This broadcaster has 918 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
June 15, 2021 4:00 am
The when we read in the Old Testament about the exceptional integrity characterized the life of Daniel. We often aspire to become more like him.
But that's not the primary reason Daniel's story is recorded in Scripture today on Truth for Life. Alister Brad reminds us to shift the spotlight off of Daniel and appointed back where it belongs, but a challenge in coming to chapter 6 in all of these sad narratives is of course the challenge of familiarity and many of us have been familiar with this for a very long time and so in light of that, we have prayed and asked God to help us some 70 years of not elapsed in the passage of the chapters that we've read the temptation for these exiles would be for them simply to give up any thought of Jerusalem, perhaps even to give up any real thought of allegiance to the God of their forefathers.
They knew that not only had Jerusalem been raised by the temple had been destroyed and so if you like all the emblems of the reality of God's power and presence had been eradicated in that place and it is now in this Medo Persian kingdom that Daniel is confronted by the reality of another king, and the malevolence of those who are his friends at the opening verses of the chapter simply made clear to as the logistics. If you like all of Darius's approach to his kingdom. He employs a political structure that allows them to ensure that all of the revenue and the support that should be coming his way comes his way in the hundred and 20 of them responsible to the 390 is purposed in his heart to make sure that one out of the three will actually become if you like the Prime Minister or the president. And so it is that Daniel, who many years before had been snatched from the security of his home is now a much older man. And here he is, it served without chatter he had served with Nebuchadnezzar and now Darius and it is in that context that we discover that Daniel runs right through the day that the conviction that admired his early years has not waned. With the passage of time than that I think is a great encouragement of Daniel. You'll notice that he became distinguished amongst his peers. That's what we are told in verse three he just stood out he was a good fellow.
He was obviously an exceptional character and five that's what the text tells us, doesn't that even though his friends were envious of them as we will see they really could find no basis for any kind of complaint because of the quality of his life he was.
If you like amount of stability in a world that was shaky amount of purity in a world that was dirty, a man of integrity in the world that was shady. There was no gap between his public and his private life he didn't cheat at work and he didn't cheat at home.
He shined his shoes.
He showed up on time and he was generally a decent soldier is not to be said for that is the bride it was in the everyday routine of life in the fulfillment of his responsibilities that the quality and character of the man was revealed and it is on account of God that we are told that although he was distinguished among his peers. He was envied by them and he was opposed it was his integrity that was the occasion of their jealousy, he noticed there's nothing worse than a really punctual member of your team. If you always come in late. He was respectful he was. Kindly he was honest and so on and so the folks who want to try and discredit him realize very quickly that another bill to do it on the basis of these things and so from verses 6 to 9 we have the record of them are persuading this king to issue any day which would be relatively short it was for 30 days. You will notice in verse seven.
In other words, it was really short enough for them to cope with and had long enough for them to have time to trap Daniel Bass successfully preventing him from rising to the position of influence that the king had planned and is the usual kind of thing they going in numbers. They go in with the safety of their companions and they announce the fight that everybody agrees with this. If the king had been paying attention. He would've realized that Daniel's name was missing from the list and they tell him that this is really the best plan that they have come up with and to make sure the law will not be revoked, and so therefore can Darius sign the document and injunction and the laws were changed.
The penalties were determined, the trap was set and it was said in such a way that these quotes honorable men would not ultimately be found guilty of what happened to Daniel. Now there was no basis for their spider for their hatred was in the Daniel had trampled on. The more been unkind to them, they could probably have tolerated that are identified with it. What they couldn't handle was his unswerving commitment to this God of his this unshakable conviction was a core conviction. For him, that God was the living God, that God was an everlasting God, I wasn't of these men were irreligious and Daniel was religious. They wear religious people say that answers all the time normally while I will actually they don't they say well I'm not really a religious person but I am a spiritual person and and and and in my spiritual realm. I'm able to tolerate all these different things and I just don't understand what's wrong with you why you're such a fanatic about this Jesus stuff. See, this was what the problem was for these men, it would be okay if Daniel said you know I've got a little religious interest over here it goes back a long time to a different place and I just practicing on my own and I don't want you to interfere with me and I won't interfere with you. We can all get together quite happily. But that wasn't the case they couldn't handle the fact that when they saw Daniel get down on his knees and turned his face towards Jerusalem. He wasn't simply going through some kind of external religious exercises he was declaring the fact that his conviction was that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was the final truth and laughfor believing that all these other religions were equally valid. That was the thing they couldn't stand no you see Daniel was executing his religious convictions in an environment now where the law of the land and the law of God were in direct conflict with one another. Direct conflict and when that direct conflict comes then we're going to find out who is committed to the law of God to the word of God and who is prepared to compromise and roll over and it remains the challenge of our day. Pluralism ultimately will only accept other pluralists. Pluralism cannot handle this is why having Jesus in the sermon on the mount says Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because all of me are some of us have people insulting is because all bias, because where were were were poor characters. Jesus is not talking about that he says when people persecute you because all of me and others because you are so committed to following me that you will not go there that you will not do that, that you will not bow down that you will not capitulate to declare that he alone is the way the truth and the life that there is salvation in no one else, because there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be safe to declare that marriage is the very creation of God himself, and cannot be. We defined by man lookouts. Daniel was framed.
They hated them. The plotted against him because he was a bad fellow, but because he stood for truth. He loved what God love and he lived out that law. He was a forerunner of he who was despised and rejected of men man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. So this distinguished man in his career, envied unopposed by his peers, declares his unwavering discipline, even in light of the injunction are standing following another story.
Daniel when the document being signed went to his house where he and Windows in his upper chamber open towards Jerusalem. If Daniel's commitment had been spasmodic. There would never have been a basis for what then happened if his prayer life if you like had been burst of enthusiasm followed by periods of chronic inertia, then their plot would not really have worked with it. They suggest goal.
Basically there's three times in the day, you'll catch him at it. He does it all the time. He always faces in the same direction. I don't know why does that we destroyed Jerusalem. There is no temple, but he keeps pointing in the direction it's as if he believes that God will come and restore this is exactly what he believed and so they found him giving thanks to God.
Verse 10 as he had done previously.
It all and read into this story that he just began again a freedom fighter in response to a bad law allow go and pray they said I can pray so and I'll pray no when he said you only pray to this so well. I always pray, but it sure one Beta that and I'll just keep doing what I'm doing in the garden. Verse 12 the car became the one of the exiles from Judah see the disparaging thing again.
One of the exiles from julep are you kidding me this is Daniel is not just one of exiles from Judah he's going to be the Prime Minister this place.
That's why you're doing what you're doing and start his adopted country with great consistency in this Daniel essay pays no attention to you. Okay well I wasn't true but he doesn't actually obey the injunction you have signed, but he makes his petition three times a day so very wonderful is not there. The race for Daniel and following after God was a cross country runner lasted for all of his life. Daniel is I think in passing an illustration of the priority of forming holy habits. It was his unswerving witness which made it possible for him to be caught and as loyal as he'd been to these various empires and serving them. Nobody could be in any doubt about his loyalty to the kingdom of God, you look towards Jerusalem where he believed the truth was found and where he believed men and women from every nation would look for their salvation is very possible then to launch into a big piece on the cultivating of our prayer life which makes most of us feel really really uncomfortable for honest, I don't want to do that. I want to move more quickly to make sure that the hero in this story is God, not Daniel I did when I preach this in previous occasions.
Daniel definitely comes out on top.
Well finish saying there to be a Daniel Medeiros I'm going to be Daniel Daniel. Although Daniel is all going out to the place of moral Daniel Daniel Daniel Noah, Daniel would've been coming and said this not known on on on on on it's it's Daniel, servant of the living God, the living God. God lives, says Daniel. That's what you need to know. I just trusted him and he looked after me. I want to tell you about the living God. That's that's actually were so striking.
Isn't it because Darius the Medo Persian king essentially ends singing to God be the well-tolerated very things he has done. That's how the chapter ends this fantastic did you hear Darius. He was saying to God be the glory. He was not just he wants someone always got up God, but at living God of Daniel. But I thought he dumped Daniel well he did dump Daniel.
He didn't want to believe.
Did he put them in there. Verse 14 then the king when he heard these words as the words of the opponents of Daniel was much distressed. This is different business.
Nebuchadnezzar was furious. This fellow's distress and he said his mind to deliver Daniel and he labored until the sun went down to rescue him.
I have I can find a way out for this. There's going to be some way that we can get some lawyers in here they'll get this fixed.
I know it's an injunction but injunction -2+1 and we got some votes over there. Nine. There 43 satraps. We can probably fix this and then eventually there's nothing I can do except execute this irreversible decree, but of course were told that there was a lot of sleeplessness, and the king was not sleeping. He spent the night fasting and then a break of day. Verse 19 the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions, and as he came near to the den where Daniel was. He cried out in a tone of anguish because remember, this was not something that he wanted to happen.
The king declared to Daniel. Daniel noticed servant of the living God as your God, whom you serve continually been able to deliver you from alliance and he says yes he has. And here I have trusted God. God has honored his word and I have reason to rejoice before you, and as a result of that King Darius then does one of these big letters sends it out to all the peoples and nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth, and he wants the people to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel because he is the living God, enduring forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and so on, all the way right to the very end.
Let me end.
In this way because were familiar with all of this anglais.
I think of all the chapters. Probably this chapter more than any of the others conferences with what will one day be a challenge for us.
It seems almost inevitable because Daniel had to choose between loyalty to Yahweh or and obedience to a sinful government government was commanding him to engage in something and tolerate something that he wouldn't tolerate all the years before when he had refused the food he had established this course and now in the latter stages of his life.
He wasn't going to deviate. He was trapped. But he was the servant of the living God, and in many ways Daniel serves as a great foreshadowing of the Lord Jesus himself, and let me just identify this for us to make the point.
Ultimately, that the book of the Bible is a book about Jesus.
Daniel amongst the presidents and the satraps was conspired against it in the same way that the chief priests and the elders of the Jews conspired against Jesus and the political friends of Daniel could find no basis for the charge, nor could they who oppose Jesus, he was found guilty of transgression of the law of the Pete Medes and the Persians Jesus has transgressed the law of the Jews.
We have a law, they said. Darius tried unsuccessfully to intervene on behalf of Daniel pilot made a poor attempt to intervene on behalf of Jesus.
Daniel trusted in God. Jesus said, not my will but yours be done. Daniel descended into the pit. Jesus body was laid in the tomb. Daniel was found alive.
Early the next morning Jesus rose triumphantly on that glorious Easter morning Daniel was saved from certain death rose again only to die later. God raised Jesus from the dead and all was to live forever and Daniel in this incident provides hope to the exiles of his day and Jesus provides hope to we were the exiles in our day. Our God is the living God who is able to deliver from death. Those who put their trust in him and the story of Daniel I think is here for us primarily for two reasons.
One, so that the exiles would be encouraged to remain like Daniel faithful to God's law so that the conflict between the law of the land and the law of God, they must submit to the law of God and love ones that is going to come somewhere along the line. It's almost inevitable and read the opening chapters of acts, judge for yourselves. They said whether it is right for us to submit to you or to submit to God, and they brought the men and they give him a beating and he commanded no more to proclaim the name of Jesus and they went out and proclaim Jesus. Well remember Jesus said not everyone who says Lord, Lord, but he or she who does the will of my father in heaven, so the story and Daniel is then, in part, to encourage those who like Daniel were confronted by the opposition of a secular world to remain true to the instruction of God and secondly, to learn, like Daniel to trust God to trust God friends really have a go row some great songs. I think none better than the one that begins like a river glorious is God's perfect peace without wonderful stanza, every joy or trial fallen from above, traced upon our dial by the sun of life. We may trust him wholly WHOLLY we may trust him wholly.
That's all for us to do and they who trust him wholly find him wholly true back and read chapter 6. Daniel says God rescued me because I trusted him direct relationship. Those who trust him wholly find him wholly true.
Are you putting your whole weight on this morning as I saw again the beauty of the day. My mind went to another song by another of our friends. Now that Francis was my friend but I would've had her as a friend. If I'd been around, but to our little Fernando Ortega.
We look out and see this scene. Remember his song when the morning falls on the farthest hill I will sing his name.
I will praise him still and when dark trials come in my heart is filled with the weight of doubt I will praise him still, for the Lord our God. He is strong to say from the arms of death from the deepest gray and he gave us life in his perfect will.
And by his good grace, I will praise him still story one referred to the story of Daniel in the lion's in the Bible to point us to God our great deliver that the focus from today's lesson on Truth for Life with Alister Bragg from the promised land to the lions den Daniels life was one of extremes and yet his faith and his prayer life remain consistent regardless of his circumstances.
The reason is because he relied on God. He trusted in God's promises, and he lived according to God's instructions to find out more about Daniel's God you want to request a copy of Alister's brand-new book titled brave by faith God -sized confidence in a post-Christian world.
This book, you'll discover how God is the same today as he was in Daniel's time. We believe brave by faith is an essential for every Christian household today is the last day were mentioning it on this program so request your copy now for life. Find the book on the mobile app for online Truth for Life.org/donate or you can call to requested 888-588-7884 Bob Lapine thanks for joining us.
Listen tomorrow as we launch a new series in Ephesians 6 titled spring for the battle you will learn what every believer can expect to face in spiritual warfare and how God equips us with the armor we Bible teaching of Alister Bragg is furnished by Truth for Life morning is for living