Friday, July 10, 2009

Bible Study: Taking A Stand - Daniel - Chapter 6

This isn’t some cutesy Sunday school story. Remember Beth Moore (in the Daniel study DVDs) reading the article “Dragged off by a Lion” from her husband’s “Sporting Classics” magazine about the male lion that grabbed Harry Wolhuter by the shoulder and dragged him away? Harry had to reach behind him to stab that lion – twice in the heart, once in the throat.

Beth also said that lions have a tendency to lick the skin off of their prey before (killing and) eating it. Ouch! We need to be ready to stab the enemy in the heart with the Sword of the Spirit (see 1 Peter 5:8-9). (Daniel – Beth Moore)

Daniel had integrity and he was faithful.

6:1-4 – Daniel continues to serve a heathen king. In fact, he serves so well and diligently that he makes enemies. (see v.4)

6:3 – the king gave thought to setting him over the entire realm. He was already one of the top three governors who answered only to the king.

6:4 – see Job 4:6.

6:4-5 – Daniel’s behavior is exemplary. His enemies cannot find fault in him, so they use his devotion to God to attempt to destroy him. The Pharisees did the same thing with Jesus when he healed on the Sabbath. (see Luke 6:1-2)

6:5 – These enemies had to study God’s law or Daniel’s behavior to learn how to trap Daniel. We can learn quite a bit about God and still not be in relationship with Him.

6:6-7 – All of the government officials hadn’t agreed. Daniel didn’t.

6:7 – Pride can really cloud judgment. King Darius is smitten with the idea of being the recipient of everyone’s prayers for a month - although he didn’t have the ability to hear those prayers or answer them. This society doesn’t seem very prayerful.

6:8-9 – How gullible is leadership? Who is the real king, anyway? Darius? Or the satraps who demanded that the king make this law? This passage is a good reminder to keep our leaders and their advisors in prayer.

6:10 – Daniel didn’t compromise his prayer time with God. He dared to stand out. Do you compromise your time with God under pressure? Or do you stand out? Are you a Daniel – who prays for all to see? Or a Gideon – who obeys God at night when no one can see?

See 1 Kings 8 – King Solomon’s prayer probably started the tradition that Daniel held to in praying toward Jerusalem.

6:13 – Daniel didn’t have his friends to go to for prayer in this situation. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

6:14 – The king was distressed with himself when he heard that Daniel broke the law. Be very conscious of whom is giving you advice and what advice you take. Godly advisors will be more likely to give godly advice.

6:15 – Reminds us of the permanence of Persian law. Also offers evidence that these men manipulated the king.

6:16 – King Darius either knew that God would deliver Daniel or he was just offering comforting words. I lean toward comforting words because of verse 20.

6:17 – See Matthew 27:60, 66 and Mark 15:46 for amazing parallels to a stone being rolled across an opening so that a “situation might not be changed”. Hallelujah! (Daniel – Beth Moore)

6:23 – See Jeremiah 10:19 – it seems to state: “this is what I deserve.” God’s response – Jeremiah 30:12, 17: “yes, you deserve it, but I will restore and heal you.” (Daniel – Beth Moore)

Daniel was delivered through this fiery trial, just as his three friends were delivered through the fiery furnace. If he’d been delivered from this trial, he would’ve missed God’s miraculous closing of the lions’ mouths! No way would he have elected to miss that!!! There were others, however, who were delivered into his arms because of such trials. Fox’s Book of Martyrs mentions Germanicus in the fourth persecution under Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, A.D. 162. (Daniel – Beth Moore) Makes me think of the Coliseum in Rome and the persecution of Christians.

6:24 – the lions crushed the bones of the families because the angels had closed their mouths! (Daniel – Beth Moore)

6:25-27 – because of Daniel’s faithfulness to God and God’s faithfulness to Daniel, King Darius was convinced of God’s power (just as Nebuchadnezzar was). We should be faithful to God so that He can use us to impact others. (Life App SB)

see v.8 – the king issued this decree in writing, so according to the law, this command was unbreakable and not rescindable – everyone in the kingdom must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.

6:28 – “Scholar Joyce Baldwin joins the camp that believes Cyrus and Darius were the same person based on a possible and plausible rendering of Daniel 6:28…’the word and here and often in the book…has the force of ‘namely’, or ‘that is’, so being used explicatively. The writer is explaining that the two names belong to the same person.’ If Baldwin is correct, Daniel 6:28 could read, ‘So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius, that is Cyrus the Persian.’” (Daniel – Beth Moore: Daniel by Joyce Baldwin)

Psalm 137:1-6 is a fitting benediction to this portion of the study on Babylon. (Daniel – Beth Moore)

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