Lessons from the Lions' Den
Series: Living Courageously in Critical Times
Daniel 6: 1-28
June 19, 1994
INTRODUCTION: The year was 1523. Henry VIII was the King of England. The only legal Bible was the Latin Bible. It was a law that if anyone attempted to translate the Bible into English so that the people could read and understand it, this would be a crime punishable by death.
Church history tells us that God raised up a man named William Tyndale who desired to translate the Bible into English, knowing it was a deathly crime. Tyndale confided to a friend: "I will burn at the stake for what I am about to do, but none the less, I am compelled to do it." The rest of his life was lived translating the Bible into English, and living his life as a fugitive being sought by some of the army of the King of England.
On October 6, 1536, he was tied to a stake to be burned. Before the flames consumed his body, he cried out, "Lord, open the eyes of the King of England." The English Bible you hold in your hands today is possible because of men like William Tyndale who were willing to give their lives so that we might have the Word of God and be saved. William Tyndale died at the stake not for doing something wrong, but for doing something right.
Babylon has been conquered by the Medes and Persians, just as Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar in the second chapter of Daniel. While the Babylonians used fire as their type of execution, the Medes and Persians used a den of lions as their means of execution. The den of lions was a large square cavern under the earth with a partition wall in the middle of it which had a door in it. This way they could use food to entice the lions from one side to the other so the den could be cleaned out periodically. The cavern was open above in order that viewing and communication could take place at the execution.
THE STORY OF DANIEL 6: According to the end of Chapter 5, Darius was given the right to rule over this former Babylonian province after it fell to the Medes and Persians. Darius ruled this province, but Cyrus was the King of the entire conquered territory of the Medes and Persians.
Darius was 62 years of age when he began to rule this land. He immediately appointed 120 governors that served under three appointed commissioners. Daniel who was now over 80 years old, was appointed as one of these commissioners. In v. 3, we immediately see him lifted up for his extraordinary spirit. This spirit was his excellent attitude, his faithfulness, his purity, and his consistency. This is how he responded to change in his old age.
(vs. 4-9) Jealousy set in among the other leaders. They tried to catch him in some questionable situation, but his character and his integrity were impeccable. Therefore, they knew the only place he would never bend was in his walk with God. They approached Darius about being named, "the god for 30 days." Darius bought the idea and signed into law that if anyone in the empire ...
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