Daniel in the Lion's Den
- Date: Sunday, July 23, 2017
- Speaker: John Bell
- Series: Daniel
- Scripture: Daniel 6
- The plot against Daniel (6:1–9)
- The trap and reluctant punishment (6:10–18)
- Daniel’s rescue and the accusers’ demise (6:19–24)
- Darius’s decree (6:25–28).
The Message of Daniel in One Sentence: Daniel encourages the faithful by showing them that though Israel was exiled from the land of promise, they will be restored to the realm of life at the resurrection of the dead, when the four kingdoms are followed by the kingdom of God, so the people of God can trust him and persevere through persecution until God humbles proud human kings, gives everlasting dominion to the son of man, and the saints reign with him.
Big Picture: “What happens in the historical narratives of chapters 1–6 anticipates what happens in the apocalyptic visions of chapters 7–12: Nebuchadnezzar attacks God’s people, plunders the temple (1:1–2), and then Belshazzar uses the implements from the temple to praise false gods (5:3–4). In the midst of all this, God’s people are tempted to compromise (1:5, 8) and threatened with death (2:13; 3:15; 6:7)—as the proud kings exalt themselves over God (4:30) until he brings an end to their kingdoms (2:44; 4:31; 5:25–28, 30). When the three young men come out of the fiery furnace (3:27) and Daniel comes out of the lions’ den (6:19–23), it’s like resurrection from the dead.
All this is precisely what the apocalyptic visions of chapters 7–12 depict: wicked kings will attack God’s people (7:21, 25; 8:12–13; 9:26; 11:34–35), destroy the temple and put a stop to sacrifice in an effort to stamp out the worship of God (8:11, 13; 9:26; 11:31), and exalt themselves in place of God (7:8, 25; 8:25; 11:36). In the midst of this God’s people will be persecuted (7:25; 8:12–13; 9:26–27; 11:34–35), but they are called to be faithful because God will deliver them just as he delivered Daniel and his friends. When the persecution is over, God will raise his people from the dead . . . and deliver their enemies to the judgment. (12:2)” (James Hamilton Jr. “With The Clouds of Heaven”)
The authority of the state (1-3)
- Ruling authorities should be obeyed because God has ordained and appointed the governing authority.
- Those who resist that authority oppose what God himself has ordained and are liable to judgment by the state. Those who do what is right will be commended by the state.
The ministry of the state (4-7)
- The one in authority is God’s servant for our good, as well as agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
- Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities and pay our taxes - not only because of possible punishment, but also because of conscience.
1 Timothy 2:1-2
Christians are to pray for all sorts of individuals
- Specifically, those in authority.
- And with a view to civil peace, in an environment where the gospel might advance, and where Christians live lives of godliness and holiness.