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Daniel 6. A choice – Seek God, Face the Lions. The Subplots. The lifting of men who serve God wholeheartedly The relationship between a King and the Truth Daniel faced with a choice that will put his life at risk – Seek God Face the Lions The result of faith The result of treachery.

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Daniel 6

Daniel 6

A choice – Seek God, Face the Lions


The subplots
The Subplots

  • The lifting of men who serve God wholeheartedly

  • The relationship between a King and the Truth

  • Daniel faced with a choice that will put his life at risk – Seek God Face the Lions

  • The result of faith

  • The result of treachery


Background darius king of persia
Background: Dariusking of Persia

Darius rose to power when he slew the previous and famously evil king Gaumata, whom he viewed as an illegitimate king of Persia because of his treachery and deceit. Gaumata had taken lands from many and killed many whom he thought might have known Smerdis, the murdered king he had been impersonating in order to take power.

A close up of “Darius the Great” showing his feet on the body of Gaumata the false king; right hand raised giving thanks to Ahura-Mazda (per inscriptions at Biston)

A close up of “Darius the Great” on a larger than life relief, part of a larger picture of Darius receiving honor


Biston the mt rushmore of ancient persia
Biston – the Mt. Rushmore of ancient Persia

Full view of Biston, the largest stone reliefand inscription in the world, near Kermanshah, tells much of the story of the conquests of Darius

A Close view of the rock relief and inscriptionwith Darius the Great standing in front of his defeated enemies. Fravahar, the symbol of Ahura-Mazda is seen above them.

76 sequential inscriptions and numerous life-size relief carvings tell the story of Darius and his rise to power


Background the vow of darius
Background: The Vow of Darius

  • “Now he [Darius], while he was a private man, had made a vow to God, that if he came to be king, he would send all the vessels of God that were in Babylon to the temple at Jerusalem.”

  • Cf. Antiquities of the Jews – Flavius JosephusA.D. 93


The story of zarubbabel
The Story of Zarubbabel

  • Reference the supporting word document

    • Daniel 6 - Supporting - Flavius Josephus - Antiquities 11-3.docx

  • This is the story of Zarubbabel (Zorobabel in Josephus) gaining the favor of the king, reminding him of his oath, and gaining his financial support and covering for the rebuilding of the temple

  • Where did this godly influence come from?


Ahura mazda
Ahura-Mazda?

  • Ahura Mazda (AhuraMazdā) is the Avestan language name for a divinity exalted by Zoroaster as the one uncreated Creator, hence God.

  • Central to Zoroaster's perception of Ahura Mazda is the concept of asha, literally "truth", and in the extended sense, the equitable law of the universe, which governed the life of Zoroaster's people, the nomadic herdsmen of the Central Asian steppes. For these, asha was the course of everything observable, the motion of the planets and astral bodies, the progression of the seasons, the pattern of daily nomadic herdsman life, governed by regular metronomic events such as sunrise and sunset. All physical creation (geti) was thus a product of - and ran according to - a master plan, inherent to Ahura Mazda, and violations of the order (druj) were violations against creation, and thus violations against Ahura Mazda.


The malice of daniel s enemies
The Malice of Daniel’s Enemies

  • Daniel 6:1-5 ESV

  • (1) It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom;

  • (2) 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.

  • (3) Then 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.

  • (4) Then the presidents 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.

  • (5) 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."


The malice of daniel s enemies1
The Malice of Daniel’s Enemies

  • Daniel 6:1-5 ESV

  • (1) It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom;

  • (2) 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.

  • (3) Then 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.

  • (4) Then the presidents 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.

  • (5) 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."

Satraps = ساتراپ (Persian) : Provincial Governors


The malice of daniel s enemies2
The Malice of Daniel’s Enemies

  • Daniel 6:1-5 ESV

  • (1) It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom;

  • (2) 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.

  • (3) Then 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.

  • (4) Then the presidents 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.

  • (5) 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."

Presidents = סרך

sârêk

saw-rake'

(Chaldee); of foreign origin; an emir: - president.


The malice of daniel s enemies3
The Malice of Daniel’s Enemies

  • Daniel 6:1-5 ESV

  • (1) It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom;

  • (2) 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.

  • (3) Then 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.

  • (4) Then the presidents 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.

  • (5) 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."

Jealousy crept in and overtook the other presidents, and satraps (collectively called princes in other historical writings)

Because Daniel was known (cf. Josephus) for not accepting bribes he could not be trapped or tricked into compromise and ruin. His ethics preserved him


The malice of daniel s enemies4
The Malice of Daniel’s Enemies

  • Daniel 6:1-5 ESV

  • (1) It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom;

  • (2) 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.

  • (3) Then 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.

  • (4) Then the presidents 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.

  • (5) 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."

But they recognized his commitment to his God and sought to use it against him…

Those who refuse to study history are destined to become history

They saw that he prayed to his God three times a day, and so they sought to entrap him by convincing the king to edict an irrevocable law that all should take a holiday from any petitions before any man or any gods, but the king himself.

Under the guise of “mandating good for all” a “universal break” evil was being concocted towards Daniel AND towards the king.


The consistency of daniel s prayers
The Consistency of Daniel’s Prayers

  • Daniel 6:6-10 ESV

  • (6) Then these presidents and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, "O King Darius, live forever!

  • (7) All the presidents 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.

  • (8) 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."

  • (9) Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction.

  • (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.


The consistency of daniel s prayers1
The Consistency of Daniel’s Prayers

  • Daniel 6:6-10 ESV

  • (6) Then these presidents and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, "O King Darius, live forever!

  • (7) All the presidents 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.

  • (8) 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."

  • (9) Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction.

  • (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.

Deception (what Darius hated) started with flattery and talk of unity, and led to a call for action – you are the one who can lead us! (A call we all long to hear – beware of those who wish to be led as they may simply be wanting you to lead first into the abyss of ill will)


The consistency of daniel s prayers2
The Consistency of Daniel’s Prayers

  • Daniel 6:6-10 ESV

  • (6) Then these presidents and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, "O King Darius, live forever!

  • (7) All the presidents 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.

  • (8) 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."

  • (9) Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction.

  • (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.

The reference to the irrevocability of Persian/Median/Achaemenid Empire decrees, is corroborated by multiple sources. This was a traditional control to limit the weakness of a king inclined to run from the consequences of a difficult choice, to inspire careful consideration before making a decree, and to assert the quality of “asha” on all the king publicly spoke


The consistency of daniel s prayers3
The Consistency of Daniel’s Prayers

  • Daniel 6:6-10 ESV

  • (6) Then these presidents and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, "O King Darius, live forever!

  • (7) All the presidents 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.

  • (8) 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."

  • (9) Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction.

  • (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.

Was Daniel’s defiance contrary to the teachings of Paul in Romans 13?

No! He was willing to pay the price. He was not operating outside the system, but rather defying justly and openly, but also peaceably… and he was willing to pay the price. He did not lack respect for the system, rather he could not tolerate its defiance of God’s requirements upon him.

His example of fervent prayer when cost was high, is encouragement to us that should need to pray so much more when the only cost is time.


No really we just want to play with you
No really – we just want to play with you!

How comfortable would you be if you were being led into this cage at the zoo, knowing you would stay the night, all alone, just with them and the other 15 or 20?


Into the lion s den
Into the Lion’s Den!

  • Daniel 6:11-17 ESV

  • (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.


Miracle of preservation
Miracle of Preservation

  • Daniel 6:18-24 ESV

  • (18) Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.

  • (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.


Miracle of preservation1
Miracle of Preservation

  • Daniel 6:18-24 ESV

  • (18) Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.

  • (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.

The King didn’t sleep well…


Darius didn t sleep well
Darius didn’t sleep well?

How about Daniel?


Miracle of preservation2
Miracle of Preservation

  • Daniel 6:18-24 ESV

  • (18) Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.

  • (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.

God was about to receive Glory because Daniel, his faithful servant had defied the king’s evil decree and been willing to endure the punishment or consequences it might bring.

This is a practical example of the lesson of Romans 14 – resistance WITHIN the system.


Miracle of preservation3
Miracle of Preservation

  • Daniel 6:18-24 ESV

  • (18) Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.

  • (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.

Daniel’s response attributed his preservation to God.

We often pray for things, and even when being preserved we complain of our lack, yet Daniel was thankful for his preservation.

We should also gladly receive and thank him for preservation, so we can be used of God the same way.


Miracle of preservation4
Miracle of Preservation

  • Daniel 6:18-24 ESV

  • (18) Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.

  • (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.

The reward of the malicious princes was to discover the wrath of the king. Josephus tells us that they accused him of feeding the Lion’s to save Daniel. So even though he had witnessed a miracle overcoming their treachery, they accused him of orchestrating it. They could not tolerate his (Daniel’s) lording over them, and so their real motives became exceedingly apparent when they had exhausted all reason and began accusing their own king for the failings of their own treachery. They desired to be lifted up and by impure methods they found themselves being thrown down. Josephus tells us that to determine if they were right (the Lion’s were not hungry) he had them and all of their families cast into the Lion’s Den… “overpowered them and broke all their bones…”


The decree of darius
The Decree of Darius

  • Daniel 6:25-28 ESV

  • (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.


The decree of darius1
The Decree of Darius

  • Daniel 6:25-28 ESV

  • (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.

Faith in adversity was eventually rewarded with life and prosperity

Contrast this to the treachery which was rewarded with death and tragedy


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