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Hope In a Lion's Den

Chris Holland
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Chris Holland

Chris Holland is speaker/director of It Is Written Canada. 

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  • January 2, 2016
    11:30 AM
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It has stood the test of God's book. The Bible. Still relevant in today's complex world. It is with messages of all around the world. One of the great questions of life is are we alone. Here's what I mean. Is our very existence. Just the chance coming together of the right. Amino acids. Or is there something more. Is there a God and. If there is a God then who is he. You know. Over the last several weeks. We have seen. And demonstrated over and over again that God is real and he does exist. Even more. We have seen that he is a personal god. And that he cares for you and for me and desires to enter into a meaningful relationship with each and every one of us. We have seen that as we have studied the book of Daniel. This revealed about the very character of God. As we study the Book of Daniel. It is important to note that it is roughly divided into two major sections. Chapters one through six. Are the first section and Chapter seven through twelve. Make up the second section. The first section of chapters one through six is primarily historical in nature. Here's what I mean. Mostly the contents of chapters one through six. Are stories and events that occurred in Babylon. During the lifetime of Daniel. Now the second section. Places more emphasis on prophecy. And as we study we will see some of the most amazing. And precise prophecies. In all of the Bible. Today in our time together. We will focus on the very last chapter of the historical section. Chapter six. You know. It seems with each chapter of Daniel. That we have study. We have found. Test after test of probability and. Each of those tests are passed by God. With flying colors. Each of those tests. Demonstrates certainty. In the Bible and point to the certainty of the old. And the New Testament as books that can be trusted as the infallible word of God. Now as we turn our attention to Daniel six. We will highlight once again a number of highly unusual or improbable events. And how those events will demonstrate that we can have certainty in God's word. Let's begin our study today. By reading the first three verses of the Book of Daniel. Chapter six verses. One through three it please Derrius to set over the kingdom. One hundred twenty. Say traps. To be over the whole kingdom and over these three governors of whom Daniel was one that the satraps might give account to them. So that the king would suffer no loss. Then this Daniel. Distinguished himself above the governors and satraps. Because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. Now this is a fascinating situation. You'll remember that the Babylonians were defeated by the middle Persians. At that time Daniel was a resident of Babylon. And now Derrius. The leader of the middle Persians. He chose Daniel. As the chief governor. Over the entire Rome of the Middle Persian Empire. Now this. In and of itself is an extraordinarily improbable turn of events. Why might you ask. Well because Daniel. Already had three strikes against him. And being chosen for this important position. Number one was his age. Number two people long. To a captive race. And number three. The usual practice that occurred when one nation took over another nation. Was to eliminate the previous nation's leaders. But let's take a closer look at each of those factors. Now you'll remember that when Daniel was deportee to Babylon and six zero five B.C. he was approximately eighteen years old. Now this appointment to be chief. Governor here and Daniel six. Must have taken place sometime around five thirty nine B.C. or five thirty eight B.C. after the middle Persians have defeated Babylon. So what does all this mean. It means that Daniel was somewhere around eighty five years old when Derrius appointed him as chief governor. Now. I don't want to offend any of my eighty five year old viewers out there. But in ancient times. Most eighty five year olds were thought to have lost their mental edge. That they once had and they were thought to have had their physical abilities. Deteriorated. In fact. The reality is that even now many eighty something year olds would rather that younger men take up responsibilities that a high pressure job like the head of state requires. Daniel however was no ordinary man. As you'll remember the secret to Daniel's amazing. Mental and physical abilities were revealed in Daniel one. You'll remember. Daniel refuse the intoxicating effects of alcohol. And the heavy meat diet. That the rest of the Babylonian nobility. Were enjoying from the Kings table. Instead he requested a vegetable diet. With plenty of water to drink. The result was that he and his friends were ten times. Wiser than the rest of the students enrolled at the so-called University of Babylon. You know. It probably would do us well to practice the diet of Daniel ourselves. Now. As a side note Daniels diet was actually God's original plan diet for the human race in Genesis one twenty nine and giving the original diet. God said these words. See I have given you. Every herb that yield seed which is on the face of all the earth. And every tree whose fruit. You would see to you it shall be for food. You know. Daniel treated his body as God had outlined. It should be treated. In addition to his diet. We see other things that were different about Daniel Daniel six records that. Daniel prayed. Regularly to the God of heaven. He had a relationship that he had carried on. Since he was a young man. Friends it's in a relationship with God through prayer. And the study of His Word that Daniel was given grace and strength to meet each day's duties. In addition it allowed him to be God's representative to the kingly courts of Babylon and middle Persia. And so at the ripe age of eighty five. Daniel believed that the scriptures were authoritative and inspired. This was because he saw the fulfillment of prophecy. After prophecy. Even in the most unlikely possibilities. He even lived to see part of the prophecy of Daniel to actually fulfilled in his life. When Babylon fell to me to Persia. This is why he could trust the Bible's recommendation for health and lifestyle. Which by the way went contrary to the best recommendations of the Babylonians which was the most powerful and influential nation. On the face of the earth. At that time. So as a result although it would be highly unlikely for an eighty five year old to function as a head of state. Daniel's belief in the scripture. His relationship with God gives us a view into what God can do in the lives of those who trust in His Word. Now the second strike that was against Daniel was that he belonged to a captive and conquered race. Now later and Daniel six. When the administrators of the Middle Persian Empire. Accused Daniel. Of breaking the law. They referred to him as that. Daniel who is one of the captives. From Judah. It is not exactly flattering to either the king or the rest of the administrators of middle Persia. To select as chief governor. Someone who comes from. What was in their minds. An inferior race. Now the third strike against Daniel was that it is extremely rare for someone like Daniel who had held a high office in Babylon. To now be chosen as the chief. Governor of the Middle Persian Rome who had conquered the Babylonians. Although the Persians. On occasion. Would leave. Indigenous rulers and officials of conquered territories in place. They did not extend that privilege to Babylon. You'll remember Bell shadows are the co-religionist or the coke. Thing. Of Babylon. He was slain. The very night the city was taken and nab a night S. the other code or coking. He was exiled to the far away province of car mania. So startling. Was this turn of events that one writer. Compared placing Daniel as chief governor over Mido Persia. To the British people asking. Hermann Goering. The First Minister of their mortal enemy Germany. To become prime minister of Britain. After the collapse of the Nazis. However in spite of these three strikes against Daniel. Derry is discerned. Something special in this man. The Bible says that. Daniel possessed and axle and spirit that resulted in him. Distinguishing himself from the other leaders in the empire. This was not the first time that he had noticed that Daniel had an excellent spirit. And Daniel for a King Nebuchadnezzar recognized that the Spirit of God was at work and Daniel. And Daniel five twelve. The queen mother. Reminded Belshazzar that Daniel was filled with the Spirit of God and. Both of those instances. The bast of the wise men of Babylon. Could not solve the pressing problems that were at hand. So possessing an excellent spirit. It meant that Daniel had extra ordinary abilities. Now according to Daniel five twelve. It meant that he had and. I am quoting from Daniel five twelfth. Knowledge understanding. Interpret dreams. Solving riddles and explaining enigmas. And in addition to that. Daniel four nine emphasizes that his excellent spirit. Enabled him to reveal secrets. However having an excellent spirit. Also meant that Daniel was the a pit me of diplomacy. Wisdom and tact. And all of these qualities were the direct result of his strongest in the scriptures and his relationship with God. And so it was with credentials like those that Dario's quickly saw that Daniel's age. The inferiority of his race. And the custom of executing or not using previous prime ministers would not stand in his way of appointing. Daniel as chief. Governor. Yet there was still another highly improbable event. And that is mentioned in Daniel six. And in verse four. So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom. But they could find no charge of fault. Because he was faithful. Nor was there any error or fault. Found in him. Now I want you to think about it for a moment. It was certainly understandable. Or natural. For those Middle Persian princes to be jealous of Daniel. However. How improbable. Is it that they would ban all of their collective investigative powers and find nothing to discredit Daniel. Friends this is virtually impossible. We see it in elections today. That candidate or candidates. They appear trustworthy. Above reproach. And then something is found in their history. And on their record. But with Daniel. There was nothing. It's very unusual to find no fault. In the administrative practices of one who is being highly scrutinized by others who would love to have his job. But it was not only Daniel's administrative practices that were above board. These men could not even find any fault. In the man himself. There was nothing. Daniel didn't have an attitude problem he wasn't disrespectful he wasn't lazy. He was an arrogant mean spirited bigoted or holier than thou. Think about it. It's one thing for your friends and supporters to speak well of you. But it's quite another when your enemies are forced to declare that they can either find fault with you or it ministration or with you as a person. You see Daniel not only believed that the scriptures were the truth. But he was willing to put everything they recommended. Into practice. Here's the key friends. He not only talked the talk. But he walked the walk and that was the very essence of his life. Now. There was another a third highly improbable event that occurred. This third event. Revolves Around the scheme to entrap. DANIEL. Now because Daniel was above reproach. The princes of the realm. Attempted to bring Daniel down. The only way they could do so was to make illegal. Daniel's religious practice. And so these princes. Tricked the king. Into signing a decree that no one could worship any other god. Except the king himself. For thirty days. Daniel Chapter six in verse ten says this. 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. Daniel was willing to continue to pray to the God of heaven. Despite the certainty of a death penalty. And that death penalty involved being thrown into a lion's den and being devoured by alliance. If there was ever a time for Daniel to give up on a belief that he always suspected was a lie that time was now. The reality is history demonstrates that there are very few people who are willing to die for something that they know is untrue. This is why. In the face of impending death. Many confess to crimes that they committed many years ago. On their deathbed. They have nothing more to fear from an earthly court. But many of them do not want to face a heavenly tribunals. Boss still hiding. Terrible secrets that took place many years before. And so in the same manner. That time was perfect for Daniel. To declare that his belief was nothing more than a hoax. It would have spared his life. But there is no record of Daniel forsaking his relationship with God. Why because his God was real and his relationship with God was real very real and that continues today. For each and every one of us. But for Daniel then in until bending integrity. In the face of certain death. His life. Testified to the truth of what he believed. And so for Daniel. Even if all of the princes. Even if all the people in the entire realm. Believed that his religion. Was inferior and a lie. DANIEL. Still stood fast. For what he believed. And in the aftermath of that decision to be unwavering in his belief. A fourth. Highly improbable event occurred. And what was a fourth event. Daniel was thrown into a den of hungry lions. And he was not he was not even touched. How is that even possible. Friends you can be certain that the scheming princes. Made sure that those the Lions were hungry. They did not want to see any possibility of failure in their attempt to get rid of Daniel ia at the morning after Daniel had been thrown into the lion's den. The Bible records that King Derrius or rose very early in the morning to see what had happened. And Daniel six twenty to twenty two recorders. The amazing. Interaction. Listen here. Gary is crying out. DANIEL. Servant of the Living God has your god whom you serve continually. But able to deliver you from the alliance. Than Daniel said to the king. OK. Live Forever. My God sent his angel and shot the Lions mouths. So that they have not hurt me because I was found innocent before him. And also OK. I have done no wrong. Before you. Absolutely astonishing. Daniel was rescued from the lions. This was truly miraculous. The Lions were indeed hungry. Because in the aftermath. The king was so infuriated with the princes that he knew of their scheme. He threw them into the den of alliance. And Daniel records their sad fame. It simply says. The Lions overpower them. And broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the dead. My dear friend. This event in the life of Daniel is a testimony to two distinct realities. First. Those who decide to place their trust in God's Word and enter into a relationship with him. Experience. Many highly improbable things in their lives. That others do not. Second is the demonstration that God doesn't always deliver us from our trials. Problems and challenges. But rather. He walks through them with us. He gives us the strength to make it through. No matter what happens. Friends all of that would be enough. But there is a fifth. Highly improbable event that occurred in the events of Daniel six. It is connected to the fourth. And I want you to listen carefully now. Daniel was miraculously delivered without changing. In any way. The an ultra will decrease that sealed his fate. Now. Follow me here. There was absolutely no earthly way in which Daniel could escape. The king had signed a decree which according to the law of the Medes and Persians. Was an altar of all this prevented any human. Earthly illegal. Attempt at rescuing Daniel. The king himself tried to do it. But was unsuccessful. In addition a stone was brought and laid at the mouth of the den. And the king. Sealed the entrance with his own signet ring and with the signets of his Lords. That according to Daniel six seventeen. The purpose concerning Daniel. Might not be changed. Those wily princes. They obviously did not trust the king and fearing that he might engineer. A rescue. They insisted that their seals. Be affixed to the stone. In addition to the Kings. And in the end. Although Derrius saw a lot of excellent qualities in Daniel. He was not willing. He was not ready to exalt Daniel's God by breaking laws and saving him. Because if he would have done so it would have demonstrated to all the subjects of his realm that Daniel's God was supreme However after it was all said and done. Ultimately the true God of Heaven was exalted. Why because my dear friends just as the Highly Improbable. Nature of the prophecies and their fulfillment. Speak to the certainty and reliability of the Scriptures. So does an individual's Spirit filled life. That leads to living. According to biblical principles. No matter what the cost. Derrius saw that in Daniel. He observed the outworking of God's providence. And the amazing way that Daniel stood for principle. And how God delivered him through an impossible situation. What about your friends. Where you in your walk with the lower. You know chapter after chapter of the Bible. Demonstrates that God is real. And that he cares for you. And he wants to be in relationship with you. You know the promise of scripture is not that you will be rich. It does not promise that you'll never get it doesn't promise that bad things will never happen because promise is found in Philip eons for ninety. Gone. All your need. According to His riches in glory. By Jesus Christ. He will take care of us. He will walk with us through the trials of life. This is why Joshua one nine promises. Have I not commanded you draw and of good courage. Do not be afraid. Nor be dismayed. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Today for. Why don't we just change class. His head. Trust. For he is trustworthy. Let's pray. Heavenly Father. We thank you that you are trustworthy. And that you've given us a trustworthy map of your scriptures. May we embrace that and embrace a relationship with you. We pray in Jesus' name amen. Friend you want to pursue that relationship with God. What offer to you today the book. Steps to Christ. Here's the information you need for today's offer to request today's offer just log on to W W W dot. It is written Canada. It is written canada dot ca and selected T.V. Program tab for Canadian viewers. The offer will be sent free and postage paid for viewers outside of Canada. Shipping charges will apply. If you prefer. You may call toll free at one eight hundred eight. That's one eight eight eight. Call Call any time lines are open twenty four hours daily. That's one eight eight eight. Call or if you wish. You may write to us at eight is written box twenty seven before. Friend thank you so much for joining us. If you'd like more resources go to our website. It is written. Canada. Dot ca. Please join us again next week and tell them remember. It is written. Man shall not live by bread alone. But by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

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