Scripture Read: Daniel 5 - 6
Title: The Influence of Daniel (pt. 3)
(H) Highlight verse: "Then this Daniel became distinguished above all other presidents and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. Then the preseidents and the satraps sought find ground for complaint against David with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault , because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him." Daniel 6:3 - 4
(E) Explain: Daniel continues to increase in his influence while in captivity. Nebuchadnezzar has since passed away and not his son Belshazzar was in power. We don't know much about him from the Bible except that he desecrated the vessels of gold and silver that his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem. As he, his wives, concubines and his lords were drinking wine from the cups and praising the gods of gold and silver a message mysteriously appears on the wall. The astrologers, magicians and enchanters could not interpret the writing, so Daniel was called upon. His influence with Nebuchadnezzar and gift of interpretation was known by the queen and he was called upon to interpret. Belshazzar told Daniel if he interpreted the message he would be robed in purple, given a chain of gold and be the third ruler in the kingdom. Daniel, in his humiluty rejected the gifts but interpreted the message anyway. The message interpretation spoke of the death of Belshazzar and the fall of his kingdom to the Medes and Persians. That evening King Bleshazzar died and Darius the Mede became the new king.
Chapter 6 is the famous story of Daniel and the lions den. I am sure we are all familiar with the story as we have been hearing this story since childhood. However, I notice in the account of Daniel how God continues use Daniel as an influencer while in captivity. His life reflected a character of obedience, trustworthiness, faithfulness in prayer. Prayer was his daily routine. He was disciplined in prayer and valued the importance of it. He was so faithful in prayer that it ultimately gets him thrown into the lions’ den. The presidents and satraps became jealous of Daniel and they wanted to get rid of him, so they devised a plan to eliminate him. They knew Daniel was a man of prayer and he had the conviction to pray three times a day. They came up with a written decree and had the king sign it that prohibited anyone to pray to any gods except for the king. Daniel would not pray to the King nor would he give up his time with God and this is what got him a date with the lions for an evening. Of course we know the rest of the story as Daniel was protected while in the lions den.
(A) Application: Daniels strongest qualities his influence with people of great influence. He not only caught the attention Nebuchadnezzar but also the attention of his son Belshazzar, Darius the King of Medes and as we will see in Cyrus the King of the Medes. As we have read Daniel up to this point we have seen that he may have single handedly influenced Nebuchadnezzar to become a follower or worshiper of the God of Israel and he influenced the king of the Medes to declare Daniel's God as a God who is to be feared and obeyed. He truly was a man of influence.
(R) Respond: May we be challenged today to purpose in our hearts to be like Daniel. Let us look to him as an example of how we conduct our daily lives and in doing so we ultimately bring the praise, honor and glory to God. Let us do so prayerfully, with conviction and in humility.
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