Daniel became hated among his peers and they conspired to pass a law that they knew he would break and have him thrown into a lions den. They hated Daniel because they were trying to steal money from the government when they collected taxes and Darius was going to place Daniel over all of them to stop the corruption that was taking place. The Satraps tricked King Darius into signing a law that he would be the only one who could receive prayers for the next 30 days knowing that Daniel would refuse to pray to anyone or any other god besides the true God.
We all have enemies that we face and they are people who are motivated because of jealousy or power and they try and destroy us. It may not be as blatant as what happened to Daniel when they literally tried to have him killed but enemies try to kill you in other ways like lying and slandering you so that it ruins your reputation. When you look back on your life it seems there have always been people that for one reason or another will do things that seem to be so selfish and destructive to you and you will wonder why they acted so repulsively toward you.
Read Daniel 6:16-18
1) Enemies cannot destroy your reputation
They may try and tarnish your reputation or destroy you financially but they cannot destroy who you really are. This is why our focus should be doing everything with excellence and that we are found faithful and faultless in everything we do. Our reputations, although people may try to ruin them, will be proven in the long run by how we live compared to how they live. I have had people lie about me in the past and it tarnished peoples view of me with untrue accusations. A former pastor that I worked for told several people that I threatened him with physical harm in his office. Unfortunately these people believed him and not me. Although some believed him at first they started to see the inconsistencies in his life and in his speech and it made them question whether the story was true. Later several people came to me and apologized for believing the lie this pastor told. As Christians we need to be careful what we listen to when people are bad mouthing others and if they do say something negative you need to ask them if they practiced Matthew 18 and went to the one who offended them.
It bothered me that I was accused of doing something that I did not do but I also knew that people would believe what they wanted to believe. Although some may have questioned my character I know that I am not guilty before God and that one day this pastor will be held accountable for the lies and manipulation he put on other believers.
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,and favor is better than silver or gold.
King Darius knew that the Satraps were evil because their life demonstrated their conniving ways in stealing the money and King Darius knew Daniel was innocent. Never think because you do everything right that you will not have enemies but always know in the end the truth will come out.
May your God whom you serve rescue you
Daniels life was lived in such a way that it impacted the King and the King, who worshiped pagan gods, knew that Daniels God was different and could save him. King Darius had to throw Daniel in the lions den even though he knew Daniel was innocent.
It could have been a normal cave looking dwelling that had no exits or it could have been man made with one side being able to be lifted up so the other side could release the lions and be cleaned. History tells us that the Assyrians and Persians caught and caged lions for this very purpose.
Read Daniel 6:19-23
2) Enemies cannot ruin your life
Have you ever heard someone say that a person ruined their life? God allowed Daniel to be thrown into the pit with the lions for God’s Glory and for God’s power to be demonstrated. Even if God would have allowed Daniel to be eaten by the Lions it would not have been in vain because God never allows His children to suffer without a purpose. Our lives belong to God and He has purposes that go beyond what we can fully understand or comprehend and no matter what our enemies do to us we can trustthat God is using them to accomplish His purposes. Just like Joseph in the book of Genesis was thrown into a pit, was lied about, and forgotten, God used every step Joseph had to go through to get Joseph in a place to save the nation of Israel.
The thought that we do not go through anything in our lives without God having a purpose should bring peace to our lives. Even if our enemies ruin our business our carrier or whatever else, they cannot ruin our lives because God already saw what was going to happen and He is going to take care of us and use us for His glory.
Next time someone tries to ruin your reputation, your business or destroy opportunities you might have, you can look at it that God is up to something bigger than you can ever understand. The key to peace in these situations is trusting God in the midst of the lies, the accusations, and the unfairness of what you are walking through.
Daniel servant of the living God has your God, whom you serve continually been able to rescue you?
King Darius saw Daniel live such a faithful life that even though he did not believe in God personally, he believed to some degree that Daniel’s God could save him. No one in their right mind would have thought that a person would survive the night in a pit full of hungry lions, but Daniels life made King Darius at least have some hope for Daniels survival. Never underestimate living a consistent life in front of people as you boldly proclaim the truth.
Is God able to rescue you is the very question the world wants to know about the God we worship. If the world sees us dealing with the issues of life the same way that they do, then they have no reason to believe that our God is the true God who can truly save them.
2 Timothy 4:17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
Rescued from the Lions mouth was a common reference about being saved from mortal danger based on Daniel (Psalm 22:21; 35:17) 1 Peter 5:8 calls Satan a lion and so the reference is that we are being rescued from him as well.
Daniel was able to witness that his God was the true God to a pagan culture that worshiped many other gods because he went through the lions den. Sometimes we want God to rescue us before the pain but it is as we walk through the scary things of life, and when we rely on Him, that people will give God the glory. As Christ followers we do not have to fear the lions that surround us because we know that God is our protector and He will get us through the night.
God sent an Angel
God could have just commanded the mouths of the lions shut but instead He sent an Angel to be with Daniel through the night. God met Daniels need of protection but God also met Daniels need of companionship.
Daniel was lifted from the pit
The law was written that if anyone survived their punishment then they would be set free. Can you imagine the look on the Satraps faces when they saw Daniel and he had no marks or injury on him? What we walk through will astonish our enemies because they will not believe that they did not destroy us.
Read Daniel 6:24
3) Enemies cannot escape judgment
Falsely accused means that they maliciously talked bad about Daniel. It is difficult to suffer hardships when you have made mistakes but when you suffer because of the actions of others it is more difficult to accept. Yes Daniel broke a law that should have never been written but he never was disloyal to the King which they accused him of being.
Daniels accusers were thrown into the pit with their families because King Darius knew that they were the ones who were not serving the kingdom faithfully. The families were killed back then to keep someone from conspiring against the King as revenge for the family member being prosecuted. The entire family being punished was also a deterrent to anyone who thought about breaking the law.
Romans 12:14-19 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.[h] Never be wise in your own sight.17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[i] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
It is difficult for us to allow God to take care of our enemies because we do not always think it will be done the way we want it done. What if they repent and God forgives them? I want justice. God is a just God and our sense of justice comes by being created by Him. God will not allow the things that happen to us to go unnoticed although He is more patient than we will ever be.
Proverbs 26:27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
Even if they do not see judgement in this life we know that Hebrews 9:27 says they will receive it when they stand before God. If they repent of their sins then those things will be forgiven but we will be rewarded for how we walked through them.
Read Daniel 6:25-27
4) Enemies cannot keep God from being glorified
King Darius wrote to the entire land that Daniel’s God is the true God that needs to be feared (reverenced) and a God who does signs wonders and miracles. God always wants to bring people back to Himself and sometimes He allows His saints to go through the pits of life to demonstrate that He is truly God.
What is God doing in your life that would require a miracle?
What is going on in your life that makes other people take a step back and wonder how you are making it through?
Bad things happen to good people to allow God an opportunity to be glorified. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were standing when others were kneeling, and Daniel was kneeling when everyone else was standing, but both glorified God by going through things that should have killed them.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
“God calls some to win by living. Others are called to win by dying. But in life or death God rules and we are called to serve Him. Will we do it? The world needs those who know God and who will live for His righteousness even when the entire culture trunes ferociously against it. (James Montgomery Boice, Daniel, PG 72)
Godly people will suffer for many reasons but what we walk through in this life is not as important as how we walk through it.
Read Daniel 6:28
5) Enemies cannot keep you from prospering
God used Daniel and Daniel was blessed by God as he ruled. Blessing can mean elevated in command, which was the intent of Darius before he was tricked, and can also mean material wealth. Daniel lived to see Cyrus issue an edict allowing the Jews to return to their land and rebuild their temple. (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4) God used Daniel to impact several Kings and to be a faithful servant in a fallen world.
Deuteronomy 8:18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
Our enemies cannot keep us from prospering because it is God that allows us to prosper