We all need a hero, someone to admire. We all have an impact on someone’s life and they will think of you when they are in a crisis or a bad circumstance, when they do not know what to do in their life. When they think of you and the way you dealt with a problem, or people, with heartache, it helps make them stand tall, to face the difficulty, it gives them courage, and hope. Your honesty and authenticity encourages them. They have integrity, they have no duplicity, no deviousness, not pretending, not hypocrisy, nothing to hide nothing to fear. When they are wrong they admit it, when they le they deal with it. They have seen a genuine person even though genuine believers have their failures and sin they live right before God. They give you hope. The church need such people today.
Darius the Mede
Dan. 5:31 Belshazzar died the night Babylon fell to the Medo-Persian military. Forces. Darius the Mede received the Babylonian kingdom “at about the age 62.” Darius was subordinate under the Persian monarch Cyrus the great. He was governor over Babylonia. He was given the rule by someone greater than himself (9:1,10:1, 11:1). Daniel never refers to him as a king but a viceroy given authority by king Cyrus. Jeremiah prophesied the fact that the Medes and Persians played an important role in the downfall of the Chaldean Empire (Jer. 50:1). This would include not only the army of Cyrus, but the armies of the Median king Astages and Croesus of Lydia, whom Cyrus defeated. Jeremiah 51:11 “The Lord has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it….” Yet Isaiah 45:1 confirms that Cyrus is the Lords anointed, to whom god said, “whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him.” The Scripture accurately prophesied historical facts long before they occurred, the Chaldean Empire was conquered by the Medes and Persians. The army that captured Babylon was led by Globryas, a Persian general under Cyrus, while eh man who assumed the rulership of the Chaldean Empire was Darius, a Mede.
The Political Situation
Vs 1-2. Darius was pleased to see the new administration of the kingdom. He “set over the kingdom 120 satraps (watchers guardians) over the Babylonian kingdom.” These were Persian officials ruling over a large province or a small group of people.
Vs 2 Responsibility for administration was further delegated by him appointing three presidents or commissioners to oversee the satraps (three groups of 40) so “that the king might not suffer loss.” This brilliant plan ensured the effective management of the far-flung Persian domain and safeguarded the financial well-being of the nation. When people get power they become tempted to take what does not belong to them, they abuse political power and they have to be observed in their dealings. The king reorganised the empire.
Age Does Not Hinder Success
Vs 2-3 “Of whom Daniel who was preferred (was first) above the presidents and princes” He was a genius. He surpassed those around him and conquered himself, the self life. Twenty three years had passed since the death of Nebuchnazzar. Daniel was content to live in obscurity after enjoyed being in the limelight. He had devoted most of these years the study of Scriptures e.g. Jeremiah in chapter ten of Daniel. During the time he had other visions came to him (Chapters 7-8). he knew God had a plan for the nations Daniel was the only high ranking survivor of Belshzzars empire. God had seen fit to protect him the night Belshazzar was slain, although history records that Cyrus spared the life of Nabonidus. Daniel not Nabonidus was appointed one of the three presidents. Darius chose 60 but Daniel was 82-year-old, In God’s service age does not hinder success. You don’t retire you just get new treads on. “They shall bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing (have blessing” Daniel to be one of the three commissioners. He was a Hebrew not a Mede or a Persian but he could be trusted, he had a testimony of integrity. He was experienced and qualified, honest and trustworthy. Daniel was different from the others he, “began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit.” Daniels accomplishments and spiritual status was recognised. Cyrus considered him an important asset to his administrative chain of command. Daniels elevation to high rank, his appointments first by Nebuchadnezzar, then Belshazzar, the Cyrus and Darius showed his remarkable success in administration. But without divine promotion Daniel would not have succeeded. Ability. God promotes his people, “Promotion comes not from the east or the west but from the Lord.” Daniel saw life form God’s viewpoint. He took his problems to God for a solution.
Joshua and Caleb were other men whom age did not hinder. Caleb was 85 years old when he won a tremendous military victory over the Anakims and claimed his portion of the Promised Land (Jos. 14:6-14). God rewarded their faithfulness. For 40 long years Joshua was Moses ajutant, remaining in his shadow until God advanced him to a place of prominence (Jos. 1:1-9).
Daniel a Role Model
Spiritual Faithfulness and Integrity
- Daniel had “an excellent spirit.” He has an excellent attitude, and a great enduring spirit. His soul was solidly fixed upon God. He knew God, was filled with the Spirit and had God’s word in his soul. He did not feel threatened by or jealousy of the other two commissioners. Instead he maintained a positive, winsome teachable approach toward his new responsibilities. As a result, Darius planned to promote Daniel to a position of authority in Babylonia second only to his and the hat of king Cyrus.
- He was trustworthy. He could be trusted with responsibilities and position. He did not have power lust. Here he is a Jew of Royal lineage appointed head of the governmental organization of the realm.
- He was a man of faith. Not once did he doubt God. He remained calm and kept on trusting God. He could say “…It is the LORD, let him do want seemeth good” (1 Sam. 3:18). He knew how to, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart and lean not on thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, he shall direct thy paths “ (Prov. 3:5-6).
- He was faithful. God will reward faithfulness not success (Matt. 25:21). He had the right attitude. Your attitude is important in your work, in college, in school in the family. Are you resentful envious or hold grudges? The Lord wants us to have a good attitude to life, the family the job.
- We need people to be role models for us. People with integrity. Prov. 10:9; 11:3; 13:6; 20:6-7; These proverbs are played out in real life with Daniel and the officials.
The Plot Against Daniel – Jealousy Leads to Antagonism
Instead of the government officials admiring Daniels ability and attitude they were jealous and despised him and set about to remove him. They almost succeeded in their efforts. Success in life is not without its problems. There will always be someone who will react and try and cause others to react. They were full of envy. We should never let envy linger in our souls it will lead to misery and maligning and dissatisfaction in our own souls. It will turn to hate, anger and even murder.
Vs 4. Accusations. These subordinates tried to find ground to accuse him. They were unhappy with the royal choice of appointment. They saw Daniel as an outsider. They may have reacted on two points, he was a Jew and he was now ruling the empire. Their jealousy poisoned their souls and caused them to reject authority. We see it all around us today, in the home, in school, in the work place, in government. Not only were they poisoned but also they probably poisoned the 120 satraps. The wanted him out of office. They did everything they could to find fault with his performance on the job. However, they could find no ground of accusation. Daniel was a humble man and submitted his life to God’s gaze. Just like the Saviour in humbling himself he was exalted. His job record was spotless, he remained faithful in his work, and he kept himself from corruption. Such people are hard to find, even Christians do not exemplify faithfulness on the job. Some cannot be trusted. Some are even con men. Not Daniel, he was upright and honest, he could be trusted. You could believe every word he said. He was dependable; He would have won the employee of the year.
The satraps even went into his personal life but discovered “no negligence or corruption.” His character was pure. He did not do one thing in public and another in home or on the job. There is no accident; God’s providence is at work. All events are in the hand of God.
Patience in Adversity. Daniel showed patience in adversity. The hymn writer wrote, “It is well with my soul” even though I have lost the four precious daughters in my life.
A Devious Plan to Destroy Daniel
Vs 5. Their envy was smoldering. They were tormented in their soul. Envious people are always uptight. They loose their sense of humour and can never relax. Their envy turned into vengeance as it always does if it goes unchecked. It begins to devise plans to harm those who you are envious with. Can you imagine every day, they were checking him out, looking to find a fault, observing him in the hope he would fail or be disloyal to the king. Devising plans to harm Daniel, but their effort was futile.
Vs 6-7. They conniving leaders devised plan to pit Daniels religious convictions against the Medo-Persian government. The officials went to Darius and told him all the officials had agreed to disallow the worship of anyone but him for 30 days. This was a lie Daniel did not consent to this. They added that those who violate this injunction would be executed by being thrown into the lion’s den. The vengeful officials urged the king to sign the document into law, and Darius complied.
The Kings Decree
Vs 8-9-This made the injunction irrevocable according to Medo-Persian policy. It was devised solely for the destruction of only one man. All legislation should be designed to protect all the citizens but these men did not care about the citizens, they were blinded by jealousy and envy. Darius was deceived by their flattery that it was the best legislation for the people. It was not legal and bad administration. He was flattered that they wanted to worship him. He would pose as a god or the incarnation of Ormuzd, according to the Zend religion of the Parsees, his law was absolute. For thirty days all social, civil and worship activity came to a halt and religious freedom was terminated. But this blinded him and pushed him into a corner he could not get out off. They entrapped him. He was an accessory to the fact. If Daniel had been present he would have protested this action.
Daniel Faithfulness and Stability in a Time of Crisis
Vs 10. His relationship with God was not crisis orientated. He was not frightened or worried. He did not wait for a crisis to occur in order to go to God we he went to God everyday. Many of Gods people only call upon him when a crisis occurs and loose the joy of a daily relationship with him. When Daniel knew the document was signed, he entered his house; and he continued kneeling …three times a day, praying and giving thanks before God, as he had been doing previously.” Daniel had a place where he regularly met God; he manifested and maintained a consistent walk with God. He did not hide his faith in God he openly showed his commitment. He could have rationalised: It might be wise for me to pray in secret for the next 30 days. Besides if I am put to death I certainly cant witness for God.” But Daniel knew the battle was the Lord’s. His upstairs window was open toward Jerusalem during prayer times. The reason for this was that the Jerusalem temple, though destroyed by the Babylonians, was considered by the Hebrews to be the centre of God’s earthly attention (2 Chron. 6:18-40; 7:11-16). He was following the pattern f Psalm 55:17 and the instruction given when the Temple was dedicated in 1 Kings 8.
Many of us move from one crisis to another, from test to another, to one surprising incident to another, until one cuts our legs out from under us. We react, become resentful, we complain as if God is not in control. Daniel was not like that. He did not panic. Daniel committed the problem to the Lord “Cast you burden on the LORD, and he shall sustain you; he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Ps. 55:22). He was able to “Delight in thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give you the desire of your heart. Commit your way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Ps.37; 4-5).
What about you? Do you meet God daily or only in emergencies? Is your relationship and prayer to God given the priority? You need to draw closer to God to enjoy His presence. Why not start a consistent walk with god and talk with God. Daniel did not panic he lived a life of faith because he was in touch with God. This helped him in times of persecution, when men spoke evil and falsely against him, he had peace. The reason for this is that he put God first in his life.
Your Freedom and Law
What should you do when mans legislation is contrary to God? All legislation should be to protect the people in the nation. If such a conflict arises with God’s laws, divine law takes precedence. Peter and John faced this dilemma when they were forbidden to declare the gospel (Acts 4:17-19). They continued steadfastly in their mission. There must be no compromise with apostasy. This is precisely what Daniel did. Daniels prayer life was a private matter and the government had no right to stop him praying. He should be free to worship God. Privacy and freedom go hand in hand. Freedom is based upon laws that are in harmony with God’s law. Personal freedom is in the soul. Unless a citizen violates a common law, no government has the right to interfere with his private life. The government that over-rides the privacy of citizens also violates their god-give freedom. We cannot let everyone have their own law that would bring chaos. We need the law but we need good laws and legislation. It is unethical, unscriptural or threatens the infrastructure of our nation laws must be passed in order to protect a nation. We are not autonomous; we are responsible to parents, employers, spiritual leaders, thee state and God. We need to retain good laws and change bad ones, adding to them right conduct, right standards and right ethics.
We must thank God for the freedom we have in our country to worship God without being persecuted. We must thank God for the measure of good laws and protection . However they are fading fast. We must pray for those in authority. We must pray that the introduction of ungodly laws may be stopped.
Divine institution. God set up divine laws for the establishment and perpetuation of the human race 1. Volition –free will – basis for freedom); Marriage (stabilizer of the human race); 3. Family (basis of orderly society). 4. Nationalism (basis for protection of rights, privacy and freedom). Human government is designed by God, is to safeguard the rights, the privacy, the property and the freedom of individuals within a national entity. Men are not equal in intelligence and other areas and should be free to follow their dreams in matters of religion, business, social life etc., so long as it does not violate laws.
- Christ sets us free. We are free from condemnation (Rom. 8:1-4). True freedom begins here. It comes from the new nature in Christ. We are free from the judgement of God. The law of God is no longer a threat to us. We now stand fast in freedom (Gal.5:1).
- Freedom of conscience. It comes by faith in Christ within. Our desire is now to please God. We have freedom of conscience. This is particularly true in questionable matters. We are free to do certain things but if causes a brother to stumble the law of love has us consider him and we do not do it. If our conscience is offended we should not do it.
- Freedom of knowledge. “You know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” You are free to pursue an education. Free to develop your mind. Free to listen to music or learn and instrument. Knowledge of the word of Truth frees us form misconceptions in society and the law, from false teachers and doctrines. We should develop our knowledge. As you get to know God more you will know more freedom.
The Trap Sprung
Vs 11-15. “Then these men” men is GIBAR = “heroes” this is gods sanctified sarcasm. They were sneaky, sly weak individuals.
“Assembled” they hurried to catch Daniel praying. They knew he was committed to God and would not miss even one prayer session. His open window was facing Jerusalem. The officials wasted no time in discovering and exposing Daniels disobedience. The officials reminded the king of the injunction he signed. When the king heard this “he was deeply distressed and set his mind on delivering Daniel; even until sunset he kept exerting himself to rescue him.” But the governing officials said, “Recognize, O king, that it is law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or statue which the king establishes may be changed.”
Vs. 12 Notice how cleverly the plotters manipulated Darius. They never mentioned Daniels name. After persuaded the king to make the decree public they have him restate it. Had Darius not have been impressed with his own importance, he might have realised something was going on. His pride of position blinded him to the evils around him. He will be held accountable.
Vs 13 “THAT Daniel” They had pretended to be courteous but now the mask drops and they show their contempt for Daniel. They brought a charge before the king about him.
“which is of the children of captivity.” They reminded the king that Daniel was a Jew and a foreigner. They were casting doubt upon his patriotism. But Daniel had proved his loyalty over 68 years since he was taken captive from Jerusalem. He was appointed to the highest offices in the Chaldean Empire wand was now the second in command of the Persian Empire under Darius. None f this was mentioned only the fact he was a captured hostage from the Land of the Jews. They distorted the events.
“regardeth not thee.” The sly innuendo became obvious. Daniel, the great Prime minister is shown as being dangerous and disobedient to Darius. The unjust charges were supported by a score of witnesses who eagerly swore that Daniel had in deed petitioned his own God three times daily. They watched him, maybe all day to see him praying three times. . They congratulated themselves on the success of their efforts. Daniel stood accused unfairly, yet justly, as stated under the present contrived statute.
We have freedom to worship God now. Plan to come out and worship him each Sunday. Don’t allow anything to keep you from coming to Church. Unless it s necessary for your job in hospital or somewhere else.
We are free to pray now. Don’t make excuses. Have self control and turn off the TV and get out to pray.
We need to be in touch with our government and their decisions and protest if we need to.
Be loyal to God first then the nation.
We are salt to preserve the nation. Live right and do right..
Get to as many Bible studies as possible and get knowledge of God, his ways and how to make right decisions.