SERIES: Living As Exiles — A Study in Daniel
TEXT: Daniel 6:16-28
MESSAGE: “Internal certainty through external uncertainty
“There are times when a whole generation gets caught to such an extent between two eras, two styles of life, that nothing comes naturally to it since it has lost all sense of morality, security, and innocence.” — Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.” 
— Daniel 1:8
“And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus.” — Daniel 1:21
Vocational discipleship is a real thing, and we believe that through it the church can be revived. When we read about past revivals, they aren’t about society turning to Jesus. They are about the church becoming more faithful to Jesus and Spirit-led within society.” — Kinnaman & Matlock
TEXT: Daniel 6:16-28
“Daniel…set the standard for Christians who hold public office. He was serious about the work of statecraft, but he was even more serious about being known as a servant of God, determined to follow God’s precepts no matter the cost.” — Joel Belz
How did Daniel live this out within his cultural context (uncertainty) and what can we learn about internal certainty today?
We see three traits in today’s text. We see…(1. Calm in the chaos 2. Conviction in the conflict 3. Connections in the context)
  1. Calm — v. 16-17
Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” 17 And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel.”
“…the destructive power of lions metaphorically expressed the disharmony and chaos of the universe.” — Sinclair Ferguson
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” — Luke 9:23
“In Ezekiel 14:14 and 20 the prophet puts Daniel in the same company as Noah and Job in terms of their righteous lives…Daniel’s relationship with the Lord is not crisis-oriented (Swindoll). It was a consistent walk with God that people saw daily. And what emergencies or crises presented themselves, Daniel was already prepared to meet them and handle them. His daily communion with God had so shaped his character that he was ready no matter what. The decision to go to the lion’s den had been settled years earlier. The cost had already been counted.” — Tony Merida
  1. Conviction  — v. 18-20
“Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him. 19 Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”
“Yes, there are times when it appears as if the darkness is winning. When the direction of culture, the circumstances of our lives, the poverty of spiritual life among God’s people seems tilted toward difficulty, decline, and even death rather than renewal…The church seems divided, the culture unraveling, and the world reeling toward chaos. Yet, at moments like ours, we must remember that God has seeded the world with His dream of renewal.” ― Mark Sayers, A Non-Anxious Presence
  1. Connections  — v. 21-23
Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.”
“The present chapter does not simply tell us that lions were the preferred method of execution at the time; it tells us that God delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. Darius expressed the hope that God would deliver Daniel, and when he returned to the den in the morning Daniel told him that God had sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths.” — John Lennox
“Roaring lions does not just represent in general suffering, but in the Old Testament the roaring lion represents the justice of God. In the book of Amos, in the very beginning, it says the Lord roars against violence and against oppression. This is what it means. The real Daniel, who went into the real lions’ den and who went before the real lions, the justice of God, who got the punishment that we all needed, was ruined. He was torn by the justice of God. The real Daniel, who went into the real lions’ den, was Jesus Christ. Because he was the ultimate Daniel, who went before the ultimate lions, we now can go into the little lion dens of our lives with confidence.” – Timothy Keller
TAKEAWAYS: How can we grow an internal certainty?
* Remember that God’s peace comes inwardly not always outwardly
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” — John 14:27
“In the promised age, the chaos of creation will be restored to order and harmony so that all the creatures of nature will live together in peace.” — Sinclair Ferguson
* Remember that God’s truth and His timing are always perfect
* Remember that Jesus’ consistency transforms our inconsistency
“Who is this lamb and lion? He suffered death like a lamb, and he has devoured like a lion… Meek yet courageous; lovable yet fearsome; innocent yet powerful; silent under judgment, yet roaring to pronounce judgement… He slew death when He himself was slain.”Augustine
Daniel, who was righteous, was accused by those jealous of him on a (false) charge (Dan. 6:4-13). The king recognized the injustice of Daniel’s condemnation and sought to deliver him (6:14). Nevertheless, Daniel was condemned, given over to certain death; then placed in a pit with a stone laid on the opening and sealed by the king (6:15-17). At daybreak those who lamented the way Daniel was treated came and found that his God had delivered him (6:19-23). Jesus was also declared innocent (Matt. 27:24; cf. Luke 23:4, 14-15, 22, 41) but accused by those jealous of him (Matt. 27:18) on (false) charges (26:59-61; 27:15-19). Pilate recognized the injustice and sought to release Jesus (27:15-19). Nevertheless, Jesus was condemned to death (27:26), and after they crucified him he was put in a new tomb, with a stone rolled over the entrance (27:60), which was later sealed (27:66). At daybreak on the first day of the week those who lamented the way Jesus was treated came and found that God had raised him from the dead (28:1-10).” — James Hamilton

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