The Lion of the Tribe of Judah and the Lions Den

  • Best known story in Daniel. We like animals (lions, Jonah’s fish)
  • Not just for kids, this is an old man

Prophets vs Politicians

Daniel 6:1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; and over them three high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.” Then these high officials and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.” Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction.

King Darius

·         From Babylonian to Medo-Persian rule

·         Setting up new nation/government

·         From rule force to rule law (3 Sup Court judges vs 9), 120 district courts (vs 94)

·         Listened to someone w/o Holy Spirit

Prophet Daniel – overt

·         Daniel – Chief Justice

·         Daniel 80s or 90’s Just because old doesn’t mean done learning or serving

·         Today we’d critique him as a cop out/sell out becoming VP

  1. If you are faithful to the King of Kings, you are a gift to any leader or organization
  2. Being Spirit-Filled is about becoming like Jesus Christ: “excellent spirit was in him” = Spirit of God Neb (4:8,9,18) Neb wife (5:11) Neb grandson (5:14)
  3. Character Counts: 70+ yrs working for gov’t & spotless record. Your employer?

Politicians – covert (shadow government)

·         Jealousy, pride, control, selfish ambition

·         Surveillance campaign found nothing (critics never subject self to same standards)

·         Not leaders, control through policy

·         Liars – “all” the other political leaders – Daniel #1 not consulted

·         King Darius God for 1 month to unify nation (common ancient world worship ruler)

·         Law of Medes/Persians – a law once enacted cannot be undone (legal technicality)

=To leaders, in your organization are prophets & politicians so be wise

Faith vs Fear

Daniel 6:10 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. 11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. 12 Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, “O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 13 Then they answered and said 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.” 14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him. 15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.” 16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” 17 And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.

Daniel’s Options

1.    Obey the order for 30 days & pray to King Darius

2.    Pretend/fake obedience to the new law

3.    Flee – run away

4.    Make appeal to king

5.    Take 30 days off from prayer & wait it out

6.    Make his prayer/faith life private & hide it

7.    Make a big public protest stink to make himself a martyr w/attention

8.    Ignore any fears and live in faith as he always had

=People/nations come & go but the same spirits remain

Sometimes punished for doing right thing

Persecution is coming through legal channels to restrict Bible based believers

E.G. Universities & constitutional rights, kids curriculum, parents vs state

3 Reactions

1.    King Darius FEAR – worried, troubled, guilty, up all night seeking legal loophole

2.    Politicians FAITH in themselves – smart, plan, buttoned up, legal & pr plan

3.    Prophet Daniel FAITH in God – humble, faced Jerusalem (Jesus coming there)

            Ezekiel 14:14,20 places Daniel w/Noah and Job in righteousness & faith

            Nebuchadnezzar went up, worsh

Prayer

1.    Your faith is to be public & not just private

2.    Nebuchadnezzar high up stood prayed to self, Daniel kneeled prayed to God

3.    Your character is only as strong as your prayer life

4.    Prayer is how you march into battle and march through a battle

5.    The only remedy for panic is prayer

6.    When there’s nothing you can do, there’s always one thing you can do – pray

7.    Prayer’s less about changing your future & more about preparing you for your future.

=If you were Daniel, would your prayer life have gotten you in trouble or not?

Deliverance vs Destruction

Daniel 6:19 Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My 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.” 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.

Deliverance

·         Lions den – pit in ground, divided wall, throw food one side, cats underfed, raise wall

·         Cats were hungry – divine protection

·         Who is “his angel”? Messenger – “an angel” vs “the angel of the Lord” – Christophany?

·         ? The Lion of the Tribe of Judah showed up to tame the lions?

·         Spurgeon said they didn’t eat him because he was all backbone & gristle

-God still delivers from lions den. God spoke Grace & I “trap set” await new assignment

Destruction

·         Law required family punished w/criminals to discourage crimes & false charges

·         Law required punishment same day as sentence

-Not everyone is delivered. Paintings & kids cartoons of only half this scene

Courage vs Compromise 

Daniel 6:25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: “Peace be multiplied to you. 26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. 27 He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.” 28 So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of

Cyrus the Persian.

Courage

·         1st decree said Darius was a god, 2nd decree says Jesus is the God

·         Cyrus – began the relocation of God’s Hebrew people back to Israel for Jesus to come. 2 Chronicles 36:23 decree. First exiles return to Jerusalem 538 BC.

·         Reminds us to pray for & be aware of persecuted church globally

Compromise

·         If Daniel chose compromise over courage, people would not hear of his God

·         Worship of God – from forbidden to encouraged

·         Does not see revival in Babylon or Medo-Persia or among the believers

God is…

  1. Global – “all the peoples, nations, and languages…in all the earth”
  2. Personal – “the living God” (vs gods that cannot speak & relate)
  3. Eternal – “enduring forever”
  4. King – “his kingdom shall never be destroyed”
  5. Good – “he delivers and rescues”
  6. Transcendent & Immanent– “he works signs and wonders in heaven & earth”
  7. Savior – “saved Daniel” – did not get him around but through it
  8. Generous “Daniel prospered”

Jesus is the Greater Daniel

1.    Daniel and Jesus had jealous political leaders drum up false charges to arrest and kill them

2.    Daniel and Jesus had the senior political leader declare them innocent & faultless

3.    Daniel and Jesus had the senior political leader try and spare their death sentence

4.    Daniel and Jesus were thrown into a pit and left for dead

5.    Daniel and Jesus had their pit covered with a large stone

6.    Daniel and Jesus had their pit stone protected with a government seal

7.    Daniel and Jesus had loving friends run to their tomb early in the morning

8.    Daniel and Jesus defeated death and walked away from their tomb early in the morning

9.    Daniel and Jesus both raised up as 2nd in command over a kingdom (Medo-Persia, Heaven

10.  Daniel eventually died, but Jesus defeated death and will rise Daniel from the dead (12:2)

In Daniel’s time, just like in today’s time, the government was corrupt and tried to punish him for serving Jesus. But, Daniel stood firm and worshiped the true King and, in his infinite might and power, God showed up once again in Daniel’s life to rescue him from a den of lions.

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