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01-21-11 Daniel 6 – Daniels/our characteristics

January 21, 2011

Daniel 6:1-28

Daniel is very consistent.In Babylon he purposed in his heart to not defile his body before God.He has been faithful since.Now he is 85 years old and we still haven’t seen any recorded sin as of yet.David’s sins are recorded, some of Peter’s, and some of John’s, etc.But here we don’t see any sins of Daniels’ (not that there weren’t any – just don’t see em).This is likely because of the character he displays which becomes a focus and an example to us.In this chapter he displays an Excellent Spirit, Integrity, Faithfulness, Prayer, and Confidence/Trust in God.

1 a]”>[a]It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, 2 with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss.

Time and time again, God raises up Daniel into places of power even with different leaders.God is just pouring out His favor and grace upon Daniel to allow him to be in these places of leadership.

3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.

Now he will be made into the equivalent of a vice president.This is the kind of person that you want to be around.Now in his 80’s, his body surely aches, and there is no record of him having a family or children, but still he has this excellent attitude.Think about the quote from Charles Swindoll: “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”Daniel displays great attitudes in great opposition and it affects his life.We too should have a spirit of understanding who the Lord is and be joyful in all situations.We too should simply choose to be thankful despite the situation.It was Daniel’s excellent spirit; his attitude that Darius saw and wanted others to see(perhaps hoping it may wear off).I think this attitude may very well be a spiritual gift.

1st Note worthy characteristic is an Excellent Spirit.

4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.

So these guys want the position that Daniel is getting.They don’t want some 80 year old do gooder in there as their boss.They know that the greater his attitude, the worse their attitude will look.This is true of us too.Even today we still see Christian persons of great attitude often overlooked for promotion or hire for the same reason.Those with bad attitudes often don’t want to be made to look worse by being seen around those with great attitudes.

The dictionary definition of:

Integrity =

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

Faithful =

1.strict or thorough in the performance of duty: a faithful worker.

2. true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc.

3. steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant: faithful friends.

4. reliable, trusted, or believed.

He has these two characteristics.How about us?Do we have integrity?These men were going through Daniels’ life with a fine tooth comb looking for something wrong with him.If this was to happen to us, would we pass the test?Who are we on our computer?When we drive?When we are back within the privacy of our home?Daniel is consistent in getting up day after day and fully following after God.There are no secrets or skeletons in his closet.

2nd Note worthy characteristic is Integrity.

3rd Note worthy characteristic is Faithfulness.

He lived in a way that was above reproach.He didn’t begin to slack off a bit after a certain age.He was assigned to make sure Darius, this pagan ruler, didn’t lose any money.You think this is what he chose to do?You think when he was young he said to himself, “Hmmmm, I hope that one day I can protect the interest of those which are found to be inherently evil and disobedient to God.”?Ofcourse not.That doesn’t change how he reacts because he is serving God and he will do that regardless of where he ends up or what he ends up doing.

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

If you find your kids are bothering you, don’t snap at em.Instead treat them in a manner of parenting as though you were doing it to please the Lord.Lead them as unto the Lord.Is your job monotonous? Do it as unto the Lord.Love what you do?Do it unto the Lord.

5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”

What a compliment huh?His only fault is that he fully obeys God?What a great thing to be accused of.

6 So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! 7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.

So they’ve all gotten together here and attempt to set up Daniel.

8 Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”

They’re setting this all up knowing that Daniel will pray.Darius is going to have to think about this.

9 So King Darius put the decree in writing.

10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

This brings us to the 4th characteristic of Daniel

4th Note worthy characteristic is Prayer

It is this prayer that resulted in the other characteristics to begin with.So it is in our lives.So Daniel goes home and prays anyway, knowing it could mean death for him.He doesn’t fear men though, He fears only God.And if someone comes to us and says, “You cannot share the Gospel at work or you will lose your job”, we are not fearful of losing our job, because we know that God said to share the Gospel. If someone says you cannot read the Bible or you cannot pray or you will be arrested or killed even.Do we fear them and thus lose our faith, or do we faithfully continue in that which the Lord has asked us to do?

Now, Daniel could have chosen to lie down instead of kneel down and he could have prayed in silence looking like he was sleeping and God have accepted this prayer just the same?But getting on our knees is an outward expression of our hearts surrendering to the Lord.There are very few people that you’d kneel down before because it shows not only respect, but awe.This is what we do before the Lord when we kneel privately before Him.We are being humble and showing the expressions of the condition of our heart.

Daniel also prayed 3 times a day.I think it’s important for us to be sure we pray on a regular basis too (at the very least).Those three times a day, Daniel showed thankfulness to God.This too should be done in our prayers.God got a hold of Daniel at a young age and made good habits.Daniel chose to dedicate himself at a young age to kneeling three times a day before His God.It became His custom; a habit.This way it would never be forgotten.

Do something 21 days in a row and it becomes your habit according to studies.

We need to pray more.We need to set aside time to pray.It is important not to forget to pray.

Matthew 6:9-13 is where you will find what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer.Let’s analyze how Jesus says to pray real quick:

Our Father

We must have a relationship.This is found at the beginning of the prayer because of the importance of this being a personal relationship.We are not coming before a God that isn’t real and that cannot be touched.He is very real and very involved with our lives. He is Our Father.My Father.Abba.

Then into adoration.“hallowed be your name,

This is our chance to lift up His name and adore who He is.We cannot forget who God is and just bring a petition to Him.Remember who you are coming to.

Then comes submission. “10 your kingdom come,
your will be done
,”

An important part of prayer is knowing that it’s His will that needs to be done; in our lives; in the lives of others; in this situation or that.

Then dependency. 11 Give us today our daily bread.

This would be a good time to bring up the needs of the day.Note daily needs for others and for yourself.It’s not selfish to pray for yourself.We are supposed to come to God for our daily needs.This is part of the relationship.Be dependant on Him.We are also to read and meditate (think about or consider in application) His word daily.

Then forgiveness. 12 And forgive us our debts,

(Us receiving forgiveness)

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

(us giving forgiveness)

Guidance and deliverance.13 And lead us not into temptation,a]”>[a]
but deliver us from the evil one.b]”>[b]

Read through Matthew 6 and make these principals of prayer your own.Spend some time on it and meditate on the word. Satan doesn’t want you to pray.Keep in mind that he will try to convince you that you are too busy to pray and that there are too many distractions and that all these other things in your life are more important than the time that we must spend doing the most important thing…. Fellowship with God.It’s a privilege and it is empowering.No one has to push you to get coffee in the morning.Why then should the Holy Spirit have to push you to talk with God?Is He not more important than coffee?No one has to convince you to eat food daily, or go to sleep nightly.You seem to know so many of your basic needs so well.Make it your custom to consider and live as though Prayer were a basic need of your daily life as well.Fellowship with God is sweet.

Daniel 6:

11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?”

The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”

13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.”

Daniel never loses his identity (even though they tried to change his name) he is still known as a captive of Judah.

14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.

15 Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.”

16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

We see that Darius did have a love for Daniel and never meant for this to happen to Daniel.He didn’t fully think it out before making the petition.Like us who so quickly often make our petitions daily without thinking of what we are really saying and whether or not we are ready to back it up.Control your tongue and bring your decisions before the Lord.

17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.

19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

In verse 16 it was a statement “he will deliver you” and now it’s a question “did he deliver you” as the king spent all night tossing and turning wondering if Daniel would be ok.

21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

The king said “your God” but Daniel shows how personal this relationship is in saying, “my God”.We too have our own difficult situations perhaps wondering if we will make it till the morning.We too have the opportunity to see the Lord’s power in shutting up the mouth of those that would seek to devour us.He is still present with those who seek after Him whole heartedly today and He is still all powerful today.

23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

5th Note worthy characteristic is Trust. Daniel trusted in God

2 Corinthians 1:9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.

We have the option to stop and look at the cross of Jesus Christ and know that we can trust him.Are you in a financial crisis this year?Trust in God.Hardships?Trust in God.Trials/tribulations?Trust in God.Relationship issues?Trust in God.Place your trust in God.

24 At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.

Shows how miraculous the angels were with Daniel that these others have all their bones broken before they even hit the ground. Also shows that our sin affects more than just ourselves.These men that sought Daniels life are not the only ones to reap the repercussions of that decision.Their wives and children face the same fate as a result of their sin.We need to realize how sin destroys.

25 Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth:

“May you prosper greatly!

26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.

“For he is the living God
and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
his dominion will never end.
27 He rescues and he saves;
he performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions.”

God wants His message to go out.He wants his glory to be made known among men.Daniel wasn’t worried because he knew his heart was right before God and that If God chose not to rescue him, then Daniel would’ve been brought directly before his savior anyway.Same with the death of so many in the Bible that feared not death because they knew what was on the other side.We can live fearlessly for God and we can glorify him daily with all that we say and do, knowing what is on the other side of death and that God is in control.

28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrusb]”>[b] the Persian.

Some 150 years before this, just to show you the foreknowledge of God:

Isaiah 45

1 “This is what the LORD says to his anointed,
to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
to subdue nations before him
and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
so that gates will not be shut:
2 I will go before you
and will level the mountainsa]”>[a];
I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
3 I will give you hidden treasures,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the LORD,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
4 For the sake of Jacob my servant,
of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
and bestow on you a title of honor,
though you do not acknowledge me.

Daily Application:

Walk with consistency, integrity, and faithfulness.Don’t just read these notes or listen to a message somewhere and then walk out the door and completely forget it.Instead remember what was learned and apply it daily.Pray on this message and any others you consider during your walk.Take the time to pray.It is a dynamic time to meet with God.Do it perhaps on your lunch hour, go for a walk.Do it when you get up from bed, before you lay down, etc.Get into the routine, make it a habit.

Go from here and know that you can trust the Lord.God is greater than any lion you are currently starring down right now in your life and know that God’s glory is seen in the trials and tribulations He pulls you through.

James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

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