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Summary: “The sunset of Babylon’s kingdom has now become the dawning of the Medo-Persian empire.”

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The Lions in Daniel’s Den

Date: February, 26th, 2012

Scripture: Daniel 6

The story/Daniel/lion’s den/one/best-known/best-loved stories in the entire Bible.

 Little children love it/Sunday school teachers love to tell it.

 Encouraged/people/God for thousands of years.

 And why shouldn’t it?

 The story is filled with unexpected twists and turns and the good guy wins big and the bad guys … well,

 The bad guys are torn to pieces.

 Along the way we learn the secret of Daniel’s success.

 Somehow he managed to survive/thrive in a spiritually hostile environment.

Good point because Christians live in a world of spiritual hostility where the temptation to compromise our faith/with us every day.

The world doesn’t want its conscience pricked and doesn’t reward those who dare to stand up for what they believe.

 INTEGRITY is the theme of this 6th/Daniel

 The story of Daniel and the Lions’ den...

 “The story of the lions in Daniel’s den.

But before we read this familiar story, let’s remind ourselves of the SETTING.

 Daniel/still in Babylon/but/different government is in charge.

Belshazzar’s death/chap 5 and/ascension of Darius the Mede in chap 6, we pass/gold head/Neb statue to/silver chest and arms.

“The sunset of Babylon’s kingdom has now become the dawning of the Medo-Persian empire.”

 Now—remember—by this time Daniel is an octogenarian.

 He’s well into his 80's—

 he still has/health/and his mental faculties have not diminished in the least

 this aging prophet still had a job to do

 Work for which God had prepared him in advance to do.

 He's still God's choice.

 And he was still the choice of the king to be the prime minister.

 You know, the power of a virtuous life extends into old age.

Take your Bibles and turn to Daniel chap 6 and follow along as I read.

1 - It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom.

2 - with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. 3 - Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.

Let’s understand the name “Darius”

 You see, “Darius” means “owner of the scepter.”

 “Darius” was more/title than a name.

 There were several Persian rulers who were called “Darius”.

 The “Darius” in this 6th chapter refers to Cyrus the Great, ________________________________________________

It’s interesting, 1st year of Cyrus, or 1st year of Darius, he gave a decree/Jews could go back to Judah.

 The 70 yrs/Babylonian captivity was up…Cyrus gave that decree.

 I really believe Daniel was the one who was of great influence on him to that extent.

 I think it was because of the power of the life of Daniel, because of the wisdom of Daniel and his influence.

 That even in the first year of Cyrus' rule, around 538/537 B.C.; he made the decree to let the people go.

 And that occurred before the lion's den incident, in the very first year of Cyrus.

___________________________________________________

I’m sorry but I have to stop again and ask—don’t these first 3 verses sound kind of familiar?

 Isn’t this the story of Daniel’s life.

 I mean, whenever he was given a job to do

 He did it better than anyone else...

 Which is why Darius—CYRUS—planned to set him over the whole kingdom.

 So let’s read on in verses 4-10

4 - At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of governmental affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.5 - Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”6 - So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: “O King Darius, live forever! 7 - The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers, and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.8 - Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”9 - So King Darius put the decree in writing.10 - Now, when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

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