Although Daniel is now an elderly man, his anointing is as strong as ever. King Darius, the ruler of Medo-Persia, recognizes God’s hand upon Daniel, and in the structure of his government, appoints him as one of only three governors, and was even considering to set him over the entire kingdom. The Bible says, “an excellent Spirit” was given to Daniel, this is how he was distinguished above the others.
In light of all this, the other governors and satraps, had it in their hearts to bring Daniel down. Some of this was probably motivated by those ugly tag-twins of envy and jealousy, but certainly his opposition was Satanic in origin. The last thing Satan wanted was a godly man like Daniel in such a high-ranking position. The problem was, they could not find fault with Daniel.
O that we’d glean from such a life. That we’d be completely filled with the Spirit. That we’d be blameless and holy, men and women of steadfast integrity.
The only way these enemies of Daniel could cause him t disobey, is if they legislated laws that contradicted the Law of God…which is exactly what they did.
Daniel 6:7 (NKJV) “All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.”
The made a law that said it was illegal to pray to anyone other than King Darius.
I’ve always loved Daniel 6:10. This allows us to see behind the scenes. What was it that made Daniel the man that he was?
There’s no doubt that his prayer life was a huge factor!
Daniel 6:10 (NKJV) “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.”
Even though it was now against the law in Medo-Persia, that didn’t stop him from praying the way he always did (since he was a youth), morning, noon, and night.
On a personal note, this has always been the goal of my heart. Yes, we pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) but how awesome it would be to have that special time with the Lord, morning, noon, and night. I have not always been able to do all three, but I won’t ever give up to follow Daniel’s example.
Of course the enemies of Daniel found fault, brought him to the king, who could not over-rule the law, and Daniel was cast into the lion’s den. But the king fasted from food and music, he couldn’t sleep all night, and in the morning they discovered that the living God had chosen to deliver Daniel from the mouth of the lions.
Daniel 6:20, 22 (NKJV) “And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?’ ‘My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.’”
After Daniel’s deliverance the king cast those accusers of Daniel into the den, and the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones, before they ever reached the bottom. It’s tragic to read that their wives and children were devoured as well. Perhaps their families were somehow part of the “opposition.” Or perhaps it’s another lesson of how our sins as leaders, husbands, dads, and moms, have a profound effect upon our families.
The lion, in this case, represents the Devil who seeks to destroy us and our family (1 Peter 5:8; 2 Timothy 4:17).
It all turned out for the glory of God, as King Darius sent a decree to all the people of his vast kingdom:
Daniel 6:26 (NKJV) “I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, and steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end.”
2 Peter 3:1-18
Peter himself calls this his second letter, and in both epistles he hopes to stir up their pure minds by way of reminder regarding the message of the prophets and Apostles. They had predicted that scoffers would come in the last days, mocking the return of the Lord, so every time they mock, they fulfill the particular prophecy of Scripture. (Just as a side-note, according to Hebrews 1:2 the “last days” technically began at the coming of Christ)
Peter reminds them, and us, that all it takes for Jesus to come is a simple word from the Lord who sits on the throne. It was by His Word the worlds were created and it’s by His Word that they’re held together. One day, and I have a hunch it’ll be very soon, the word of God’s judgment and justice will be spoken – that’s all it’ll take, and the end of the end will begin.
As time progresses the scoffers progress as well, “It’s been 2,000 years (they say) since the so-called coming of Christ,” and He hasn’t come yet, and yet they forget that God is outside of time; for Him it’s only been a couple of days.
I can’t articulate how much I long for the Lord to return. I see the pain, the suffering, the injustices all around the world…but Peter reveals the reason for Jesus’ delay, it’s a big one…the salvation of souls.
2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV) “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Apparently the pain, suffering, and injustices are worth it, because they’re only temporary. I must remember that the pain has a purpose. As a matter of fact, this entire “approach” sounds a lot like the heart behind the cross of Jesus Christ…the long-suffering of our Lord leads to salvation (2 Peter 3:15).
The day will eventually come. In the days of Noah, God judged the world with water; the second time it will be by fire, fervent heat (2 Peter 3:10), some even say it may even be nuclear in nature. These truths are wake-up calls, sobering realities. This day, which seems to be right around the corner should bring me to a place of holy living.
O Lord, please strengthen me to work harder, to love deeper, so that I’m found by You, Jesus, with a heart that is right in Your sight. (1 John 2:28)
2 Peter 3:11 (NKJV) “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,”
Peter closes the letter with a warning to the church (the beloved) to beware lest we’re led astray from our own steadfastness. On the contrary, we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Am I growing? I hope so! In all reality, the only way to make sure I’m not going backward is by growing forward.
This time the Psalmist covers three Hebrew letters of the alphabet. Keep in mind that each stanza would begin with the same letter – this would help in the memorization of the text…which is all about the Bible.
The Psalmist saw God’s Word as a wonderful light that he loved to keep. I’ve always appreciated the heart behind Psalm 119:136.
Psalm 119:136 (NKJV) “Rivers of water run down from my eyes, because men do not keep Your law.”
Does it break my heart that people don’t keep God’s Word?
The Psalmist sees God’s character in His Word as righteous and upright. And again, he expresses his love for the Word.
Psalm 119:140 (NKJV) “Your word is very pure; therefore Your servant loves it.”
Where do we go when trouble and anguish attack? We run to God through His Word!
Psalm 119:143 (NKJV) “Trouble and anguish have overtaken me, yet Your commandments are my delights.”
I love the way the Psalmist rose before the dawn, and stayed up late at night, just soaking in the Scriptures (Psalm 119:147-148)
Proverbs 28:21 (NKJV) “To show partiality is not good, because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.”
Man is so inherently bad that we can be…bribed by a bit of bread!
“This is the last of six ‘not good’ sayings in Proverbs (17:26; 18:5; 19:2; 24:23; 25:27; 28:21). In court cases some judges show partiality to those who bribe them even with a small bribe such as a piece of bread. It is ironic that justice can be so easily perverted especially when bribery is so firmly denounced.” – Bible Knowledge Commentary
Proverbs 28:22 (NKJV) “A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, and does not consider that poverty will come upon him.”
An evil-eyed man, is a stingy man. He pursues riches rather than God, and ends up twice-poor: financially and spiritually.
“The one who hastens to be rich is almost always willing to cheat or compromise to gain wealth.” – David Guzik