Summary: THANKSGIVING SERMON This is an expositon of Daniel chapter six with an alliterated application. In 2007, America's longstanding fiscal carelessness came gushing to the surface for all to see. Many lost jobs, investments and homes. Yet in difficult times,
Thanksgiving in Difficult Times
November 18 and 25, December 2, 2007
Dan 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
See my Harper Reference Bible for Notes. Cf., Boyce, Swindoll, Heslop, Unger, McGee, and Serendipity. See short version file also.
Daniel 6:1-28 (KJV) 1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; 2 And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.
• Darius is 62, and has just taken over the kingdom of Medo-Persia, following the reign of Belshazzar the Babylonian.
• To protect his financial and political interests, he divided the land into 120 satrapies with a satrap over each.
• Not wanted to hear from 120 satraps every week or month, he creates another tier of management: three presidents.
• Daniel, now 80 years of age, and having served admirably under two other kings (Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar), is placed as the spokesman for the presidents.
3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
• An excellent spirit is required in leaders.
• Men may have talent, physical strength, psychological superiority and yet not be a good leader.
• A leader must be a follower when others are in the lead.
• The king recognizes this quality in Daniel, and has a plan.
• He will make a new tier of administration in which Daniel will oversee all presidents and satraps and answer only to the king.
4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
• Nothing is more characteristic of evil men than jealously and selfishness.
• And so these very powerful men seek occasion against Daniel.
• I am certain that no expense was spared, and no governmental security forces, spies, connections are spared.
• We do not know how long this investigation continued.
• They could find no “fault” or bad decision.
• They could find no “error” in his accounting or supervision.
• They could find no dereliction of duty for Daniel was “faithful.”
• No one could be found that would be willing to say that Daniel had done them wrong. Not even a liar!
5 Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
• They only way, say they, we can trap this man is to put his faith against his patriotism.
• How marvelous!
• Could that be said of us?
• We are afraid to ask the little league team not to trample on the Lord’s service times!
6 Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.
• The word used here means to rush violently together.
• God’s work is done openly, orderly, and follows the rules
• Satan’s work is done secretly, in a rush, out of order, and ignores protocol.
• They will appeal to the VANITY of Darius, the new leader!
APPLICATION: You can count on a gossip will do four things: 1) They will flatter you, 2) They will tear someone else down, 3) They will have an ulterior motive, and 4) When they have left you they will gossip to someone else and tear you to shreds. And those who listen to a gossip are no less guilty.
7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
• This is, of course, a lie. Daniel has not been consulted.
• They say, “We think so much of you, that it would be blasphemous to ask anything of anyone else.”
• Nebuchadnezzar had considered himself God (and ended up living with the beasts outdoors).
• Belshazzar had considered himself God (and saw the writing on the wall, and had his kingdom removed).
• Now Darius is pushed in that direction.
• The penalty offered is the den of lions.