In Daniel chapter 6, we read the well-known story of Daniel and his confrontation with lions. Although this is an historical event we need to see this story in the light of the Living Word of God and therefore, relevant to each of our spirits.
Everything in the Word of God is active, and alive, and personally relevant
The Word of God is Spirit. Always read God’s Word by asking the question … what is God trying to teach me? Let’s see how this event is recorded for our own personal relevance.
Firstly, perhaps the key issue in this chapter is … position
Darius was the king of the Medes and Persians. He held the No.1 position. What he says goes. Everyone wishes they had this power, or at least suck up to this power to get a better position above others.
Where there’s position, there’s always envy. The Bible says in James 4:5, that the spirit in us lusts to envy. We inherently envy anyone who is more successful, more important, more popular, more skilful, and more capable. If you want to know what spirit dwells within you, you can measure it by “envy”, and you can measure your envy by what you wish was yours. You won’t find the envy characteristic in the Holy Spirit, and you won’t find that characteristic in Daniel. Anyone who practices envy is definitely under the influence of a demonic spirit.
Sure enough, the princes of Persia hated Daniel because he was given position. They wanted it and they believed they deserved it. It should never have been given to a foreign slave (v.13). They looked for a way to destroy his integrity, but they couldn’t find one. Why? Because, Daniel wasn’t chasing position, so he wasn’t proud that he was in a more important position. Somehow, they realised they could only trap him by manipulating him against the laws of his God.
Flattery is just a manipulation of people to get preference and an advantage in their eyes ahead of others
They hatched a plan of flattery and manipulated Darius to sign into law a 30-day ruling against worshipping all gods except Darius.
Why did Darius fall for this con?
Because Darius was full of his own importance. That’s what self-righteous position does to you. When he found out that his law had trapped his friend and head-president, he realised he had been a fool. So we ask the question… why didn’t Darius just reverse the law? I suggest because he didn’t want to look inferior to his princes. He was more worried about how he looked, than whether Daniel was saved; besides he could hear the voice … if his God is that great then surely, He will save him. Position is there to look good above others, so position will always hear voices that support your position to justify why you shouldn’t give it up. But, those voices are from Satan.
The irony is, Darius did eventually reverse the law, and penalised, with the same lion penalty, those who had tried to destroy Daniel. So, he did have the power to reverse it. So, why did he wait till he saw how Daniel went? I suggest because he no longer would look bad. It was pretty obvious that Daniel’s God was the most powerful; no one could argue the point, so it made political sense to change sides and stand with Daniel. It’s all about looks and position.
The other irony is, using our envy to chase position will always eventually bring us down, whether it’s on earth or in the after-life. When you strive for position you’ll eventually fall from position.
Daniel didn’t obey the country’s law
I’ve watched Christians argue that’s it’s wrong to take bibles into China because it’s against the country’s laws. It’s easy to pick a verse of Scripture and use it to support our guilts and fears. Here’s a very clear example where God stood with a man who wouldn’t do what the law of the land commanded. Wherever, the law of the land challenges the law of God and the sovereignty of God, a Christian has no alternative but to stand with God and cop the lions. I’ve met plenty of Christians who say they will stand with God, but I’ve met very few who will face the lions. The modern church systems are simply trying to accumulate numbers and money. They’re not training soldiers to die for what they believe.
Daniel doesn’t say anything
It’s important to note that Daniel doesn’t say anything to change the course of the ruling or to object to the injustice. He was the head-president; surely, he could have intervened and pointed out to Darius what was being done against him; but he kept silent. Was this folly or faith? Position will always intervene to protect itself; faith chooses God’s often irrational way.
Daniel didn’t change his course of action
Daniel knew that it was his God they were challenging. He held his course and maintained his pattern. He could have easily argued in his head that it’s ok to pray in your closet for 30 days, but in his heart, he knew that would be fear and compromise and surrender to evil. God honoured his faith.
Daniel’s faith changed the course of history
Darius life was confronted by the eternal God of Daniel, and that confrontation changed the god of the whole known world. You’re not going to change the spirit of a nation through politics, protests, or philanthropy; it requires a Daniel.
The story of Daniel is the story of Jesus
Like Daniel, Jesus was tempted to change His course and take the easy way out. He chose to hold His position and trust His Father. He remained silent before his enemies, copping the evil against Him without any self-defence, trusting the outcome to His Father, dying unjustly, and finally being elevated above His enemies. Jesus’ faith changed the course of history. When you die to position, the Lord will honour your position … Philippians 2:7-11.
The disciple’s path
This is the path of every surrendered disciple. Maybe not physically dying, but certainly dying to all self-wants because you love the Father. This love is implanted in you by His Spirit. If you don’t love the Father, then you haven’t got His Spirit.
If you want to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit, like Daniel, then the envy in you of others’ position and the inherent want to be important in the eyes of others, has to be sacrificed, and the only way to achieve this is to give-up and sacrifice all self-valued position.
In the last days
In the last days (Revelations 12:17), under the power of the antichrist, the laws of God will be a measuring stick to try and destroy the disciples of Christ. Last-day-Daniels will be measured by their commitment to the law of God unto death. This confirms that the modern church systems are wrong when they devalue the ten commandments under the guise of grace.
May God raise up men of character and courage like Daniel and Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego, so that the Spirit of God might return to His previous place of honour in our current hedonistic western societies, as we prepare for the onslaught of the final anti-Christ.
Pastor Jonathan Faranze