The Lion's Den
Daniel chapter six
Sermon of the Week 200822 – June 1, 2008
The prophet Daniel had been given a scarlet coat, a chain of gold, and made third ruler in the Kingdom when he preached a sermon that was right off the wall at the Feast of Belshazzar. That very night Darius the Mede took the kingdom and slew Belshazzar. In his efforts to reorganize the country Darius could not help, but notice Daniel. Daniel had been around for many years as a captive from Judea and He soon found out the role he had played in the former rulers, Nebuchadnezzar, and Belshazzar; so Darius made him his Secretary of State.
Because of jealousy of Daniel, King Darius was persuaded to make a law against prayer that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, 0 King, shall be cast into the den of lions.
So these men managed to catch Daniel in the act, the act of prayer. He had gone to his house the window being opened and prayed three times a day looking toward Jerusalem. It is significant that he did not open the window; the window was already open, and three times a day he prayed through the open window. The window of prayer is always open for the people of God. It is a good prayer program and needs to be used. King David used this method. In Psalms 55:17: “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” It might be easy to get people to pray three times a day if they could open their windows toward Washington as they pray for a handout. Perhaps some would open their windows and pray three times a day if they could look toward Hollywood for the latest fashions, and see what the stars are wearing, or not wearing. It is better to go to the prayer window and look toward, the New Jerusalem, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Also the open window gives a better view of life. I like a room with a view. You may not live in a very good neighborhood, but if you have an upper room with a view you can look | Page |
out, and see the skyline of that city that Abraham said he was looking for in Hebrews 11:10 a city that hath foundations whose builder and maker is God. From that window you can look out and see the river of the water of life that flows from the throne of God. You can look out and see the hills of Zion that yield a thousand sacred sweets before we reach that heavenly ground or walk the golden streets. Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone, Dare to have a purpose firm, Dare to make it known.
Now think about that prayer law that was made. It is hard to imagine a nation so depraved as to make such a law against prayer. I don't know the results of such an edict, but my guess is that it was not long after this that discipline became a major problem in their school system. They probably had a big problem in the matter of violence, and they no doubt repealed the death penalty. Of course, I wasn't there, but they probably legalized abortion, and made the murder of babies a matter of individual choice, and morality was stifled by pornography.
When the King's advisors told him what Daniel had done, he knew he had been hoodwinked into making that law. The last thing he wanted to do was cast Daniel into a den of lions, but the king's hands were tied. The law could not be changed. Surely there was some way out; some precedent in former trials, perhaps he could find one by reading in his books of law about a former trial such as, Daniel versus Belshazzar, that could be used to get him out of this awkward situation. He had his team of lawyers work from morning till evening and they came up with nothing.
I heard of an unbelieving lawyer one time that was on his deathbed, and was found reading the Bible. Someone asked if he was under conviction and he said, "No, I am looking for loopholes."
If the law of the Medes and Persians could not be changed how much more is that true of the law of God, There are no loopholes in the plan of salvation. Since there was no way out there was only one thing to do, and he did it. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake, and said unto Daniel, "Thy God whom you serve continually, He will deliver thee."
The king then went home to a sleepless night, and showed up early at the lion's den the next morning. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spoke, and said to Daniel, " 0 Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom you serve continually been able to deliver thee from the lions?" Daniel told him, "My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me...”
I don't know if Daniel saw the angel or not, but he knew he was there and shut the mouths of the lions. Angels work in our lives today although we may never see them. We walk by faith and not by sight. They may serve us even as they served Daniel.
Paul says in Hebrews 1:14, "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to do service for sake of them who shall inherit salvation?"
It appears that there is a special angelic service to children, Jesus said in Matthew 18:10, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father, which is in heaven.”
Certainly they serve the saved at death as Jesus relates in Luke 16, "And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom.” So Daniel told the king about the little caper of the angel, and how he shut the mouths of the lions.
Daniel was delivered out of the lion’s den and his enemies were thrown in; and the lions had the mastery of them, and broke all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.
That question of Darius needs to be amplified. “HAST THY GOD BEEN ABLE TO DELIVER THEE?” We have our own Lion’s Den today even as the Apostle Paul about his first appearance before Nero in 2nd Timothy 4:16: “At my first defense no one took my part, but all forsook me: may it not be laid to their account. But the Lord stood by me and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” We have our Lion Dens where the circumstances of life find us. The question also comes to us, "HAST THY GOD BEEN ABLE TO DELIVER THEE?”
THE DEN OF DEVILISHNESS
What about the den of devilishness? After a person becomes a Christian the Devil starts in on him good. You will be ambushed and bushwhacked at every turn. That is why the Apostle Paul said to walk circumspectly. Survey each step of the ground, move with caution everyday and everywhere. “Hast thy God been able to deliver thee?”
Remember that Daniel spent one night in the den of lions. The most dangerous time of his life was not in the den of lions, but in the court of pagan kings for over sixty years. The amazing thing is not how he survived the one night in the den of lions, but how did he survive all the temptations of his life in the presence of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius and then Cyrus.
Sometimes a Christian may wonder how they in a similar position as Daniel could remain true and not cave in. However, the real danger is in the den of devilishness of every day life. What about the den of most movies? What about the den of videos? What about the den of the schoolroom where evolution is taught and people are convinced that they are animals, in which case they act like animals. The dens of devilishness are without number.
Daniel lived for most of his life in a court of corruption political intrigue, where the environment was not conducive to living the best kind of life. If this story proves anything, it proves that with the right spiritual help a person can remain faithful wherever he is anywhere and anytime.
Paul tells us in First Corinthians 10:13, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able: but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear.”
God will not let the Devil spring some temptation on you that he has not already used on somebody else. God will not leave Himself without a witness. For every person who says that you don't know what pressure I was under, I had to go on drugs, there will always be someone who will say, "I was under the same pressure, and I did not do it." For every person who falls before immorality there will always be some one who will say, "I had the same temptations and I did not do it." God will not leave Himself without a witness, a way of escape will be provided. Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone, Dare to have a purpose firm, Dare to make it known. Paul also says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war, after the flesh: For the weapons of our fare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of holds; casting down imagination and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” HAST THY GOD BEEN ABLE TO DELIVER THEE FROM THE LION’S DEN OF DEVILISHNESS? Then how about the den of division among those who believe on Jesus through the word of the apostles?
THE DEN OF DIVISION
I heard a man pray one time in a large assembly; “Oh Lord, there are over 300 different denominations, and I thank You for every single one of them.” I don’t know how he could be serious considering that Jesus prayed in John 17:20: “Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also who believe on Me through their word; that they may also be one; even as thou Father, art in Me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us: that the world may believe that thou didst send me.”
However in 1st Peter 5:8 the apostle called the devil a roaring lion that walks about seeking whom he might devour, and he has fragmented the body of Christ into many denominational names.
Paul gives us the best outline of unity in Ephesians 4:4-6: “There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all.”
There are several references that explain this outline of unity. Colossians 1:18 help’s us understand the one body and the one Lord when Paul says that Jesus is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. Since the body is the church, and Jesus the head of the body and a body can have but one head; that takes care of the one body, and the one Lord.
What Jesus said in John 14:6 expresses the one hope: “No one cometh unto the Father but by me.” And then the one baptism and the one Father are found in Matthew 3:16; “And Jesus went up straightway from the water, and God said this is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”
The one Spirit is mentioned when Jesus told the apostles in John 16:8 after He would ascend the Comforter would come, and convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and the judgment.
And then the best description of the one faith is Acts 6:7; “And the word of God increased and a great company of the priests became obedient unto the faith.” Faith is more than affirming that you believe that Jesus is the Christ: it is obedient faith; a faith that obeys the terms of pardon and tries to live in the Christian life style. Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone, Dare to have a purpose firm, Dare to make it known. HAST THY GOD BEEN ABLE TO DELIVER THEE. .
THE DEN OF DEATH
And then one more den: The lion’s den of death where that roaring lion that Peter mentioned; your adversary the Devil, is walking about seeking to devour the human race in the den of death.
When Daniel was put in the lions’ den they made sure he could not escape. And a stone was laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords that the purpose concerning Daniel might not be altered. But then think of the den of death in the tomb of Jesus: So they went, and made the sepulcher sure sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
Daniel said, 'My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths that they have not hurt me.” And of Jesus, Peter said on the day Pentecost, “This Jesus did God raise up, for it was not possible that the bonds of death should hold Him.” The Devil could not hold Jesus in the lions’ den of the grave because death could not keep its prey--Jesus my Savior! He tore the bars away--Jesus my Lord. And neither will the Devil that has devoured many and will devour many more be able to hold the Christian in the grave. Listen to the triumphant cry of Paul in 1st Corinthians 5:57: ”Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Three thousand people believed and were stricken with convictionitus on the day the church began, and asked the apostles what they must do? Peter gave the words of deliverance when he said, “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone, Dare to have a purpose firm, Dare to make it known. And now this final question: “Hast thy God been able to deliver thee?”