Thursday, September 9, 2010 - Do we have the Faith of Daniel? Daniel 6:23 - Then the king was exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.
God's people are most often in the minority. In fact, the only times that we weren't in the minority were when Adam and Eve were created and then directly after the flood. God's people are in the minority because they are different. They are called to be different. The value of Christianity lies in it's distinctiveness.
Daniel's convictions were founded upon the law that God had given to His people. In both Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, specific laws were given laying out what God's people could and couldn't do. Daniel was determined to hold to what God had said. To Daniel, there was absolute right and wrong. It did not matter where he was or who he was with; he was going to abide by the teachings of God.
"Everybody else is doing it" has long been the rally cry for those who want to participate in sin. The time of Daniel was a severely trying one to the faith of the average Hebrew. Babylon had conquered Judah. Questions arose regarding the power of Judah's God. Were the God's of Babylon stronger than the God of Israel? Daniel overcame awesome difficulties and succeeded where many lesser men would have failed. Daniel succeeded not merely because he had talent and drive — he was first and foremost a man of faith in God.
Ezek. 14:14 - Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness," says the Lord GOD
Dan. 6:4-5 - So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him.Then these men said, "We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
Let us consider the relationship between Daniel’s success and his faith in God.
1.Daniel relied on an Authentic Trust in God 1.1.Daniel’s commitment to God was sacrificial, rather than superficial - Dan. 6:1-28. 1.2.Daniel acted on the basis of deep faith and genuine commitment. 1.2.1.He showed a real dependence on God - Dan. 6:4, 5, 23. 1.2.2.Psalms 56:3,4 – Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? 1.2.3.Daniel’s faith was real! 1.3.He knew the God of the Book, as well as the Book of God. His heart, as well as his head, was involved in his faith. 1.4.Daniel’s faith and prayer life were linked in a vital way. 1.4.1.In Dan. 6:10 we have a man over 90 years of age acting on the basis of lifelong habits, not momentary impulses. 220.127.116.11.Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. 1.4.2.Faith cannot be “turned on” in an emergency unless there is a reservoir to draw from. 1.4.3.With Daniel, as with Abraham and others, faith was a principle of life. 1.4.4.Had Daniel habitually allowed lesser things to interfere with his praying, it is most unlikely that he could have stood his ground when a death sentence threatened to interfere! 1.4.5.Daniel’s situation illustrates why it is so important for parents to impart good attributes and habits to children from infancy. 18.104.22.168.We do not know what tests of faith our children will have to face later in life. 22.214.171.124.Not to teach them regular habits in praying, Bible study, etc. is to rob them of the advantage of being accustomed to doing right. 1.5.Daniel’s faith was not flamboyant 1.5.1.Matthew 6:5, 6 - And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 1.6.It was a confessing faith. 1.6.1.Luke 9:26 - For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels. 1.6.2.Imagine the results if Daniel had closed his windows to pray!
2.Daniel's Faith begot Courage 2.1.Daniel had moral, as well as physical, courage. 2.1.1. Others also give us this type of example to follow: Stephen, Peter, Paul, Antipas 2.1.2.Rev. 21:8 - But the cowardly…shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. 2.2.Remarkably, Daniel stood alone, with no visible means of help to bolster him. 2.2.1. Daniel understood that God is all he needed 2.2.2. We may never know that God is all we need until God is all we have 126.96.36.199.2 Cor. 12:9, 10 - And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2.2.2.Yet, there are unseen forces 188.8.131.52.2 Kings 6:15-17 - Therefore he (King of Syria) sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city (Dothan).And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?"So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them."And Elisha prayed, and said, "LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, and said, "Strike this people, I pray, with blindness." And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. 2.2.3. 1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour 184.108.40.206. 1 John 4:4 - You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 2.2.3.Dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone. Dare to have a firm purpose, and dare to make it known. 2.3.Whatever the danger, we need to be able to say, with Paul, “none of these things move me” (Acts 20:22-24).
3.Daniel's Faith begot Decisiveness 3.1.Faced with important choices, Daniel chose for God rather than wasting time trying to figure a way to have it both ways. 3.2.His obedience was prompt. 3.2.1.Understanding can wait; obedience cannot. 3.2.2.When our duty is clear, action should be immediate — there are grave dangers in postponing the principles of conscience. 3.2.3.Delayed obedience is often a sign of indifference. 3.3.Do we believe that God is? 3.3.1.“If the Lord is God, follow Him” (1 Kings 18:21).
4.Daniel's Faith was the Foundation of His Unshakable Integrity 4.1.Daniel had his priorities straight. 4.1.1. Daniel 6:7-10 - "All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. "Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter." Therefore King Darius signed the written decree. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. 4.1.2 He understood that even an unrighteous law is no excuse for unrighteous conduct. 220.127.116.11.Acts 5:27-29 - And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, saying, "Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood on us!"But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: "We ought to obey God rather than men. 4.2.Daniel had great “integrity”? 4.2.1.Integrity means consistency between our convictions and our conduct. 4.3.Daniel’s integrity survived the onslaught of his enemies. What a tragedy it would have been if Daniel’s jealous rivals had found what they were looking for in 6:4. 4.4.Daniel’s integrity contributed to respect for God and God’s people. What a tragedy if he had cracked under the pressure, thus undoing in a moment what others had labored for lifetimes to build up!
Daniel overcame his difficulties because his integrity was founded on faith in God. His depth and substance can surely be attributed to his regular, daily contact with God. He had confidence IN God because he had communicated WITH God. Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17. Daniel’s trust in God shows that faith is the victory! John 16:33; 1 John 5:4, 5.
Daniel was extremely grounded doctrinally. The pressures of his peers, threats of kings and even the fear of death could not move him from the stand for what is right!