Daniel's Faithfulness

God's Sovereignty  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  45:40
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Intro:
Today we open up Chapter 6 of Daniel. This is where we find the account of “Daniel in the Lion’s Den”. I have to admit… when I first came to this chapter I had to go back a read it over again because, the first time I read it this week, I basically skimmed over it due to its familiarity.
In doing so, I realized that there is much more to this account than what I remember hearing and learning from my childhood Sunday School lesson.
Up to this point, in chapters 1-5, Daniel has been a bit of a background character… and usually arrives on scene once he has been summoned. Chapter 1 would be an exception to this as we saw him, along with Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah take a stand by not eating or drinking the King’s delicacies.
Throughout the first 5 chapters we were able to see glimpses of Daniel’s character of faithfulness… but as we go through Chapter 6 we are going to see just how faithful he really was…

Daniel’s Faithfulness

Let’s open up chapter 6 together… (Read vv.1-10)
Meat:
As we get ready to study this chapter and more specifically our passage for today, I want to start out by saying this…
If you are a faithful believer who stands for the Word of God in any environment (home, family, friends, school, church, or even business…) you can be certain that sooner or later you will come up against forces of evil who are against you and have a strong desire to make sure you keep silent about your beliefs.
This is exactly what we will see happened to Daniel and yet he remained faithful to what God had called him to do.
And the first area that I want you to see is…
Daniel Was Faithful...

1. To The New Authorities

Daniel 6:1–31 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; 2 and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. 3 Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.
The highest of the authorities that were mentioned is…

1.1 Darius

We were introduced to in the final verse of Chapter 5…
Daniel 5:31 “31 And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.
There is a bit of a debate as to who this Darius was… a debate that we are not going to get into today, but I will say that I am on the side of the debate that says that Darius the Mede was a supreme ruler under the King of Persia whose name was Cyrus.
John MacArthur says this about Darius “He is a capable man.  He is an intelligent man.  He is an effective man in terms of organization and structure.  He’s a powerful man.  He’s a man without commitment to God, that is the God of Israel, but to his own gods, and yet he is man who does indicate some great interest in the God of Daniel,… … and that increases as we get through this 6th chapter.”
Right after the Medo-Persian army defeats King Belshazzar and the Babylonians, Darius does some house cleaning and reorganizing of the Government.
He has to set up a new government to oversee the whole kingdom. The way that the Babylonians did government is not the way that the Medes and Persians do government.
Just like the way we do government in America is not the way that they do government in England. Each nations way of doing government is different. Some of the differences are greater than others.
This new form of Government needed…

1.2 Satraps

These would be like our State Governors. Each province of the Kingdom would have it’s own Satrap just like each of our States has it’s own Governor.
In this case, there were 120 of them.
And then, depending on what version of Scripture you are using, it could say that there were 3 presidents, 3 governors, 3 high ranking officials or 3 administrators that were over the group of Satraps…
Since the title of Satrap is related to our position of governor, I am going to use the title of “Administrators” for the higher ranking officials…

1.3 Administrators

Darius would not have the time or the desire to deal with every situation or problem that the Satraps may have. So he appointed 3 Administrators to oversee the 120 Satraps…
Daniel was one of these Administrators… and v.3 tells us…
Daniel 6:3 “… Daniel distinguished himself above the administrators and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.”
Daniel had been very helpful and faithful to King Nebuchadnezzar while he ruled Babylon. Daniel took great care of the kingdom while Nebuchadnezzar was suffering the judgment of God and after the judgment period was over, he returned the kingdom to Nebuchadnezzar in good order.
Daniel was helpful and faithful to King Belshazzar by coming at his request to explain the handwriting on the wall.
And now, we see that Daniel is helpful and faithful to King Darius so much so that the King had thoughts of setting him over the whole kingdom… setting him over the administrators and the satraps.
If you look at Darius as the president of this new government… he wanted to make Daniel, Vice President.
It didn’t take Darius very long to figure out that Daniel was different from the rest of the leaders that he appointed. If you are keeping count, there are 120 Satraps and 2 other Administrators and Daniel stands out above them all.
Daniel is in his 80’s… I am sure it is not his dashing good looks that stood out, it is not his physical strength and abilities that stood out… it was his faithfulness. It was the Godly character that was evident in his everyday life that stood out… and that is exactly what Darius was looking for in a leader, so he expressed his desire to promote Daniel.
Now, this does not mean that you will automatically receive a promotion for having a God honoring work ethic… in fact many faithful Christians have been bypassed for promotions or a salary increases just because somebody higher up didn’t like their integrity and honest work ethic.
Unfortunately, a lot of secular business’s want people that are willing to cut corners in order to make an extra dollar… One of the problems with that mentality is, if someone is willing to lie for you, then you can bet that they will lie to you…
Here is something to keep in mind… it’s always better to maintain your integrity and testimony than to sacrifice them just to keep your job or get a promotion. If we put the Lord first, He’ll care for us, even if we don’t get the promotion…
Matthew 6:33 NKJV
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
In Daniel’s case, his faithfulness stands out and Darius wants to reward him for it.
That of course doesn’t sit well with the other 122 government officials.
Which leads us to the second area in which Daniel was faithful… … Daniel was faithful…

2. To Abide by the Law

These other government officials went on a mission to find some sort of corruption in Daniel’s daily dealings…
Daniel 6:4So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him.
They did their best to find charges against Daniel. They searched for some type of corruption in his life or in his handling of government affairs… which in reality they were showcasing their own corruption…
You see, the problem with Eastern courts was that they were always hotbeds of bribery and corruption with people in power padding there own bank accounts. That is why the people under Daniel came to hate him. He stood in the way of them lining their own pockets.
And so they watched him day and night, looking for something that they could hold against him… and…

2.1 No Corruption was Found

There are two words in verse 4 “They found no error or fault”…
I kind of lumped them together with the word corruption… but basically what they are saying is “They couldn’t find anything he did that he shouldn’t have done… and they couldn’t find anything that he didn’t do that he should have done.”
If it should’ve been done, he did it… if it shouldn’t have been done, he didn’t do it… He faithfully fulfilled his duties without any fault.
There is a New Testament principle that we attribute here…

2.2 Daniel was Above Reproach

To be above reproach means to be - Well spoken of… specifically in regards to your character…
William Hershey Davis Said this;
• "Reputation is what you are supposed to be;
• Character is what you are.
• Reputation is what you have when you come to a new community;
• Character is what you have when you go away.
• Reputation is made in a moment;
• Character is built in a lifetime.
• Reputation grows like a mushroom;
• Character grows like an oak.
• Your reputation is learned in an hour;
• Your character does not come to light for a year.
• A single newspaper report gives your reputation;
• A life of toil gives you your character.
• Reputation makes you rich or makes you poor;
• Character makes you happy or makes you miserable.
• Reputation is what men say about you on your tombstone;
• Character is what angels say about you before the throne of God.
• Your character is what God knows you to be.
• Your reputation is what men think you are."... …
“• Your character is what God knows you to be.
• Your reputation is what men think you are.”
Both of which need to be God Honoring… To be above reproach is not perfection, that can and will only be achieved when we are in our heavenly body and home…
The fact that Daniel was above reproach does not mean that he was sinless… in Daniel 9:20, we see Daniel’s need to confess… Daniel says...
… I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God…
So Daniel was not sinless, but he was a man that walked humbly and honestly before God and men and no valid charge could be brought against him.
This probably irritated the other officials even more so. No doubt, many of them were guilty of using their government offices for personal gain.
I need to note that Daniel was faithful to abiding by the Medo-Persian Law as long as it didn’t go against God’s Law. This has been evident since the very beginning.
This is why he wouldn’t eat the food in Chapter 1
and this is why Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah got thrown into the fiery furnace.
Which leads us to the third area of Daniel’s faithfulness…
Daniel was Faithful…

3. To God

Which was his motivation to being faithful to the new authorities and being faithful in abiding by the law.
Daniel is a prime example of what Paul encourages the Corinthian church to do…
1 Corinthians 10:31Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Daniel knew this principle several hundred years before Paul told it to the Corinthians and he lived it out everyday.
That is why v.5 says…
Daniel 6:5Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.””
Since the officials couldn't find a reason to accuse Daniel before the king, they figured that the only way to destroy him was to make his religious practices illegal. They had to place Daniel in a position where he would have to choose between being loyal to the Lord or loyal to the government.
What a Testimony!… … We are not told how many days or weeks that these officials followed, watched and critiqued Daniel’s every move… But if you had 122 people taking turns and watching you 24 hours a day, what would they see? What charges could they bring against you?
Sure, today you are here at Church… what about tomorrow when the you get up late, the kids miss the school bus, the car won’t start, the furnace quit working,… are they going to be able to write some stuff down to bring against you? Will they fill a whole sheet of paper? Should they bring more than one pen?
Daniel was faithful in his walk and in his relationship with God… even though he was…

3.1 In a Pagan Land

We mentioned this fact in Chapter 1 as well… but, just because something may be legal doesn’t mean that it is ok to do. Remember, we are living in a sinful society that gives no regard to the principles of Scripture…
The criteria to determine if something is right or wrong is not whether our society says it is right or wrong… rather it is determined by if God says it is right or wrong.
Even in a Pagan Land Daniel did not do government like those other administrators and satraps did. He did government with the Word of God as his guidebook. And as result of putting God’s Word first, Daniel maintained his good character in a Pagan Land.
And we can do the same… You can maintain your good character in this Pagan world if God’s Word is first and at the forefront of your life. If it is not, you will probably fall into the trap of doing whatever body else does.
Lastly this morning, Daniel was faithful to God…

3.2 In-spite of the Lie

Look at the major lie these administrators and satraps told about Daniel… There are more later in the chapter, but we are just looking at this one today.
Daniel 6:6–86 So these governors and satraps thronged before the king (they came as a whole group… minus 1), and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever! 7 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. 8 Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.”
Did you catch the lie… They didn’t come in and say “as per the results of a majority vote”… no, no, no… they came in and said that it was “unanimously decided by ALL of the government officials (which would include Daniel) that this decree be made.”
They never talked to Daniel about this, if they had, you can be confident that Daniel would’ve told Darius, “this would be a bad move on your part”.... they just flat out lied about Daniel…
Which is a lesson that we can learn as well… If you are following Christ with the same faithfulness that Daniel had, there will probably be a time when people spread lies about you as well.
This is the importance of being above reproach… When we are living above reproach, then people can not bring any sort of accusation against us. And when they resort to lying, it is just a matter of time before they are caught in the lie.
If Darius would’ve taken a quick moment to consult with Daniel, his most trusted advisor, before making any decisions, then these men would’ve been caught in their lie right away, but instead… v.9 says
Daniel 6:9Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.”
This decree was an evil attempt to get rid of a Godly man… and because of a little flattery and a bit of a puffed up ego on Darius, the decree was signed.
And yet, in-spite of this lie… v.10 says
Daniel 6:10Now 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.”
When Daniel learned about the decree, he knew he was facing a serious dilemma. If he failed to show that his loyalty belonged to the new Medo - Persian government, he would be executed by being fed to the Lions. On the other hand, if he compromised his commitment to the Lord by ceasing to pray, he would displease the Lord and lose the Lord's protection and guidance.
So, his choice was between losing his life on earth or losing the Lord's daily presence. For Daniel the decision was not that difficult, given that the Lord had always taken care of him, looking after and meeting his every need. And so, he made his choice, the choice of courageous faith. He would obey the Lord rather than men.
He refused to compromise his integrity and commitment to the Lord. He continued his daily prayer time and went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem and Daniel knelt and gave thanks to the Lord just as he had always done.
Closing:
The one thing that I see from this passage is the strong testimony that Daniel had. All of the officials knew that Daniel's deep commitment to the Lord was strong and they knew that he would remain faithful to that commitment. What a dynamic example for all believers of all generations.
The question is do other people see you as a living testimony for our God?
We mentioned a few areas in which Daniel was faithful, but the reality is, he was faithful in every area of his life… These guys followed him around day in and day out, night after night, searching, hoping to find something they could use against him… and they couldn’t...
So we will take our question even further… … do other people see you as a living testimony for our God, in every area of your life?
Work
School
Home
Marriage
Friendships
Driving habits
T.V. habits
Cell phone habits
Words that come out of your mouth
The only reason for the success that Daniel had in his life, was his faithful testimony for God… For the follower of Christ, that should be priority number one as well.
Prayer:
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