Stand Firm In Faith Daniel 6:1-10, 16, 21-22 August 14, 2005

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    Recently we visited a former church, and spent some time with friends named Herman and Marie Marks whose faith reminds me of Daniel. They have been rocks in their faithfulness; I was surprised to be reminded that like Daniel they are around eighty. The church I presently pastor has three ladies whose Mother raised them in this church. Their faithfulness through the years helped to keep this church alive, and through their witness led their husbands to the Lord. Every church needs these kind of people who Stand Firm In Faith.

1.    Stand Firm In Faith and Display. .
                                            Incorruptible Character. 6:1-5

    A.    The . . Distinguishing Qualities of Incorruptible Character. 6:1-3
            1 Darius decided to appoint 120 satraps over the kingdom, stationed throughout the realm, 2 and over them three administrators, including Daniel. These satraps would be accountable to them so that the king would not be defrauded. 3 Daniel distinguished himself above the administrators and satraps because he had an extraordinary spirit, so the king planned to set him over the whole realm.

    B.     The . . Dependable Qualities of Incorruptible Character. 6:4-5
            4 The administrators and satraps, therefore, kept trying to find a charge against Daniel regarding the kingdom. But they could find no charge or corruption, for he was trustworthy, and no negligence or corruption was found in him. 5 Then these men said, "We will never find any charge against this Daniel unless we find something against him concerning the law of his God."

    Incorruptible character distinguishes itself in the daily routines of life. Daniel just went about serving His God, and those qualities caused the king and others to take note of him. The king appointed him as one of three with responsibilities of administration over the 120 satraps. The other administrators and some satraps decided to find some character flaw. Who can stand such investigation? A person of great faith like Daniel!

2. Stand Firm In Faith and Display . .
                                        Incredible Commitment. 6:6-10 & 16

     A.    Incredible Commitment In the Face of . . Scheming Decisions. 6:6-9
             6 So the administrators and satraps went together to the king and said to him, "May King Darius live forever. 7 All the administrators of the kingdom, the prefects, satraps, advisers, and governors have agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an edict that for 30 days, anyone who petitions any god or man except you, the king, will be thrown into the lions' den. 8 Therefore, Your Majesty, establish the edict and sign the document so that, as a law of the Medes and Persians, it is irrevocable and cannot be changed. 9 So King Darius signed the document.

     B.    Incredible Commitment In the Face of . . Signed Decrees. 6:10
             10 When Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went into his house. The windows in its upper room opened toward Jerusalem, and three times a day he got down on his knees, prayed, and gave thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

     C.    Incredible Commitment In the Face . . Served Decrees. 6:16
             16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions' den. The king said to Daniel, "May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!"

    Daniel's relationship with the Lord gave him enough wisdom to know the schemes of the opposition. He simply went about his work with his eyes on the Lord, and not on the conniving schemes of the opposition. His faith in God allowed him to do that. When we worry about the opposition we demonstrate a lack of faith, and confidence in our Lord. The administrators, and satraps made an appeal to the king's ego and he signed their designed decree; which in affect made him a god for thirty days. What did Daniel do? He continued to be faithful, and Stand Firm In Faith. Daniel did not hide his prayer life but in public view prayed three times a day. Later, as the king reluctantly (see verse 14) served his decree, he recognized the faithful stand of Daniel, and said, "May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!"

3.    Stand Firm In Faith and Display . .
                            Incomparable Confidence In God. 6:6-21-22

    A.    Incomparable Confidence In God's . . Authority. 6:21
            21 Then Daniel spoke with the king: "May the king live forever." 22 My God sent His angel and shut the lion's mouths. They haven't hurt me, for I was found innocent before Him. Also, I have not committed a crime against you my king."

    B.    Incomparable Confidence In God's . . Ability. 6:22 a
            22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths. They haven't hurt me,

    C.    Incomparable Confidence In God's . . Awareness.  6:22 b
            ". . . for I was found innocent before Him. Also, I have not committed a crime against you my king."

    Daniel expressed his incredible faith in the authority, ability, and awareness of God. He went into the lion's den without great fear because of his faith that God could control His creation. How did God do this? He sent His Angel to shut the mouth of the Lions; is this the same Angel that appeared for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? I can imagine Daniel playing with the Lions as he sort of tantalized them knowing God had closed their mouths. This was not the case for the men who connived against Daniel, when they got thrown to the lions ( see verse 24). Daniel also knew he was innocent before God, and the king. In the famous picture of Daniel in the lions' den he does not have his eyes on the lions but up toward the heavens. When you know who you are, and what your actions have been it makes it easier to be one who can Stand Firm In Faith. Amen? Amen!