a dam of angry hungry lions and so law is passed. Darius seems to of been a rather nice man. Later on, when he discovered what had happened.

He wanted to save Daniel's life but the significant thing here is how easily he was drawn into this deception not significant because this deception.

If you really understand it is one with the theme of the book of Daniel. Up to this point. Sleep did mean to pass a law that said no one was able to make a request of any God or man, save Darius for the period of 30 days on answer is obvious. Invented Darius by this law was being placed or was placing himself in the place of God. Instead of praying to God to pray the Darius. This was man taking God's part. This was the sin of those shares are. This was the sin of Nebuchadnezzar, and here it was repeating itself in Daniel's case.

This is the sin of all secular society as the sin of our own time as well know, one of the kingdoms that Daniel prophesies earlier and also later in the book is the kingdom of Rome. This was precisely the challenge that faced the Christians in the Roman Empire. Romans were remarkably tolerant, remarkably broad-minded for an ancient people they allowed you to worship any god you wanted so long as you didn't say anything against the gods of Rome, the height of Roman arrogance was reached in the cold of the Caesar's in which it was required that every citizen of the Empire.

At one point or another. Bring a pinch of incense brought on the fire form of worship of Caesar, the reigning Caesar and say the words clear skies are Caesar is Lord.

This of course is the thing the Christians wouldn't do that. It's not that they would monitor Caesar with all proper water, but there was one more that was Jesus Christ there was one God and that was the God of the Bible and they would not give the owners about God or his Christ will mere man, and for this they die they were executed as well. Many were thrown the lions precisely the same experience that afflicted Daniel many as we know were crucified say is what they would do that I can worship any god they please. But if they were so bold as to say there is but one God, and we will worship him only then world the secular world of that day said well then we have no place for you.

You must be crucified rightly point out that is what our culture does today say, well, our culture is more tolerant.

That is true in some ways. Most places of the world that you want killed outright for your profession of faith in Jesus Christ.

But there different kinds of execution talk about character assassination. We talk about discrimination and and those things are true. Our culture does it as well. Let me give you an illustration of an illustration very close to us in early 1981 after Ronald Reagan won the presidency of the United States. Dr. C. Everett Cooper was appointed Deputy Assistant Sec. to Health and Human Services putting in line to become the surgeon general of the United States. Now Dr. Koop was a distinguished surgeon in the surgeon in chief of Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. The entire surgical wing hospitals named in his honor. He was a pioneer in pediatric surgery was an inventor of many pediatric surgical techniques he had won the French Legion of honor at that time was editor and had been founder of the Journal of pediatric surgery, and so on.

The list of his accomplishments was enormous. But I do Koop as opposed to abortion on the ground that the fetus is made in the image of God and not to abort the fetus is murder because that was so unpopular at the time when groups combination came before the Senate. He was the victim of unscrupulous attacks upon his person and his character, in which all of his accomplishments as a surgeon were virtually ignored Washington Post described in without mentioning any of his medical achievements as quote a fundamentalist Christian with a Lincoln asked Beard the narrator of a controversial antiabortion film.

Whatever happened to the human rights they reduced them to the level of a propagandist Boston Globe dismissed them as a mere clinician with tunnel vision soul well him time. Dr. was appointed the surgeon general and today partially through his work and certainly through the marshaling of Christian resources in this country. The attitude in some quarters toward abortion is changed. At any rate, even secular leaders, a new openness to discuss whether it really might be a serious moral error.

Point is that at the time this became the sole issue simply because our culture, we have to understand that because our culture still wanted to play the part of God maintaining to itself the right to kill or to preserve human life in this case the life of the unborn child and anyone who stood in the way was made, the victim of severe attack. She is always that way.

We have a tendency always to think of our culture is better when still inherent that idea of some kind of inevitable moral progress in human history, but it is not true heart of man continues to stand in opposition to God is true that one as we stay on the reservation. Our culture will allow us to believe and do anything we please put if we take our faith off the reservation.

We bring it in the what our culture would call the real world. If we say in that world. This is an improper fraction because of Christian principles, then the world is ready to crucify us also. This is what happened in the case of Daniel was worth seeing how it happened with Daniel.

These men got the law passed in the word of it came to Daniel and we read that when the law was made known to Daniel. Daniel first 10 went home to his upstairs room where the windows open toward Jerusalem, and there three times a day. He got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God. Just as he had done before.

I like those words just as he had done before was a pattern of life with Daniel. Daniel was so relatively old man at this point is estimated that he was probably in his 80s. He had been conformed in this pattern of devotional discipline for more than half a century and he wasn't going to change now. The world outside was changing all around was giving way.

But God was not changing and he was a servant of the immutable God. So he states his future with the unchangeable and was willing to perish if that's what was required. The other interesting thing about this is that the law was only for 30 days to respond to that 30 day filing goodness 30 days very long. I suppose there might have been many people who, if they were present would have remonstrated with Daniel at that point they would've said come on now Daniel. 30 days is not a long time why there are going to be Christians in the 20th century who will neglect to read their Bible and pray for 30 days. And God doesn't strike them dead. Why don't you just let it go for a month wanted to take a vacation.

Or if you're unable to get away from your job. Why don't you just close the window or if you're afraid that even then you might get caught. Why did you just pray in bed at night. All the lights are out and it's dark and no one will know. Daniel didn't think that way. Daniel was about to begin a pattern of compromise because he knew that once you begin a pattern of compromise. It's this area and that area in the next area and the first thing you know you have no witness at all. So he did what every Christian should we continue as he had done any notes in the sight of all babbling the parade, just as he had done before I went to see two things about Daniel. First of all, even though Daniel was alone. He was a minority of one everybody was against him.

Even though Daniel was alone, he nevertheless was the one manual Babylon. They really had together. He knew what was true and he was able to stand by Darius to know what was going on.

Darius didn't even see through the stratagem of the other administrators. He was full by the family certainly didn't have any awareness of the spiritual dimensions of the struggle. The administrators didn't know what was going on they did know Daniel's God is good to be easy to get Daniel executed.

As I read the story.

I sense that Daniel didn't even have the support of his three friends at this time we don't know why but many years of past.

Maybe they had been assigned elsewhere in the kingdom. Perhaps it even died. By this time anyway.

It was Daniel along one man is standard been made known in large the people they would've laughed him to scorn for his convictions. What is more foolish than persisting in some devotional religious right when it's going to cost you your life. But as I say, Daniel was the one man who really knew the true state of affairs.

He knew there was a God and he knew that God was. He knew that God was sovereign. He knew the God to deliver him if he chose to do it, and above all, he knew that he had the obligation to serve and worship that God only, and so we did. Regardless of those that stood against him. And secondly, it follows from the first. Not only did Daniel know the true state of affairs. He practiced it as he did he did it openly and in the sight of all. Many of us to know if we were in that situation was said well you know I believe in God and I believe it is important to worship God. But we mustn't be offensive. With this we have to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. And I think what that would mean in the situation as we just keep our convictions ourselves several very popular to worship Jehovah here in ancient Babylon with all of its foreign gods so we back off. We retreat we privatize our faith, we lose the opportunities like Peter, we deny our Lord. Daniel didn't do that.

Daniel stood and he was never greater when he so stood for his God, how the story moves on quickly ends from my perspective it's the least interesting part.

Perhaps because we know how it ends, that he was there praying and they burst in on they found him on his knees.

They went to Darius. They said you know there's said Julie air his name is Daniel and he has no respect for your decrees okay. He's praying to his God. Know the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be altered requires that anybody who does not be killed. Daniel has to be thrown to the den alliance. Darius didn't want to do it.

Darius held back as much as he could work all day.

It says to see if he could find a way to spare his most trusted and faithful administrator, but in the end he couldn't do it.

The law stood, Daniel had to be executed for the king himself walked in the mouth of the den and watched his Daniel was thrown in. King said the Daniel Bay, your God, whom you serve continually rescue you and others item earlier in the story that is of interest here when were told that Daniel was praying and the men who were his enemies burst in and found them praying the little phrases added that they found him asking God for help that verse tells us that Daniel was not oblivious to the danger. Sometimes people would say well perhaps the thought that nobody would find out. Even though he was kneeling before the window. Perhaps he get off the hook. Somehow mono Daniel well understood the danger he understood that he was in danger of his life and he was asking God to help them. But the point of this to see if the God did but didn't come to is that God didn't close the mouths of lions. As a matter of fact, only 80 some years that Daniel had been in Babylon this night was the safest night of his entire life because even his enemies couldn't get to him when he was in the den of lions. I am sure that that my Daniel slept marvelously. It was the king of couldn't sleep were told about the king, he thrashed around all night and early in the morning at the first light of dawn and got up the rest of the lions dad and he called out to Daniel in an anguished voice Daniel, servant of the living God is your God, whom you serve continually been able to rescue you from the lion's. I don't know what the king expected to hear her baby expected to hear the lion, but I know what he did here. They are Daniel in the yard.

Daniel clearly because God enclose the lions mouth. I think even their stomachs were not rumbling when Daniel called back. Oh king live forever. My God sent his angel and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have bothered me because I was found innocent in his sight, nor have I ever done any wrong before you okay Darius knew it was true. There was no clause of offense and Daniel save perhaps the relationship to the worship of his God, my God was the true God. So Darius had Daniel drawn out. He had his accusers and their families thrown in the end of the story Darius issues a proclamation in which the God of Daniel is exalted for he is the living God, and he endures forever. His kingdom will not be destroyed. His dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves you perform signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.

He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions wasn't very profound, but it was profound for the king and it was true enough. God is God and he had rescued Daniel the servant from the power of the lions and it was good that testimony given see that God is our God, you know, in the 11th chapter of Hebrews. There's a reference to this, the author of Hebrews is writing about what has been accomplished through faith in the part of God's servants and the chosen one point that through faith. Many stop miles of lions clear reference to Daniel, and yet I point out that shortly after that, in the same chapter he goes on to say yes, but many were tortured and accepted death rather than relinquish their faith. Many were persecuted. Many were oppressed some more sawn into because they look forward to a better resurrection. See, we read a story like this, we rejoice in what God can do and is done and that's proper that we do we have to do it the same time acknowledge that God does not always deliver in that way, but that he is no less powerful, no less in charge when those were his servants to endure suffering. Sometimes God brings the victory through life. Sometimes God brings the victory through death always is God who brings the victory, and we need men and women we need a band of Daniels will stands today against the arrogance, humanism of our world. Let us pray our father, we thank you for the story with all its practical application to ourselves and to our living today, we ask by your grace, that we might learn from it.

Plant these truths in our hearts disabuse us of any thought that somehow ours is the Christian culture. Help us to see it for what it is, secular culture with Christian overtones give us. We pray knowledge of what we must do in the strength to do it.

As we stand and do the right regardless of the consequences because we know the true God who lives in endures forever. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. You have been listening to the Bible study our production of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals the alliance of confessing Evangelicals exist to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of Reformation theologians from decades, even centuries gone by. We seek to provide contemporary Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. The alliance ministry includes the Bible study yard featuring Dr. James voice every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Rieke and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Gray Barnhouse. For more information on the alliance including a full list of radio stations carrying our programs or to make a contribution. Please contact us by calling toll-free 1-800-488-1888.

Again, that's 1-800-488-1888. You can also write the alliance at Box 2000, Philadelphia, PA 19103 four you can visit us online at ask for your free resource catalog featuring books, audio teachings, commentaries, booklets, videos, and a wealth of other materials from outstanding reformed teachers and theologians, including Donald Barnhouse, James voice and Philip Rieke. Thank you again for your continued support

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