When our will conflicts with God’s will and we choose His will instead of ours, our dedication to Him deepens. Christian character is developed when faith is tried. God frequently allows us to go through trials to enable us to grow.
Throughout his life, Daniel faced many temptations. When he resisted temptation through God’s power, his faith increased. The story of Daniel in the lion’s den is well known. It contains lessons about courage for all of us.
I. INTRIGUE AT THE PALACE
A. Read Daniel 6:1-9. God blessed Daniel’s faithfulness. Daniel’s diplomatic work was extended for 70 years. He served under several kings in two different empires. Daniel’s life illustrates the biblical principle, “Those who honor Me I will honor” (1 Sam. 2:30).
B. Daniel’s colleagues envied his position. Their envy led them to lie, and the lie provoked an order to kill Daniel. Envying Daniel’s position, the Medo-Persian politicians resorted to a plot of lies. When nourished in the heart, sin develops roots and produces bad fruit.
There was no evidence to incriminate Daniel. He was upright in all his behavior. His enemies thought that the only way to “get” him would be through his relationship with God, by attacking his faith.
C. Daniel prayed three times a day. His life was of full communion with God. This made a difference in everything. That was the reason he was successful in all things.
1. They created a decree by which no one should make requests to any other divinity or person but to King Darius.
2. The final test for Daniel dealt with the question of true and false worship. It pitted lies against truth.
II. DANIEL’S UNYIELDING FAITH
A. Prayer was the constant source of power that helped Daniel maintain his close relationship with God. Prayer is a line of communication between the Christian and heaven.
1. Darius violated his own conscience. He knew that he was condemning an innocent man, yet he recognized that Daniel followed the true God. (Read Daniel 6:16.)
2. Feeling guilty, he remained awake and apprehensive all night in the palace. Unresolved guilt creates anxiety and illness.
B. By knowing that we have done what is right, we will remain calm in the storms of life. Daniel felt at peace in the lion’s den, while Darius was very tense in the palace.
C. Early in the morning, arriving at the entrance of the lion’s den, the king discovered that Daniel had miraculously been saved.
D. Daniel gave honor and glory to God for his deliverance by saying: “My God sent His angels and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you” (Dan. 6:22).
A. Daniel’s experience shows that God is ready to help us in moments of crisis.
1. He does not allow us to suffer trials beyond what we are able to endure, but He gives us strength to overcome.
2. Satan’s power to crush us is stronger than our ability to resist. Were we left alone, we would be impotent. But strengthened by the power of God, we will be victorious.
3. Philippians 4:13 gives us a clear promise that God gives us strength to overcome all difficulties.
B. Darius, a pagan king, rendered honor to the God of Daniel. (Read Dan. 6:26, 27.) The word “steadfast” means “immovable,” “faithful,” “loyal,” someone you can count on. God never forsakes us. When the lions of temptation roar, He is there to shut their mouths. When the devil tries to exterminate us, He is there to deliver us. Final deliverance will take place at the Second Coming of Christ.
C. At the close of this world’s history, God will also manifest Himself to deliver His faithful children. (Read Rev. 19:11-19.) Described as a powerful conqueror running through the halls of Heaven and as a general leading the heavenly hosts, Jesus is revealed as our most powerful Deliverer. He is “faithful and true.” He fulfills His word. At the last stroke of the end-time clock, He will deliver His children. In a vision, Daniel observed that last deliverance. He foresaw the day when all evil would at last be destroyed and the kingdom of God would rule forever.
For God, there are no impossibilities. He delights in delivering us. The same God who promised to deliver this planet from the dominion of evil, also promises to deliver you and me, today, from the dominion of evil. The same God who will restore this planet to its original purpose, wishes to restore our lives today. We can praise God today, for He is our powerful Deliverer.
Contributed by the South American Division.