Kern County Raceway Park
November 4, 2017
(Part 4 of “Changing Today”)
As we close this four part study on the changing world today and how we have gotten here, this part four of the study brings us full circle to the way God still uses His people to effect His influence on people, nations, and society today. He never changes and He still uses His people today as He did a few thousand years ago. Daniel is His example (among many others in scripture) we use here.
We have talked before about how much we are like the remnant of Israel carried into exile to foreign nations when we compare the Church and those of us called followers of Christ or Christians alive today and seemingly living in exile in this world God set us in to influence the surrounding world for His glory.
So follow along with me in Daniel 6 as we watch how God influences a brutal, heathen, nation. Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian kingdom has fallen to Darius and the Mede–Persian Empire which will then go to Cyrus who decrees honor and respect be given to Daniel’s God, the King of Kings, God Himself and rebuilds the Jewish Temple once again that remains until 70 years after Jesus Christ ushers in the beginning of His Church under Roman persecution.
Lets follow Daniel’s faithfulness, integrity, and influence in Daniel 6: 1-28:
“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 Mede 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.
Take note that at this point Daniel changed nothing. He remembered scripture we find in 1 Kings 8: 35-36: “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, 36 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.
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 Mede 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 Mede 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 reigns of Nebuchadnezzar, Darius and Cyrus the Persian
The story follows on in 2 Chronicles 36: 22-23 showing Daniel’s influence: 22 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
23 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord their God be with them.’
Throughout history and even today the subversive and transformational influence of the Kingdom of God is brought about by passionate and prepared followers of the King of Kings. Daniel had it, and God offers it to us if we are willing to pay the price to attain it. The deal is, …are we willing to be His world changer?
This is what it will take:
- The Practice of Excellence – Proverbs 22: 29: “Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings;they will not serve before officials of low rank.” Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,”
- The Practice of Character – Trustworthy, Honest, Not Negligent
- The Practice of Faithfulness – Hebrews 11: 36-40: 36 “Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning, they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Fortunately, it isn’t this way in our country (yet), but it can be intimidating when you get mocked, cursed, laughed at and thought to be a nutcase and totally a bigot, politically incorrect, and out of date with today’s world. But…are you heroic enough to take a stand and maybe even stand alone at times? You also need to realize that our main job in life is to glorify Jesus Christ. That, is our calling!
***You can watch the live video of this message at:
Church On The Hill, Salem, Oregon
Sr. Pastor Bruce Stefanik
Pastor Jason Treadwell