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1. What situation in Daniel’s life did the Lord use to illustrate the kind of pressures His people will face in the end times? Daniel 6:1-4 NKJV
“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. So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge Daniel concerning the kingdom.”
Jealousy and envy seem to bring out the worst in people, don’t they? Here Daniel was resented because he “distinguished himself” and was known for his high godly ethics. God’s people at the end of time will also “distinguish” themselves by their loyalty and obedience to Jesus (Revelation 14:12).
2. What protected Daniel from his enemies? Daniel 6:4 NKJV
“They could find no charge or fault, because he was ; nor was there any error or fault found in him.”
How many public figures have had their lives ruined because of something done in secret, that found its way into the open? It’s usually the rich and famous that we hear about, but Satan is playing the same game for the souls of “ordinary people.” It shows how important it is to be pure in secret as well as in public.
3. How concealed are people’s “secrets”? Luke 8:17 NKJV
“For is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.”
We often forget there are invisible angels, both good and evil, seeing everything we do. Satan’s angels love to trap us in sin and then expose us to our ruin. God also is watching and recording it all for the judgment. Every secret will be revealed at some point and all will have to give an account. But we don’t need to fear if we accept God’s leadership and truth like Daniel did. God can empower us to live beyond reproach.
4. What can we do about mistakes in our past? Proverbs 28:13 NKJV
“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever and them will have mercy.”
There is only one way to truly keep our embarrassing secret sins out of the spotlight. It is to go to Jesus and confess and forsake them. His shed blood will blot out the record of our sins from heaven’s books and our heart (Acts 3:19; Psalm 51:1-10).
5. What did Daniel’s enemies finally realize? Daniel 6:5-9 NKJV
“Then these men said, ‘We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the of his God.’”
The only avenue of attack they could find was to make his religion illegal. This did two things. First, it tempted Daniel to break the first commandment (“You shall have no other gods before Me,” Exodus 20:3). Second, it put the civil authority of the empire in the place of God, making it possible for Daniel’s enemies to punish him according to man’s law. This is often the devil’s tactic. He makes God’s obedient followers appear to be lawbreakers of the state. From the very beginning, he has sought to demonize anyone who surrenders to Jesus and purposes to obey (Revelation 12:17).
6. Did Daniel find this a convenient time to secretly pray? Daniel 6:10-11 NKJV
“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day and prayed.”
Daniel knew the law was designed to trap him. Some people might rationalize in a similar situation and decide to simply close their window and pray in secret. But not Daniel.
7. What was behind Daniel’s decision to not close his windows? 1 Kings 8:46-50 NKJV
“When they sin against You… and they take them captive to the land of the enemy, far or near; yet when they come to themselves in the land where they were carried captive, and repent… and pray to You their land… then hear in heaven Your dwelling place their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause… and grant them compassion before those who took them captive, that they may have compassion on them.”
There are two reasons Daniel would not change his customary method of prayer. First, the Ten Commandments forbade it. Remember the king’s law prohibited any prayers except those to the king. Daniel chose to be obedient to God’s law over man’s law.
Second, Daniel understood where he lived on the prophetic timeline. Solomon’s prayer 400 years prior instructed future generations in captivity to pray toward Jerusalem if they were to be freed. Daniel 6 and 9 take place in the same year—within two years of the end of the predicted 70-year Babylonian captivity. Daniel realized he lived at a critical crossroads in prophecy.
Prophecy and the law of God defined the issues for Daniel and he was not about to compromise the God he loved.
8. What are we to do when the laws of God and man conflict? Acts 5:29 NKJV
“We ought to God rather than man.”
We are to give God’s law priority. To do otherwise shows we don’t trust Him. Disobedience says, “God, under these circumstances, I really think I know better what needs to be done than You. Your law is OK most of the time, but this time things are different.” This shows we either don’t love God supremely, or we don’t know how to trust Him when tested by the devil.
9. What similar situation does the Bible tell of in the last days? Revelation 13:15 NKJV
“He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not the image of the beast to be .”
Here again we see the civil power trying to dictate the worship of God’s people. Fortunately, we have the example of Daniel to serve as a lesson for us.
Perhaps Daniel wondered why God allowed him to be put in such a terrible position. He had tried to live for God. Why would God allow all this to happen?
Part of the reason was so we at the end of time would be able to look back at his example and know what to do in similar circumstances (Romans 15:4). Daniel may be surprised to think that more than twenty-five hundred years later people would be blessed by his example of faithfulness. Remember, God always has good reasons for what He allows, even when we can’t see them.
10. What does the Bible say about God’s people who face similar tests in the end? Revelation 14:12 NKJV
“Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”
We live in a day when we must settle it in our hearts that we will not give into the eroding values of secularism. The faith of Jesus will inspire and empower God’s people to stay true to His principles and law.
11. What effect did Daniel’s faithfulness have on the King? Daniel 6:12-17 NKJV
“So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, ‘Your God, whom you continually, He will you.’ “
Even though the king realized he had been tricked, he felt he had to enforce his law since it couldn’t be changed. Yet, before he put Daniel into the den, he confessed that Daniel’s God would deliver him. Isn’t this a wonderful testimony? Our unwillingness to compromise God’s truth leads others to confess their faith in God!
12. What does this story tell us about God’s care for those who follow Him faithfully? Daniel 6:21-23 NKJV
“Daniel said to the king, ‘O king, live forever! My God sent His and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before ;’… So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.”
Like Daniel—or Noah or Elijah or Peter or Paul—we can have the assurance of God’s protective care when we honor Him above all others.
13. What was the final outcome of all this? Daniel 6:24-28 NKJV
“Then King Darius wrote… I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the God, and steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end. He delivers and rescues.”
Imagine what would have been lost if Daniel had decided to “play it safe,” and close his windows before he prayed. Instead, because of his faithfulness, the whole Medo-Persian Empire heard about the true God.
14. Where did Daniel’s strength to remain faithful to God come from? Daniel 6:10 NKJV
“He knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his since early days.”
Daniel understood he must spend time with God if he was going to resist the corrupting influences of a pagan environment. In this area of his life, and so many others, Daniel illustrates for us how to live for God. Daniel has a consistent custom of prayer that has extended over nearly 70 years, he is a student of the Bible, and he seeks God with all his heart (Daniel 9:2, 3).
Maintaining a close relationship with God takes time—quality time, quantity time, and consistent time. Satan knows this, so he attacks those areas of time God wants us to set apart for Him. We must not allow Satan to do this.
Let’s look at the practical ways Daniel built his relationship with God. There are four things mentioned in verse 10 that help us find power to live for God in these last days.
15. What four characteristics of Daniel’s prayer life do we find? Daniel 6:10 NKJV
(1) “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper …”
Daniel had a place to pray. We also need a private place to pray that is quiet and where we will not be disturbed.
(2) “… with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he down on his knees… “
Daniel had a position for prayer. We can use many positions in prayer. We can pray when standing, lying, walking, etc. But it is good to have special time each day when we kneel and confess before the Almighty that we need Him in our lives.
(3) “… three that day, and prayed… “
Daniel had scheduled periods to pray. We should schedule specific time to read God’s Word and pray each day. Quality time in the morning is one of the best times to seek God’s guidance and wisdom. In the evening we should debrief with God what happened that day.
(4) “… and gave before his God, as was his custom since early days.”
Daniel had a plan to his prayer. He gave thanks. Our prayers are more meaningful if we follow a plan. Here is a simple plan that has been helpful to many people. You can recall it by remembering the word ACTS. Each letter stands for a word.
A is for Adoration. Start your prayer by praising God for the attributes of His character. Tell Him what you adore about Him.
C is for Confession. Confess your sins and need of God.
T is for Thanksgiving. Thank Him for forgiving you and for specific good things and even trials in your life.
S is for Supplication. Present your requests to God. Ask Him to lead you into all truth, for a heart that loves Him supremely, for faith to obey His leadings, for the needs of your family, etc.
16. Will you make your relationship with God a top priority and protect the time God wants you to set aside to nurture it?