DARE TO BE A DANIEL
What Goes Around Comes Around
Jerry A Collins
What happens to us when we are motivated by jealousy?
What role does prayer play when we find our lives threatened?
Should we disobey the law when it tells us to disobey God?
Unfortunately most of us have
been victims of someone else’s
jealousy or bitterness toward us. This can even turn into some kind of plot to
harm us in some way. These jealousies will motivate people to lie, cheat, misinform, or twist the truth to somehow bring
harm to another. It can happen on the job. Victimized by another’s petty jealousies you can loose credibility,
your reputation stained, your competence questioned. It can happen in
athletics. Remember Tanja Harding. It can happen in
relationships like O.J. Simpson or possibly even a Scott Peterson. It can
happen in ministry. This week I met with a young man who was just informed on
Sunday that his last day with the church after 3 yrs was the following
Wednesday. I asked him how it came to this and he said he had no idea it went
this far until Sunday. I myself learned of a plan brooding behind the scenes for
weeks to release me from my position at the American Ch in
1. JEALOUSY WILL MOTIVATE PEOPLE TO PLOT AGAINST YOU
1-3 Daniel honored by King Darius
Eventually the motive to destroy
Daniel comes from his elevation in the new king’s
court. With successful conquest of
4-5 Daniels honor incites jealousy
The quality of service Daniel rendered soon became a barrier to the ambitious princes and leaders. Daniel’s integrity made it impossible to accuse him of improprieties. His favor with the king aroused the jealousy of his fellow officials. 4 things are said about Daniel: (1) Could find no ground for accusation. (2) No corruption. (3) Loyal to the king. (4) No Negligence. These 4 things should describe our job performance in any job we have. But there was a fifth characteristic of Daniel in vs 5. (5) Loyalty to God which was greater than loyalty to king. While serving the king he would not compromise the Law of God. So they conclude the need to find something against Daniel with regard to Daniel’s God. Maybe this is a way they can bring an accusation about him to the king.
6-9 Conspirators plot to destroy him
Apparently they quickly hatched a plan and wasted no time, brought it to the king vs 6. Their idea is that no one could pray to anyone else for 30 days. They lied to the king saying “all the commissioners” had agreed, obviously without Daniel’s permission. So the king agreed to it, thinking Daniel also agreed to it. Darius may have agreed to this act as a pledge of loyalty to himself and respect for his authority in the kingdom. You can expect to find yourself unexpectedly elevated in some way just like Daniel. Remember that there may be someone who jealously maneuvers behind the scenes against you. But if so, how do we respond? What should we do?
2. OUR LOYALTY TO GOD NOT FEAR OF CONSEQUENCES OF JEALOUS PLOTS GOVERNS OUR RESPONSE
10-11 Daniel continues to pray
After knowing the decree was
signed he intentionally broke that law. This was no accident. He intended to do
it. Civil disobedience required when the laws demand we break God’s Word. Acts -20;
, 27-32, 40-42 apostles did the
same thing. In both cases you have to be willing to suffer the consequences of
breaking the law while obeying God. Jesus remained loyal to the Father while
suffering the consequences of breaking the legalistic law of the Jews. Daniel’s loyalty to God is remarkable. Similar to his 3 companions in chp 3.
While Daniels’ consistency of life and
testimony evident throughout book here we learn the inner secret to it all. In
spite of the busy pressures and demands on
his time he
still went home 3 times daily to pray for
12-15 Daniel accused before king
report to king he was deeply distressed (
16-18 Daniel cast into lions den
Darius could not go beyond his law but the king let’s Daniel know in essence, “I have tried to save you but have failed. Now your God must save you”. Suffering the consequences of loyalty to God can be really hard. People have lost so much to be loyal to God while disloyal to law of the land!
19-23 Daniel delivered from lion den
Apparently the king thot it possible that God would deliver Daniel. Something about Daniel and his rela with his God had involved the king emotionally. He feared that early morning that he mite hear nothing but silence vs 20. Daniel attributes deliverance to God’s power and his innocence of any crime. He did break the law, if the law is the final word. But he did not commit any crime against the heart of God of king. He did nothing against the satraps who hatched this plan.
24-28 Destruction and decree
The ringleaders and families thrown into the lions
den. This served notice to the rest
if they had any further plots for Daniel. Like
(1) God is revealed to unbelievers thru ministry of God to believers as they see that ministry in the flesh, in believers. Ministry is first and foremost incarnational. People will identify God as your God and see your faith at work like Daniel. Whether you like it oir not, you are a representative of God. Darius identified God as the God of Daniel not the God of Israel.
(2) People do not cause your problems. God does. The resolution of your problems is not other people changing. The resolution to your problems is God. Our maturity depends on our ability to have a vertical perspective especially in conflict situations. Daniel did not go to the king he went to God. The satraps jealousy was not the problem. God was in control of this plot and it was God’s business. He had a purpose and Daniel prayed because that is what godly people do when in trouble.
(3) We must remain loyal to God no regardless of the cost. Our part is to stay faithful to God inspite of the consequences that faithfulness may cost us.