Summary: Daniel teaches us be example how to live righteously for Jesus. His consistent life and confident trust in Yahweh should be a great encouragement to us as we live in an ever increasing Godless culture and world.
Intro: We are living in a culture that is much like Daniel’s today. Politically correct and privately motivated. Daniel is old possibly 80 or 90 years old. He has probably seen his family and friends grow old around him. His Hebrew accent is most likely gone and he wears the clothing styles and has a home decorated in Persian décor. However through all the changes that Daniel has faced, taken from his home country, taught a new language, living through king after king, Daniel remains consistent.
What is it that makes Daniel so consistent? It is the character that is formed through his devotion and connection to God. We can learn from Daniel how to have character in a culture that praises everything but godliness and integrity.
Remember that trials and trouble do not make you who you are the simply reveal who you are.
This chapter as all the ones before it that God is in charge and he will bring justice to the wicked and reward those that are faithful.
Daniel reminds us of what Paul teaches in 2 Timothy 3:12 “In fact, all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
Daniel also encourages us that,
Proverbs 14:2 “Whoever lives with integrity fears the Lord, but the one who is devious in his ways despises Him.”
The purpose of the Church is to Glorify God. If we are coming to church and not seeking to show other people who he is we are fooling ourselves about church. Church is not a place you go but the person you are!!
Here is statement I wrote not too long ago that describes what I pray and desire for our attitude and atmosphere to be at Immanuel:
We at Immanuel seek to Glorify God by Cultivating His life in common in order to Seek Him above all things, Serve Him as His hands and feet and Share Him with all people.
This portion of Daniel’s story begins with Darius getting things in order in his portion of the Medo-Persoian Empire.
I.) Daniel was set up (6:1-5)
Why was Daniel set up?
A) Because he was different
Everything was business as usual in the new empire. Darius was setting up governors and administrators to keep the peace and collect taxes.
It was in this context that Daniel 6:3 “distinguished himself above the administrators and satraps because he had an extraordinary spirit, so the king planned to set him over the whole realm.”
Daniel was a man of stability in a shaky world
Daniel was a man of purity in a dirty world
Daniel was a man of integrity in a shady world
It was because of this distinct character that the other leaders despised him. He was not a man manipulating his way to the top of the ladder of the kingdom. What about us? He had an extraordinary spirit because he was seeking to please God rather than men.
B) Because he was dutiful (Daniel 4:6)
Chuck Swindol said it brilliantly
The World Needs men,
who cannot be bought;
whose word is their bond;
who put character above wealth;
who possess opinions and a will;
who are larger than their vocations;
who do not hesitate to take chances;
who will not lose their individuality in a crowd;
who will be as honest in small things as in great things;
who will make no compromise with wrong;
whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires;
who will not say they do it" because everybody else does it";
who are true to their friends through good report and evil report, in adversity as well as in prosperity;
who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning, and hardheadedness are the best qualities for winning success;
who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth when it is unpopular;
who can say "no" with emphasis, although all the rest of the
world says "yes."
Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p.107-8.
Daniel was doing what Paul said in Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.
Daniel was dutiful and diligent and the other leaders couldn’t find him negligent or corrupt in anything regarding the kingdom. Daniel was punctual because he was on time for the Lord. Daniel was respectful because as he respected others he respected the Lord. He paid attention to detail because the details declare God’s glory. He was kind because kindness was done unto the Lord. He was honest. Wow!! What a man. What an example to live up to!
Why was Daniel set up because he was different? How was Daniel set up? The other leaders decide to play off his consistency. That probably wouldn’t happen with you and me.