BOOK OF DANIEL – Surprise! Surprise!

Posted by on Nov 8, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – Surprise! Surprise!

Surprise! Surprise!

Have you ever had trouble falling to sleep through worrying about something that you just cannot wait for morning to arrive? That situation describes exactly how king Darius felt in Daniel 6:19 where we are told, “Then the king arose at dawn, at the break of day, and went in haste to the lions’ den.” (NASB)

After foolishly being deceived by his officials into having Daniel put to death, as soon as day broke he ran to the lions’ den. We are told “at dawn” (which is the first light of the day) that he arose with no time to waste. Whether you realize it or not, Darius was holding on to some hope that Daniel’s God would save him. Why did he have such a hope? That is one question the Scriptures do not answer for us directly. But given the fact that he favored Daniel above all others meant that, in some way, Daniel had impressed him. He may have seen how devout Daniel was in serving his God. Daniel may have shared the history of the Babylon nation and, in particular, the events that the book of Daniel records with the king. Rather than this be a faith in Daniel’s God, however, it was more likely a superstitious belief that may have arisen from such stories. Nevertheless, in the next verse, we are about to read there is a remarkable address that the king utters. Daniel 6:20 says, “When he had come near the den to Daniel, he cried out with a troubled voice. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?” (NASB) In the early morning light just breaking through the darkness, the shadows of the den limited his vision in attempting to catch a glimpse of Daniel, or what may have been left of him. Not being able to see him, Darius calls out to Daniel. Here again, we see a king of an empire address Daniel as a servant of the living God. He asks Daniel if his God has saved him. Even the fact that Darius held on to the possibility that Daniel may have been alive is remarkable. But this was not faith on his part. We see that because the Scripture says he cried out with a “troubled voice”. Other translations use the word lamenting for troubled. In other words, he was crying out mournfully, hoping against all hope that Daniel was, indeed, still alive.

What king Darius next heard must have been breathtaking! Daniel 6:21-22 tells us, “Then Daniel spoke to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime.” (NASB)  

Several points are evident in these verses that we must not miss. First, we hear the calm collective voice of Daniel without any hint of concern or fear. He addresses the king in the usual courteous manner by saying “O king, live forever”. Secondly, he tells the king how he was saved by saying that his God sent His angel who “shut the lion’s mouths”. He confirmed that he was unharmed, which highlights the third point. True justice had won the day. Daniel told the king he was unharmed because he had been found innocent before His God and also toward Darius himself. No crime had been committed. Now, I can hear the liberals shout that, of course, he was innocent because he flouted the command of Darius decreeing that no one was to make a petition to their gods. Such accusations show complete ignorance of the laws of God. He is Almighty. He is the ruler of heaven and earth. He rules the Universe. No law trumps God’s laws. You will recall in Acts chapter four the Apostles Peter and John were arrested and jailed for preaching about Jesus Christ. The day after their arrest they were told by the Jerusalem Council not to speak about Jesus to anyone. Acts 4:19-20 says, “But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (NASB) In the following chapter of Acts, Peter and all the Apostles were arrested. In Acts 5:27-28 the High Priest and the Council charged them not to teach in the name of Jesus. Acts 5:29 records, “But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” (NASB)

Here is the point. Unless we are challenged by government authorities to stop obeying or offering worship to God we are to submit ourselves to their authority for they are placed in those positions of authority by God Himself. Whether they recognize such appointments are sovereignly appointed by God is irrelevant. The only time a Christian can disobey such authorities is when a decision or order is in conflict with obeying God. This is what the Apostles recognized and it was what Daniel recognized.

Daniel 6:23-24 tells the reaction of Darius the king in finding Daniel unharmed and his actions to those who had used him. “Then the king was very pleased and gave orders for Daniel to be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den and no injury whatever was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. The king then gave orders, and they brought those men who had maliciously accused Daniel, and they cast them, their children and their wives into the lions’ den; and they had not reached the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.” (NASB)

Here are the two verses I said I would mention that confirms the structure of the lions’ den. Verse twenty-three says Daniel was taken up out of the den. Whether this was by a rope or ladder we are not told. Just like the flames in Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace could not touch Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah neither could the mouths of lions harm Daniel. It was, again, an act of Divine protection by God Himself upon His faithful witnesses.

Verse twenty-four tells us that those who had maliciously used Darius to fulfill their evil intent were cast [or thrown] into the den and were overpowered by the lions before they had reached the bottom. Scriptures are replete with accounts of those who disobeyed God and reaped His full wrath upon them due to their actions. The punishment upon such evil false witnesses is in line with the law God laid down in Deuteronomy 19:16-21.

Yet again, liberal scholars have ridiculed Daniel’s account by saying that it would be impossible to throw one hundred and twenty officials plus wives and children into the lions’ den. I am appalled at such an attitude as to question not Daniel, but God Himself. I am also somewhat amazed at such a statement being made when first they say no such dens were known in antiquity, yet now they claim they know the size of the den or how else are they to ridicule the Scripture? But let us step back a moment. The Scripture does not state all one hundred and twenty officials plus wives and children were thrown into the den. It could easily as meant the main ringleaders of the plot to kill Daniel and, thereby, serve as a warning to the rest of their co-conspirators. But suppose it was all one hundred and twenty officials. Would that be impossible for a den of lions to devour possibly upward of four hundred plus individuals? Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 – 43 BC) who was a Roman statesman, orator, lawyer and philosopher wrote it was seldom necessary for two beasts to be required to take down one man. Frequently one beast dispatched several men. He goes on to say that in one instance, a single lion dispatched two hundred people. Why do such “scholars” think they have better knowledge of God’s Word than God Himself? These so-called experts ignore the fact that they bear the same attitude as those who threatened Daniel. Many of those officials knew how God had acted in the days of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar. They saw what happened. Yet they ignored the fact that God was watching them and noting their gross sin against His representative(s). The result was that they were overpowered by the lions and every single bone in their bodies was crushed. It should be a stark lesson not to mess with God or His faithful followers for, at God’s choosing, their wicked acts will receive God’s judgment.

Just as Nebuchadnezzar declared that the people of Babylon were not to speak against Daniel’s God, Darius issued a similar decree. Daniel 6:25-28 says, “Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language who were living in all the land: “May your peace abound! I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel; For He is the living God and enduring forever, And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, And His dominion will be forever. “He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.” So this Daniel enjoyed success in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.” (NASB)

Darius declared peace to abound and further issued a decree that everyone was to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel. While he may not have served Daniel’s God himself he acknowledged that Daniel’s God was a living God who endures forever. Despite him being the king of the mightiest nation on earth, he knows God’s kingdom would never be destroyed and that his dominion would last forever. We see the proof in all of his words through the delivery of God servants by the various signs and wonders in heaven and on earth confirming that Daniel himself was delivered by that same power out of the lions’ den. As for Daniel, he continued to enjoy success under both Darius and Cyrus.

We have reached the mid-point of the book of Daniel. In its pages so far we have seen how man-made governments are not only transient but lack any ability to change the course of God’s plans. We have seen quite the opposite, in fact, where it is God who can, and has, thwarted the plans of man, forcing them to acknowledge His ultimate and Almighty power. It is a story of abject failure of man to rule themselves.  Mankind’s only hope is in believing and accepting that only a kingdom installed by God can be both everlasting and powerful. That kingdom is coming. It is imminent. It cannot be stopped. It will be ruled by God’s Son Himself, Christ Jesus. As we move into the second half of Daniel we are going to see the prophetic timelines unfold of when that kingdom will be established on earth. We will see many symbolic pictures that identify the nations of the Gentile Times and that help us weave through the historical timeline. This second portion of the book will challenge you. The descriptions in Daniel may appear confusing and difficult to understand at times. I will endeavor to explain it as I am able, God willing.

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BOOK OF DANIEL – Certain Death

Posted by on Nov 7, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – Certain Death

Certain Death

Once Daniel was cast into the lions’ den the entrance was sealed shut. This word “cast” is used for the Aramaic word remah which means cast, cast (down) or throw. Let’s not be mistaken here. Daniel wasn’t casually walked up to the entrance of the lions’ den. He was thrown into it. That is significant as the story unfolds because it relates to why the lions did not immediately attack their prey. Some have suggested that a door may have been located at the side of the den. But read the Scripture and you will see why that does not make much sense. Daniel 6:17 reads, “A stone was brought and laid over the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of his nobles, so that nothing would be changed in regard to Daniel. Then the king went off to his palace and spent the night fasting, and no entertainment was brought before him; and his sleep fled from him.” (NASB)

The original Aramaic text reads, “And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den. And the king sealed it”. Notice the NASB translation is very close to the original. In fact, it is so close there is only a one-word difference. The translators of the NSAB use the word “over” in describing the stone being put in place. The original text uses the word “on”. Both words are actually describing the same thing. The entrance to the den or pit (as some translations use), was actually above the den not at the side of it. You will see this point confirmed by two further Scriptures when we get to them.

The signet ring of the king likely contained his name and symbols that would identify to anyone the orders of the king. Breaking the seal would result in the death of the offender for breaking the king’s command. Notice the Scripture also tells us that the signet rings of several nobles were also used. The seal was likely made of clay.  Each signet ring would be pressed into the clay to form the impression of the name of the king or his symbol, along with each identity of the nobles. We are not told how many and who these nobles were. The reason why so many signet rings were used meant that nothing would be changed with regard to Daniel’s sentence. The seals of the nobles guaranteed that the king had fulfilled the provisions of the Persian law. Unlike the absolute power of Nebuchadnezzar under the rule of the Persians, it may also have meant that, although Darius was king, his authority or power was in some way limited by the nobility. However, although Darius had fulfilled the provisions of the law, his seal did not mean that he could not break his seal if Daniel was somehow able to survive. The officials assumed Daniel would die. But Darius had hoped Daniel’s God would somehow save him. Where Darius had been foolish in not questioning why the officials were asking for such an injunction, those same officials were equally inept in not considering the possibility of Daniel surviving. Such a request may suggest to us that feeding enemies to the lions was a sure death sentence. They were convinced Daniel would perish also.

One can imagine those who contrived the plan to have Daniel murdered went off gleefully into the night celebrating their victory. They were finally rid of Daniel, or so they thought. As for Darius, he retired to his palace where we are told he spent the night fasting, unable to eat or drink. Nor was he able to sleep. Darius knew he had been duped into killing Daniel by his own orders. He was party to a grave and serious injustice. His conscience troubled him greatly which is why we see him unable to eat, drink or sleep.

Interestingly we are not told if the sentence had a time limit imposed on ensuring Daniel’s death. Wild beasts such as lions, starved to the point where they would eat humans, meant an easy and quick kill. Therefore, there was very little need to state how long the person was to remain in the den because their death was likely to be immediate. We do know from ancient mosaics and writings that during the Roman Empire, lions and other wild beasts were used to devour enemies, which later included Christians, to entertain the crowds during their games. This was known as Damnatio ad bestias (Latin for condemnation to beasts). This form of execution started around the 2nd century BC and continued through to 3rd century AD. It was part of a wider class of blood sports called Bestiarii.

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BOOK OF DANIEL – Certain Death

Posted by on Nov 6, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – Certain Death

Certain Death.

We are now at the point of Scripture that is known to many across the globe. I am, of course, referring to the scene with Daniel in the lion’s den. Daniel 6:16 records, “Then the king gave orders, and Daniel was brought in and cast into the lions’ den. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you.” (NASB)

Immediately we hear the voices of critics yet again. Many of these voices claim there are no historical writings about the ancients constructing or keeping lions in dens. But are these criticisms accurate? These critics remain silent and conveniently ignore the fact that such kings as Ashurbanipal who reigned Assyria from 668 – 627 BC had a thirst for lion hunting depicted in several reliefs during his reign. An earlier ancestor, King Ashurnasirpal II, was king of Assyria from 883 – 859 BC. He also erected lion reliefs in his palace at Nimrud which was situated in the Assyrian city of Kalhu. He boasted that the gods Ninurta and Nergal loved his priesthood and commanded him to hunt. He claimed to have killed 370 great lions along with many other animals. In later reliefs, captured lions are released into an enclosed space, formed by soldiers making a shield-wall. Some are shown being released from wooden crates by an attendant in a smaller crate sitting on top, who lifts up a gate. Ashurnasirpal II also raised lions in captivity. In one inscription he claimed to have captured fifteen lions and took away fifty lion cubs to Kalhu. In his palaces, he placed these lions into cages and bred the cubs in great numbers. If this king captured and bred lion cubs in great numbers then this pride or prides had to have been housed somewhere within the palace. This very fact we are told was the practice two hundred years prior to Ashurbanipal’s reign and well over three hundred years prior to what we are now reading in Daniel.

Again, believe the Bible. It is accurate and true. Dismiss any thoughts and notions that, just because we do not have everything neatly explained, there must be an error in the text. Unequivocally there are none.

Despite Darius’s attempts to free Daniel, he was forced by his own law code to give the order for Daniel to be brought in and thrown into the lions’ den. Actually, when one reads the account in the book of Esther that we have mentioned before, Darius did have a way out. He could have simply issued a counter edict saying he had erred.  But that would certainly have caused him to lose face with his officials and people.

At the end of verse sixteen ,we see a brief but remarkable comment made by the king to Daniel. He tells Daniel, “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you.” There has been some debate that the text should be translated more accurately as saying, “The God whom you serve continually, He must save you”. This idea implies that Darius was saying in effect, “I have tried to save you but failed. Now your God must save you”. Such suggestions however should have no place in our thought process if we cannot verify it with the actual text – because then we are in danger of practicing eisegesis – which is translating a text into what we want it to say. On the other side of the debate, one could rightfully argue that Darius had noticed Daniel’s firm belief in his God. He may possibly have been told of how Daniel’s God had dealt with the Babylonians. We should, in all fairness, leave the text as stated. Darius may have truly believed Daniel’s God would save him.

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BOOK OF DANIEL – The Kingly Pawn

Posted by on Nov 5, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – The Kingly Pawn

The Kingly Pawn.

The dedicated practice of Daniel praying three times a day was now used in evidence against him. Daniel 6:12-15 tells us, “Then they approached and spoke before the king about the king’s injunction, “Did you not sign an injunction that any man who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, is to be cast into the lions’ den?” The king replied, “The statement is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked.” Then they answered and spoke before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the injunction which you signed, but keeps making his petition three times a day.” Then, as soon as the king heard this statement, he was deeply distressed and set his mind on delivering Daniel; and even until sunset he kept exerting himself to rescue him. Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Recognize, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or statute which the king establishes may be changed.” (NASB)

The “they” in verse twelve is, of course, referring to the commissioners, prefects, satraps, high officials, and governors mentioned in verses six and seven. Whether all went before the king or a delegation was formed representing all positions we are not told. In any event, their illegitimate plan had total support. The full complicity of these men is evident by their tone in asking the king if he had not, indeed, signed an injunction that ordered no one to make a petition to any god or man with the exception of himself. They followed this up in such a way as to remind the king that if anyone disobeyed the king he had ordered that they be thrown into the lions’ den. In our modern day terminology, the king had truly been “played”. He was unwilling but altogether a pawn in the evil scheme of men who thirsted for their own power. We see the same underhanded or unscrupulous behavior in many facets of our society today whether it be either in personal or business dealings. Not that any of us have ever been faced with being thrown into a pit of ravaging lions. But many of us may have experienced deception at the hands of a company or official. Or an employer or employee may have been complicit in using deceitful means in order to discredit or limit someone’s opportunity for advancement. Fallen man will always look for ways to advance their own selfish ambitions and some will go to any limits to stifle anyone who gets in their way. Sadly, that can and has led to murder in many cases. This was what Daniel was facing with a real threat to his life that appeared was going to end in horrific circumstances. Now in his early eighties, many of the men we described in verse twelve would likely have been much younger than Daniel and were ambitious. They were looking for career advancement. They were not willing to take the orders of someone they viewed as a slave from Judah. They had nothing but utter contempt for Daniel.

The king replied that the delegation was correct and that the petition could not be revoked. One can imagine the delegates’ smugness in declaring that Daniel, whom the king had favored, was a mere exile from Judah and paid no attention to him. Their indictment, which was proven, was that Daniel had continued to pray three times a day to his God. As soon as Darius heard this we do well to recognize an interesting comparison. You will recall when Daniel’s three friends refused to bow down before the golden image made by King Nebuchadnezzar in chapter three, the king became angry and ordered the three young men to be thrown into the fiery furnace. But Darius showed no such anger. Instead, we are told he became deeply distressed. Not because of any perceived flouting of his law but because he immediately saw through the evil trap devised to have Daniel killed. The fact that we are told that Darius set his mind on rescuing Daniel and worked tirelessly until sunset to find a way of rescuing him shows two things. One is that Darius had foolishly not questioned why such an order had been requested. Had the true reason for the injunction been declared, Darius would never have signed it in law.  The second thing we see is Darius being too pre-occupied in thinking of his own position of self-deity. In any event, his tireless efforts to rescue Daniel were to no avail. The delegation reminded the king that he had to recognize the law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or statute was reversible. One can imagine Darius looking at each individual before him, knowing each man had used him to catch their prey. It was something he would not forget.

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BOOK OF DANIEL – The Trap That Never Was

Posted by on Nov 2, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – The Trap That Never Was

The Trap That Never Was

You will see why I chose the title as we read Daniel 6:10-11, “Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God.” (NASB)

Yes, Daniel knew about the document the moment it was signed. If his aggressors thought that by his predictability regarding his prayer life it was going to somehow “catch him out” they would be mistaken. If Daniel knew the document was signed, then he must have known the contents and what it meant for someone to ignore the injunction. Evidently, as soon as he knew the document was signed he enters his house. We are told his roof chamber had windows that opened toward Jerusalem. Being well versed in the Old Testament he would have known of the custom of praying towards Jerusalem that was adopted by King Solomon. That custom is recorded for us in 2 Chronicles 6:34-39. No doubt Daniel would have been a student of the Psalm of David in Psalm 55:16-17 which mentions the practice of praying three times a day. This was the faithful predictability that his aggressors knew he would not give up. He had never given up, in all of his years, from opening his windows toward Jerusalem praying for the peace of the Jewish capital, along with his requests for his personal needs. By continuing to kneel and pray three times a day there was no thought of him being martyred for his faith. It was a natural, daily requirement of his faithful ministry of prayer. It is what kept him strong in faithfully discharging the commands of his God. It was also reminiscent of the faithfulness of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah who refused to bow down to the Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image. They knew that they faced sudden death if they refused to obey the king’s command. Daniel now faced the same challenge. All four men had one focus. They would not compromise in their faithful service to their God no matter what the consequences were for disobeying a pagan king. One may wonder why Daniel could not have simply kept his windows closed and still prayed to God. The injunction was not demanding on an act of idolatry as such. But this would have been deceitful to Daniel. He had no intention of committing an act of subterfuge in order to compromise in performing his prayers in the same way he had done for over 60+ years. That, in itself, shows the confidence of the aggressors in knowing Daniel would continue to pray and that they only required the thirty-day injunction to prove his ‘guilt’ to the king.

The experience Daniel faced should not be lost on our own prayer life nor the lives of our brothers and sisters in our local church. We should ask ourselves if it would make any difference to our lives (or our fellow believers’ lives) if we were told it was forbidden to pray for the next thirty days. The answer to that question may well shock us with embarrassment. How many of us can say we have as strong a prayer life as Daniel had? That question is something we can ponder and answer for ourselves. Perhaps when we get upset in reading about fellow believers in nations that ban not only prayer but the meeting together in worship we could ask if Satan does not need to attack us in that regard, because he doesn’t need to.

Daniel prayed with the knowledge and belief of the promises of God’s covenant to His people. His focus was on those promises. He truly prayed as one whose citizenship is in heaven. He was disciplined in his dedication to prayer. It was consistent and above all other duties. Perhaps when we wonder why our own prayers are not answered we should reflect on whether or not we only pray when we want something or if we pray only when we feel like it.

Daniel’s prayers consisted of giving thanks to God. In showing his adoration and appreciation for his God. That became his focus before asking for anything else.

May we pay close attention to how Daniel prayed. It should be an habitual practice to emulate.

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BOOK OF DANIEL – The Complicity of the Injunction.

Posted by on Nov 1, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – The Complicity of the Injunction.

The Complicity of the Injunction.

Not until we read our next passage of Scripture do we see that those against Daniel numbered far more than 122 individuals. Daniel 6:6-9 tells us, “Then these commissioners and satraps came by agreement to the king and spoke to him as follows: “King Darius, live forever! All the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the high officials and the governors have consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall be cast into the lions’ den. Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document so that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked.” Therefore King Darius signed the document, that is, the injunction.” (NASB)

There is a subtle lie in the statement that these officials made to Darius. Be sure not to miss it. They told Darius that all the overseers, the prefects, the satraps, the high officials, and the governors had consulted together. That was a blatant lie. The one person who shone with integrity above anyone else was neither there nor had been consulted – Daniel. Given the fact that Darius intended to appoint Daniel above all of the overseers and satraps why did he not ask where Daniel was or what he thought of the injunction? Scripture does not say why. Perhaps he was carried away by the moment. Notice how they immediately pay respect to Darius by the comment, “King Darius, live forever!” Darius was either duped or complicit in their plan by not challenging the request. There is no hint that he even questioned what they asked. It would not be difficult to argue that Darius was happy to accept their perceived adoration. Even going as far as to say that if he signed the injunction, it would become an enforcement against anyone who made a petition to any god or man except himself. The Medo-Persian rulers believed they were the official representatives of the gods. The subtle wording of the overseers and satraps may have even played into the mind of Darius of an assumption of deity on his part. If the injunction was only for one month then it would not have caused a backlash from the priests or the people. After all, he could easily have said this brief decree was for the benefit of the nation’s unity.

One wonders why such a document could not be revoked or changed. However, should we even question why? Would we cry foul if the decrees of God could be revoked or changed on a whim? Of course we would. Then why should it be difficult to accept the Medo-Persian rule which had similar standards? This law was established for many years. We see it in action by the evil deeds of Haman in the book of Esther. A reading of the book of Esther reveals that the original edict to annihilate the Jews could not be reversed. Ultimately, a later edict was signed that allowed the Jews to defend themselves against those seeking their destruction but that first edict was not canceled or revoked (see Esther 1:19; 3:10-15; 8:8-12). Just like King Ahasuerus, King Darius would learn that he had been used as a puppet and duped into committing evil by his very own officials.

The implication of the passage of Scripture suggests that these officials knew Daniel would break the law of the injunction in less than thirty days. They were confident. They had studied their prey well. Daniel was very predictable, which allowed them to be confident in asking for the injunction for such a short period of time. One can imagine these men being eager to rid themselves of Daniel. They were thirsty for his death by the mouths of lions devouring him. Only thirty days to wait and they would be rid of this tiresome Jew forever.

Or so they thought…….

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BOOK OF DANIEL – Opposition Rises!

Posted by on Oct 31, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – Opposition Rises!

Opposition Rises!

We are going to learn today what serving God may actually cost us.

As a man of advancing years, Daniel was still being used by God. Now in his eighties, Daniel was favored by the king who was planning on appointing him over the entire kingdom. In Daniel 6:4-5 we see the reaction of the other overseers and satraps. “Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him. Then these men said, “We will not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God.” (NASB)

Clearly, the friendly nature of the conquerors toward the Babylonians was not afforded to Daniel. His integrity and service evidently had no merit as far as the other two overseers were concerned nor with the satraps who each followed in line. What exactly were these 122 officials against in seeing Daniel appointed over them? There are several answers to that question but recall why Darius thought it good to appoint the 120 satraps and three overseers. Daniel 6:2 tells us it was in order that the king would not suffer loss. This system of government was meant to ensure taxes were collected which the satraps would be accountable for.  Having the integrity that David had obviously meant that he did not allow for himself to be corrupted nor allow anyone to act corruptly under his authority. One can imagine what these 122 men stooped to just by reflecting on a variety of government officials from many countries in our own day and age. Not only have we seen or read a plethora of corruption but character assassination now seems the order of the day if a person seeks an official office. This was, undoubtedly, what Daniel was now exposed to. Innuendo and agenda became the mark of the overseers and satraps in finding anything, something, they could “pin” on Daniel. But they found nothing. No grounds could be found to accuse him of anything. There was no evidence of corruption nor any negligence in discharging his official duties. They simply had nothing on him. They conceded defeat in looking for anything as to his service to the king. So they turned to look for something that they could find that would accuse him with regard to the law of God. In other words, they decided to look for something that Daniel was doing and not against the law of his God, for they knew he was forthright in his loyalty to his God. Rather, they looked for something he was doing that they could use to accuse him of going against the orders of the king. Little did Darius know that their intent was to involve him in their devious plans.

As we have stated, Satan has not and will not let up in his attacks upon God’s people. Daniel is a prime example of the attacks made on his faithfulness to God. You and I face the same attacks, albeit in differing degrees, in our lives. If Satan pursued our Lord, Jesus Christ, with relentless hostility don’t you think he is going to pursue you or me with the same fervor? If you doubt that then you are fooling yourself. Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 2:11, “…so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” (ESV) Satan will use those opposed to God and are doing anything in their power to bring a Christian down. Daniel did not have any skeletons in the cupboard so to speak. We may have. But if not, be assured we will be the focus of Satan’s attack in attempting to compromise our relationship with God. Many of God’s faithful have, and will continue to have, lies and accusations made against them in order to remove them from favor. That removal may even include imprisonment or the real threat of death. This is what may be at stake for anyone of us. As we move further into Daniel chapter six this is what happens to Daniel. We are in a war. Winning one battle does not win the war. We must endeavor to win every battle against Satan who wants to devour us (1 Peter 5:8) in order that we come out victorious by receiving God’s protection and blessings by our faithful service to Him.

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