Daniel 6:1-28 (Part 2) – Attacking Where They Think It Will Hurt You Most

Posted: June 12, 2016 in Book of Daniel

Daniel 6:1-28

Daniel in the Lion’s Den

Have you ever had someone accuse of things that are not true? Have you ever had someone that has a different take on the reality of situation than you and have bent reality to suit their own needs? People want to tear you down? Where do they always attack you? They always attack you where they think it will hurt you the most. For me, there are several things that are important to me. First is my faith in God. Second is my role as a father and husband in my family. Third is my job. So, where would a person outside my family attack me. It would either be about my faith, about my abilities as a father or husband or about my abilities as an employee. Recently, I had a person outside my family attack me on the first two counts in an email. They began their email by attacking my faith and then attacking my abilities as a father. I am still a day later considering how to respond. In this email, I was accused of being a hypocrite for who they think I am compared to his concept of what I should be. Then, he proceeded to attack who I am as the father of my youngest daughter.

 

The reality of my relationship with my youngest daughter is that I love her but yet I and doing minor things now that are attempting to move her toward complete independence from me. Though at 25, she relies much less on me than she used to, there still are a few remaining vestiges of childhood dependency. I won’t get into the other details about pushing her with tough love toward reaching her full potential though she is simply skimping by in life doing the bare minimum (even though she probably has more potential than any of me, her sister, and herself).  To say the least, my relationship with my youngest daughter has been strained over the last year. So, from her 31 year old boyfriend that lives in a garage apartment at his grandparent’s house  and who is an unwed father of a son from a previous relationship, I get this scathing email about who I am as father and as a Christian.

 

Usually when people attack you, it is going to be where they think that they can hurt you the most. For me, this man knew the two areas that would probably hurt me the most, my faith and my fatherhood. There is no doubt that I am not nor have I ever been the perfect father. Through second marriages where I did not do enough through going overboard in the other direction after the second marriage was over, there is plenty that I would do differently if I had it to do all over again. But, guess what, you can’t. I feel that as the years have progressed and I have grown and matured that I am doing what I think is best for girls in the long run. I just to nudge, love, and bump them into being who they can be. I want them to be fully independent before I leave this existence. If perfection is expected by my children, they will never find it in me. I am not perfect nor claim to be. I am not perfect and never will be. So, yes, if you are expecting perfection, I am a hypocrite. Thank God that He forgives our sins through Jesus Christ’s perfection where men will not. As a father, there are so many things that I have probably done wrong over the years but I have also forgiven much. Being part of a family involves forgiveness and acceptance of the flaws the each one our family members have.

 

As a Christian, that was part of this attack as well. He basically called me a hypocrite and that I would be judged for it by a God that he says that he doesn’t even believe in. The funny thing here is that he fully believes that I think I am perfect because of “my foolish belief in the fairy tale”. The truth is that I am as my blog site’s subtitle states, “completely flawed, perfectly forgiven.” The fact is that I know that I am not perfect. I know that I am flawed. I know that I am not worthy of the grace of Jesus Christ, but yet He gave it to me anyway. I know that I am a work in progress. I know that the Holy Spirit had a lot, lot, lot of work to do in my when He came to dwell in my soul at my salvation. I am a sinner in need of undeserved grace and I am granted that by a loving God. I was claimed to be “a poser”. We are all posers. None of us Christ followers deserve grace. We are posers because we are flesh. We are posers of Christ’s perfection as long as we roam this earth in our flesh. We will never be perfect as the Holy Spirit works on us during our lifetime. We will only be perfect when we reach heaven and are perfected in the presence of God through Jesus Christ. So, yes, we are posers. We are sinners saved by grace. I know this. I know that on my own merit just the very first sin I committed has eliminated me, on my own merit, from going to heaven not to mention that the lifetime of sins that I have committed since that time. I know I am a poser on my own merits. It is only through the grace of Jesus Christ that I am covered for my imperfection.

 

It is ironic how God allows me to see the parallels of my life with the passages that I read each day. It was this idea of sometimes people attack you where they think it will hurt you the most is what I thought of today when I read this passage for a second time as we spend some time looking at this passage, Daniel 6:1-28. Let’s read it together today with focus on the other administrators and how they decided to attack Daniel:

 

6 [a]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. 4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government 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 these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May 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 human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. 8 Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law 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. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?”

 

The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”

 

13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” 14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.

 

15 Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.”

 

16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

 

17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.

 

19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

 

21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

 

23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

 

24 At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.

 

25 Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth:

 

“May you prosper greatly!

 

26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.

 

“For he is the living God

    and he endures forever;

his kingdom will not be destroyed,

    his dominion will never end.

27

He rescues and he saves;

    he performs signs and wonders

    in the heavens and on the earth.

He has rescued Daniel

    from the power of the lions.”

 

28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus[b] the Persian.

 

 

As one of the three top administrators in the Persian empire, Daniel’s reputation and efficiency and just doing the right things was above reproach. He was about to be name administrator over the whole empire not just one of three. That made the other administrators jealous and they desired to figure out a way to bring Daniel down. They looked at his life and it was not his work that they could attack. Daniel had worked for years and years with a great reputation as having served various emperors with honor and dignity. So, they decided to change the rules of the game and force Daniel into a corner. They knew what devout child of God he was. They then proceeded to attack him in the place that they thought would hurt him the most. His relationship with God was where they attacked him. Usually that’s how people are when they want to equalize the playing field is to attack you where they think it will hurt you the most. Daniel in this case demonstrated that He trusted God more than man and that He was not going to hide his relationship with God. He was not defying Cyrus personally but rather saying that nothing is going to change my relationship with God. The other administrators knew that was where they had to attack Daniel to keep him from becoming the administrator over the whole land. They attacked him where they thought it would hurt him the most. But, you know what, Daniel said yeah, go ahead, attack me there. This is who I am. I am a child of God.

 

The lesson that I take away today is that there will be people always attack you where they think it will hurt you the most. But the funny thing as a Christian. The things that they attack you with are things that the Holy Spirit has made clear to us already. We are all sinners in need of grace. We are not perfect and need grace. Sure, I am as flawed as they come. But one thing that you cannot accuse me of is not wanting my children (31 and 25 year old girls) to be self-sufficient and capable women when I have breathed my last breath. Sometimes, that will involve tough love. Sometimes, they are not going to like that aspect of it. But, oh my God, how God does that with us. He loves us immeasurably and in ways that we cannot even understand. Like children cannot understand their parent’s love truly until they have children of their own. God loves us as His children and sometimes as He guides us toward maturity there are things that are painful to go through. He doesn’t stop loving us but He is sharpening us.

 

So, attack away. I am imperfect. I am completely flawed. I am a sinner. I am getting better day by day through the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. So attack away. I know what I am. My flaws are evident. So, attack away. I am forgiven. I am loved by a God who sees who I can be through Jesus Christ. Attack away. It matters not because I am a child of God.

 

 

Amen and Amen.

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