Daniel 6:1-28 (Part 3) – Consistent Faith: If They Put You On Trial for Being A Christian, Would There Be Enough Evidence to Convict You?

Posted: June 13, 2016 in Book of Daniel

Daniel 6:1-28 (Part 3)

Daniel in the Lion’s Den

Throughout Clemson football history there have been those guys that you could count on for consistency. There were never flashy players. Some did not even make the pros. But these were guys that you could always count on when a first down was needed or to stop a play on a crucial third down. Some of these past greats were Jeff Davis at linebacker back in the 80’s, Bennie Cunningham in the 70’s, ones that quickly come to mind from the past. Both were ferocious competitors and went on to pro careers. Jeff Bostic was another. He was an offensive lineman who was not flashy but went on to have a long career with the Washington Redskins. These are the kind of guys that you build a college football program around. Sure, you need your peppering of superstar players each year in the recruiting cycle, but if you don’t have these go-to type guys, the guys that are not flashy but give their heart and soul to their team and give their best on each and every play every season, you will not go far in championship races.

 

As a student of the history of Clemson football, there are two players currently that fit into this mold.  There are two current players who are to match that label of go-to players. On offense, Hunter Renfrow is that unflashy but consistent guy. When the Tigers need a first down or a short range touchdown, Hunter is the guy. He’s just one of those students of the game who understands the weak spots in a defense and just gets open. When DeShaun Watson needs an open receiver anywhere, he can always find Hunter. He is just uncanny in getting open. He is not a deep threat, but he just gets open. He’s not flashy but he’s consistent. On defense currently, that guy has to be Ben Bouleware. He may not be pro football worthy but the guy plays his heart out on every play. When he is on the field, he is the most intense player on the field. If you are fan of football, you will never forget his raw emotion after the defense stopped Notre Dame on the two point conversion at the end of the game last year. And you remember that body flying collision between him and Dalvin Cook of Florida State on 3rd down and less than a yard that sealed the fate of the Seminoles in that game. Two guys that will either be late round draft picks when they are eligible for the draft. They will not be ones who exit college early for the pros after their junior seasons because millions await. Heck, they may not even be drafted because they may be considered too small for the pro game. But, if I was going to pick a football team based on heart and desire and consistency. I will pick these two guys hands down.

 

It is that idea of consistency that I thought of this morning as I have read this passage again for the third time. Again we read Daniel 6:1-28, but today we will pay particular attention to vv. 10-18:

 

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.

 

 

There is one thing that you can say about Daniel. Consistency. That is the one word description of this man. He was consistent in his faith. It was so much a part of his life that people knew him for his consistent faith. It was his hallmark. He was never one to compromise his faith to gain advantage or to prevent disadvantage. He honored God no matter what. It was because he was such a consistent believer in God and in obeying God’s Word that it was that one thing where his enemies chose to attack him. They knew that he would not compromise his faith in light of the new law enunciated by the king. The thing that we should notice here is that Daniel could have continued to worship God but just did it in secret. He could have shut his windows or chosen an inner room or left the city to go to some private place. No, Daniel did not do that. He went to his customary place to pray. He sat and prayed in his open window. He was not being showy. That was wear he always prayed. He was unashamed for people to see him pray. And, he was not going to hide it even now with the change in the law.

 

That is the takeaway for today. I am reminded of an old saying. It goes like this, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Does your lifestyle reflect Jesus Christ? The thing about Daniel was that his enemies knew enough of his reputation as a God-honoring man that it was his faith that they would attack. They knew that he was unwavering in his faith and his honor to God. That was where they would attack. How ‘bout you and me? Is there enough evidence of solid and consistent faith that people notice it? Is there enough evidence of how we live our lives that people even know that we are Christians? Are you that go-to, consistent guy or gal? Do people know you and I are a Christian? Is there enough evidence to convict you? Are you a Hunter Renfrow or Ben Bouleware type Christian where you are just that consistent of a Christian that people characterize you as that in the first word of describing you? Do you play your heart out for Jesus such that people recognize it? Are you that consistent in your life that people call you a Christian first thing? Let us examine our lives and resolve to be more consistent in our faith. Let us be known as Daniel-like Christians. Let it be our faith that people point to. Let it be our faith where people want to attack us. Let it be our faith that we are known for. Let it be that we have put God first in everything that we do!

 

Amen and Amen.

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