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March 3, 2020 12:35 pm
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Are you going tonight when God's blessing. It's not uncommon for others to respond with jealousy maybe you've experienced so as not to David Jeremiah points out, this is what seeps into motion the most episode in the life of the sea continues the series. The handwriting on the pressure sores. The question I want to begin with. Today you if you knew that if you got caught praying you would be arrested, perhaps even executed, would you still pray would you pray in an isolated place would you close the window shades and go into a dark room where nobody could see you what you do when you find out what Daniel did when he was praying under pressure is quite an amazing story. It's in the sixth chapter of Daniel first 13 verses that's where will be hanging out today and tomorrow as we talk about prayer under pressure. Now let's get into our study today as we continue to learn what it means to walk with God when you're under pressure today prayer under pressure from Daniel chapter 6 lastly studying the book of Daniel.
We gathered together in the banquet room.
Bill Shatzer and we saw the demise of the great kingdom of Babylon at a drunken orgy that hand of God upon the wall and the greatest kingdoms of that time came to an end, we were struck by the reality of the fact that in just two verses of Scripture, God said that it's over and you we come now to the sixth chapter and we realize that though the works of evil men come to an end. The work of God continue.
The only continuity between chapter 5 in chapter 6 is the man. Daniel believe it or not, he's still around. He's pushing 90 now. He survived the Babylonians and he's about to start on his second dynasty with good King Darius and Cyrus.
The Scripture reminds us very forcefully that this step from the Babylonian kingdom to the Medo Persian kingdom is not a step upward, but it's a step downward.
You remember when we were studying the beast of the second chapter that we said as you move downward in the kingdoms from the head of gold to the shoulders and the arms of silver, and then down into the breasts and into the thighs and into the feet, that the kingdoms are decaying and one is becoming inferior to the one constitutional unity is being divided under King Nasser.
We had an absolute monarchy and autocratic rain, but immediately we learned that when the Medo Persians are in control. There is a hierarchy set up for in the beginning of the sixth chapter were told that it is Darius to set over the kingdom hundred and 20 princes, which should be over the whole kingdom and over these three presidents, of whom Daniel was first that the princes might give a counseling to them and the king should have no damage, then this Daniel was preferred about the presidents in the princes because an excellent spirit was in him and the King thought to send him over the whole realm now under Darius the second world empire is beginning it's established in 538 BC.
The goal is gone and the silver has replaced it and there is an interior racing in constitutional unity. Absolute monarchy is replaced by a system of hierarchy which, according to the text involves hundred and 20 princes who are rolling throughout the domain and over those 120 princes, three presidents, by the way, that's the only place in the Bible where that word is found presidents and of the three presidents one is about the other two and above all of the hundred and 20 and Batman according to the text. Is the man.
Daniel he is the first of the three, probably because of seniority, and also because of superiority. Now there are several statements in the first two verses of chapter 6 that describe Daniel verse two says, of whom Daniel was first he was number one. Verse three says that this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and the princes and that an excellent spirit was found in him, not Daniel was placed at the helm of a whole new realm. Daniel honored God and now God is going to honor Daniel again. Scripture says that the King thought to send him over the whole kingdom.
He was first in the eyes of the people and now he has become first in the eyes of the new key when the text says he is preferred. The word literally means he outshone them all. He was head and shoulders above the rest of them. He had a charismatic grace about him in an excellent spirit was remember back in the beginning of our study the book of Daniel. We were reminded of the fact that three times in this book is said of Daniel that he was a man beloved. He was loved by the people around him and his contemporary Ezekiel put him on the same level with no show Daniel and Noah and Joe. What a triumvirate we've already learned. Daniel is like two other men in the Old Testament Joseph and Jonathan that about him. There is no mention of any evil. There is no flow mentioned about him at all.
He is a man without fault who has an excellent spirit, and he reminds us that in God's world. It's not who you know what what you are, that causes you to be promoted in the world of men, it's who you know that gets you to the top. What in the world of God is and who you know.
But it's what you are ready to learn about what Daniel is as we study this portion of Scripture. Now, as we look at the first three verses we see the advancement of Daniel. I want you to notice that the reason behind his advancement is most interesting one, for it says that the King thought to set Daniel over the whole realm for as much as he was faithful. Neither was any error found in him, and that the reason for this, according to verse two was that the princes might give accounts under the presidents and the king should have no damage explain what's going on this vast empire under Darius is like much of modern government.
The 120 princes if I can use the vernacular of today are ripping off the old King there stealing from him.
The Scripture says that Daniel was set in the hierarchy so that the king would experience no damage.
Obviously, the princes were taking money that they collected from taxation and they were using it on themselves for their own purposes.
And so the king decided to get on top of that we set three people up over them, but they had to report to probably 40 of the 120 reported each of the three men. But then the king recognizing the kind of man that Daniel was that I want to put him in this flowchart and I don't really cut out the graph. No wonder they hated Daniel is honest as he was. They couldn't get by with anything they had to give away their Rolls-Royce is and cut out their French Riviera vacations.
When Daniel came on the scene because God placed him there at the right time came to insert them in the hierarchy and the result of that is what this story is all about. You see, the sixth chapter of Daniel is not about Daniel in the line. The sixth chapter of Daniel is why he got 20 lines. That's the whole story, but the whole purpose of chapter 6 is to teach us why Daniel got in such a place of the first place. Well we look at the text and we see in verses four through nine adversaries of Daniel we seen his advancement. Now we see him in his proper position. Verses four through nine. Tell us about the adversaries minimum and one of the most destructive evils you will ever find in your life in your lifetime is the evil of jealousy and here's what's going on. It's interesting as you see them referred to in the chapter is called this Daniel or Daniel medicine a term of endearment. Believe me, he is a foreigner they don't like these honest and that makes it even worse in this man has complicated the lives of these corrupt princes and their jealous and they decided to get him here is this Asian saint in his 80s and he's going to pay the penalty for his primacy. The 122 other leaders within the Medo Persian Empire have set themselves against him, and they decided to do away with Daniel. Well, the plot that they choose to get after Daniel is an interesting one.
They decided that they would investigate his life and they would do everything they could to find him him something that was wrong. Verse four says they sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom. That means they examine his administration over the province that the king would give him a check and all of the things that he had done all of his decisions. Every single memo that he had ever written everything they could get their hands on. They went after every detail their determination was that if they scrutinize Daniel sooner or later they find something for which he could be indicted. They dogged him and they hounded him and they followed him out of envy. Their hearts were burning in rage. The Medo Persian CIA went into action. They bugged his room. They did that back in those times, but they had him fixed so no matter what he did.
They were to find out what was wrong with that man you know and be always hates the excellency it cannot reach you notice that someone one time gave me a little bottle. I don't know who wrote it. Never been able to put it up because it might give the wrong impression but a voice that was a good model and the model says this jealousy is the attribute that mediocrity pays the genius's not a good statement. Jealousy is the attribute that mediocrity pays the genius the greatest tribute to Daniel is not one. He was the greatest tribute was the fact that these fellows who work with him know what he was and they tried every way they could to get at him. They were so jealous received. Daniel was too careful to make a mistake. No error is recorded against him. He was not noted for any lack of judgment. No lapse of discernment or discretion nothing on his record was bad, they just couldn't get to them.
They sought to find occasion against him, but they could not find any occasion or any fault neither was there any error or or fault found in him. Verse four now Alexander McLaren has put this into reality spectrum for us.
We sometimes think that these folks live in the Bible were paper dolls lived in an unreal world. But listen to McLarens testimony to what Daniel really was, in light of his surroundings. He said it's remarkable that a character of such beauty and consecration as Daniels should be rooted and grow out of the court where Daniel was for this court was half samples and half pigsty. It was filled with luxury and sensuality was self-seeking and idolatry and ruthless cruelty, and the like were the environment of this man, and in the middle of this there grew up that fair flower of character pure and stainless by the acknowledging of his." Sometimes I hear people say, well, you know, God doesn't expect us to live that kind of life in our culture and our environment. Let me tell you something where Daniel was is 10 times worse than anything you know and I don't even know where you are but I can tell you what Daniel lived in is worse than anything is going on around here and yet in the midst of that darkness.
Daniel shone brightly as pure testimony to the grace of God. And when his enemies took their searchlights and began to examine his character. They searched and they look they did everything they could find something wrong about him and they never succeeded stop for a moment and say to all of you who aspire to leadership that there is always a price to pay for being a leader.
There is always a penalty to pay for excellency in anything you the price must be paid. Daniel is paying the price for his excellency of character for his absolute nature of commitment to God.
And it's true in any field, even outside of Christianity. You take a musician who determines to excel and they pay a price for you. Take an athlete who determines to excel and there's a price to be paid a man who gives himself to success and to excellency will sooner or later pay the penalty primacy. I do very much about that because I'm not experienced anything like this in my own life but if there's anything that comes close to it.
In my experience it's the experience that I had as God gave me the opportunity to go to the city and start a church.
I don't know how much I told you about that little place where we were put back in 1969 when Don and I went to Fort Wayne we started a church in a mobile home believer not we have a piece of property would everybody to build a billing so we got to mobile homes, refusing together. We had a little chapel there.
See, almost 100. That's where we started out you have to get this in perspective because that was in a very affluent area of Fort Wayne, and here we were out in the middle of the field in a mobile home.
It looks strange.
You know I first went there all the pastors of the city were my friends wish to get together for pastors, fellowships, and they drop over encourage me want to know how we were doing. See how excited they were about me being there I discovered something that is as God began to bless that church and it began to grow first. Gradually, then quickly and then explosively as the church grew this way the circle of my friends with that you hear bad things about our church that were true, and I discovered that even at the highest level of Christian leadership they can get its foot in the door, and it can be destructive and divisive and hurtful in the ministry of Jesus Christ. Some of you are learning that if you have you will Daniel is paying the price you see someone who's been blessed by God with some small success and there is always a penalty for what they've done well. The problem is that they can't get at Daniel, the way they determined to do it they can't find any flowing him and so the final conclusion of his adversaries is that the best way to deal with. Daniels didn't kill and best way to get in kill is to have them executed in order to do that they have to send him up and in essence they have to set up the king to. It says that they couldn't find any fault in him and verse five says we shall not find any occasion against this Daniel except we find it against him concerning the love that interested text, Daniel is in the way that he worships. He hasn't done anything wrong concerning the kingdom. What we do know that he has a consistent pattern of worship and if were going to get them. We've got to set him up concerning his religion concerning the way he worships. And so here's their procedure. Now in verses six and seven and the presidents and the princes assembled together to the king and they said that something him what they always say King Darius with something that in this verse there is a very interesting expression. It it doesn't come out in the English translation but it's here in the text when it says that they assembled together, it means they assembled hastily. There's a great deal of confusion in the picture of this verse. They run headlong into the king's presence. It's confusing and it's faster there altogether talking noisily. They rush there's a sense of something that has to happen right now. And there's the impetuous nature of these leaders and they kept sticking offguard and they do two things.
First of all, been involved in false. Notice what it says. We got the king offguard now to talking to him and I said king all presidents of the kingdom, the governors and the princes, the counselors and captains have consulted together to establish a royal statute. Why is not true. In fact, the most important president isn't there.
In fact, the statute is in order to trip up the most important president.
The king was that he didn't notice the Daniel wasn't there. He should've caught that what he is going to be caught in a trap that leaders sometimes get caught in that is the second part of their plan. First it was falsehood and secondly it was laterally flattering notice they said king we been thinking about you all how we love you is true, then rushed into the presence of the king and this is what they said king we been thinking and we decided to make you God for a month is what is asked to make you God for a month for 30 days to be God and anybody who praises masking UK.
No other gods can be played to be gone for a month and you don't think I like the way that sounded mean after all these had to be good administrators, wise they would acknowledge his likeness to God, want to set them up like that the more he thought about it the better it felt.
He didn't think clearly and the next thing he knew he was signing a decree that we find out later. He really didn't want to sign there's a verse of Scripture in the book of Proverbs Proverbs chapter 27 in verse four.
This is what it says wrath is cruel and anger is outrageous, but who is able to stand before envy nobody these men were so filled with empty they would trick their own team signing something in their hearts they knew he didn't want to sign the whole plot was built upon the vanity looking at the Bible says that he signed the decree and the decree was established according to the law of the Medes and the Persians never heard that before.
Let me tell you where that started in the Medo Persian culture. They believe that their monarchs were infallible and therefore if they were infallible. They could never make a mistake and therefore they never made a mistake. Any decree that was issued could never be changed and so the king himself could not change what he'd written, because that would be admitting his fallibility when, in essence, everybody was supposed to believe that he was infallible and so the law of the Medes and Persians came to be a law which could never be changed.
There's another illustration of the fact that the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians is at a lower level than the kingdom of the Babylonian because can you imagine Nebuchadnezzar ever right except he could change.
I can Nebuchadnezzar you know what it says about him whom he would he slew in whom he Woody kept alive, and if he changed his mind. He's little reason to keep alive and kept alive the right something like that. But we come to verse 10 we find that the king assigned the decree now is been tricked through falsehood and flattery needs written down what he didn't want to write down in verse 10, Daniel comes into the picture again and it says now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed. He went into his house and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem. He kneeled up on his knees three times a day, prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he did for time now when Daniel do what he find out that this decree had been written into anything except what he was accustomed sometimes people teach this passage and say so. Daniel went home and he was going to make a major statement so we went into his house and he threw open the windows and stood in the window and he prayed loudly so everybody could see noticeably.
The Bible tells us that Daniel prayed like that every day change anything when he was told he couldn't do it anymore. He just ignored it and went back to doing what he had always done what a testimony to the faithfulness of a man of God. There's more coming about this as you know and I will talk about it again tomorrow. For more information on the Jeremiah series. The handwriting on the please visit our website David Jeremiah.wolf/radio we offer two free ways to help you stay connected monthly magazine Turning Points and Dell daily email devotional sign up today and David Jeremiah don't/when you do, be sure to ask for your copy of David's helpful and encouraging houses to questions about living in the last in the amount so purchase the Jeremiah study, but English standard version. The new international version as well as in the standard large print in the new King James with useful lugs and spines on the Jeremiah David Jeremiah don't/radio titles join us tomorrow as we continue the handwriting on the heel on tuning point. Jeremiah, thanks for taking time to find a non-piece in question