Wednesday as I listened to my favorite radio station, the program was about D-Day, the largest seaborne invasion in history. American troops storm the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944. More than 150,000 Allied troops invaded Western Europe, overwhelming German forces in an operation that proved to be a turning point in World War II. http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/03/world/europe/d-day-fast-facts
Why discuss D-day in October? The radio minister reveals every day is D-day. We are in a battle for our lives. We live in a world of moral decay, intense degradation, and gross unrighteousness.
A sign outside of Trinity Church in New York invites worshippers to pray for Allied victory in D-Day invasion. Prayer should be our first line of defense, not our last.
Just like Daniel, we have an enemy and there is a war going on. Do you sometimes feel that you have been in a conflict? Every day we need to dress for battle. Soon you will enter a war zone, for some the challenge is within the wall of your home. For others it could be the workplace, traffic, or ever present media.
Open your bibles to Ephesians 6. Keep a bookmark here because we will return later in the teaching.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Prayer taps us into “the all encompassing power and sovereignty of our great and awesome God.” Let us pray.
Warren Wiersbe in his book, Be Resolute, titles chapter 6 of Daniel: Liars, Laws, and Lions. That sounds perfect to me.
Liars, Laws, and Lions Please excuse my alliteration.
· Darius Deceived by Flatterers 1-9
· Daniel’s Devotion to God 10-19
· Daniel Defended; Darius Delighted; Deceivers Destroyed 20 - 28
Our memory verse is our theme tonight. We must obey God rather than men.
Darius was appointed to rule Babylon. He chose 120 satraps (governors of Persian provinces), to manage his affairs in the whole kingdom. Verse 2 tells us “and over them three presidents, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss.” Greed and corruption were rampant, but they were accountable to Daniel and he stood in the gap.
Daniel was reliable, faithful, and worthy of trust over the king’s money. As with Nebuchadnezzar he held a place of honor and responsibility over others.
3Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other presidents and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.
The other two presidents and the satraps (governors) were seething with jealousy, and searched for some indiscretion in Daniel to report to the king.
4-they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him.
Wouldn’t we want that said of us in our eulogy? We must obey God rather than men.
Proverbs 27:4 Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?
Not only were they jealous, they hated him enough to desire him torn “limb from limb” by the lions. Isn’t that one of Nebuchadnezzar’s famous sayings? (2:5,3:29)
Psalm 5:9 For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction;
their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.
their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.
"O King Darius, live forever!” We all agree the king should make a firm decree that whoever makes petition to any god for 30 days except you, O King, shall be cast into the den of lions.
Flattery and the anticipated exaltation certainly turned the king’s head. Thinking of his own glory, Darius consented to the plot and signed it into law. According to Medo-Persian custom the decree once sealed was irrevocable. As we remember the first dream of Nebuchadnezzar we should note that the power of the monarchs of the silver empire had diminished from the golden empire of Babylon. A king was subject to the laws that he passed; they could not be changed.
Romans 16:18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
“All the presidents, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have agreed”—they lied! Daniel was not there.
Who do we know that is deceitful, full of flattery and lies to manipulate God’s creation? From the first book of the Bible Satan has deceived with lies.
Genesis 3:4-5 “You will not surely die. (Lie #1!) You will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Lie #2!)
John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Betrayed by lies and flattery, King Darius put the decree in writing only to regret it later.
Daniel’s Devotion to God 10-18
v.10 “When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.”
Daniel could have found many ways to modify his prayer time, but he chose not to stop his routine. He knew the price for such defiance of a royal edict. But ever faithful, Daniel trusted God enough to handle the situation. Do we have that much trust?
We must obey God rather than men.
Ladies this is my life verse and until this week, I had not remembered the second half. How perfect for this chapter of Daniel!
Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!”
The despicable witnesses accused Daniel before the king."Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day."
Unlike Nebuchadnezzar who flew into a rage when Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah refused to bow to his statue, King Darius 14 “was much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him.”
Ironically, everyone was standing and now Daniel was bowing in prayer before his God.
Have you experienced the blessing of being persecuted for your faith? Yes a blessing.
You may not find it on the local news, but Christian literature and radio reports atrocities around the world concerning the persecution of Christians. We haven’t witnessed extreme persecution in America yet. But our freedoms are being tested. We must take a stand before we lose the rights for which our country was founded.
We must obey God rather than men.
Do you openly pray in public or in front of families who are unbelievers? Which one is harder for you?
Jesus taught in Matthew 5:11-12a “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.”
The king held Daniel in high regard. His parting words were like a prayer, "May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!"
v.17 tells us “a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet.” Could this be a foreshadowing of the tomb of crucified Christ being sealed with a large stone?
Daniel trusted God enough to humbly enter the lion’s den. He made no protest or quarrel against the law. No doubt he spent time praying, but I bet Daniel slept better that the king.
Unable to sleep or eat during the night, King Darius arose at daybreak and went in haste to the den of lions. 20He cried out in a tone of anguish, "O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?"
21Then Daniel said to the king, "O king, live forever! 22My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm."
Ladies don’t we long to be found blameless? We must obey God rather than men.
24The king commanded those men who had maliciously accused Daniel to be brought and cast into the den of lions. Skeptics of the bible claim the lions had no teeth or they were not hungry, but the accusers and their families did not walk out of the lion’s den.
Have you ever felt like you have been in a lion’s den: In a work situation, with your extended family, and yes even in the church? Ladies our problem is not with people, no, we have a greater opponent.
1 Peter 5:8 Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Sisters he wants our children. We must teach our son and daughters how to be prepared.
Let’s return to Ephesians 6:11-1211 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
But praise God he is able to save! Jesus blood won the war, now we must appropriate our victory.
We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37
Ladies remember these verses are only true for God’s children who have accepted the free gift of salvation purchased by His Son’s blood. If you do not know Jesus as LORD please take this opportunity to search your heart. Invite Him in tonight.
King Darius was Delighted to proclaim in these last verses (will you say them with me)
· Our God is the living God, enduring forever;
· His kingdom shall never be destroyed,
· His dominion shall be to the end.
· He delivers and rescues;
· He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth,
· He is able to save us from the power of the lions
28-So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian. Daniel was a faithful to God until the end of his life. He had overcome the ungodly opponents in the king’s court, and God rewarded His faithful servant with authority and power in two empires.
We must also stand firm in a depraved and sinful world, be true to God’s commands and maintain obedience and integrity in the face of disapproving family or unsympathetic government. We must intentionally fervently pray for our nation, our homes, and our CBS.
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us (1 Peter 2:12).
Ladies will you dare to be a Daniel and obey God rather than men?
There is an old hymn titled Dare to Be a Daniel. Written by Philip P. Bliss, 1873