Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Daniel's Victory

Scripture:  Daniel 6 v 16 - 18:  "Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
17  And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.
18  Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him."

After Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians, Darius became king and truly favoured Daniel above other advisers.  This angered his own bunch of people and they made a scheme to get rid of Daniel.  They conned Darius into making a decree that anyone praying to anyone but him will be put to death.

Even today the Ayatollahs, or leaders of Iran, formerly Persia, when they make a decree its unchangeable forever.  Possibly even stemming from this decree of Darius thousands of years ago, they want to destroy Israel.

Daniel got trapped by his faithful devotion to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and King Darius was furious with himself for falling for the con of the cowards around him.  He had no option but to seal Daniel into the den of man-eating lions but tried to reassure him saying God will protect you.

And so it was.  Daniel would have prayed the whole night through and the lions ignored him.  He never wavered in his faith and submitted to whatever God decreed rather than any decree of the king or any other person.  The King was delighted to find Daniel alive and intact and in his anger had the cowards and their whole families tossed into the den of lions where they were instantly devoured.

Daniel was promoted and through his friendship with the king helped to have the Israelites returned to their own land.  Daniel was very old by this time and chose to stay in Babylon rather that travel the long journey home.

Throughout the book of Daniel we see many victories and they are written for us to learn from, and grow in our spiritual lives.  The most prominent of all Daniel's attributes, together with his friends, Meshach, Abednego and Shadrach, who survived the fiery furnace, was absolutely no compromise with worldly people and false gods.

We need to be sure we have reached this level of commitment, which Jesus achieved for ever human ever born but His death on the Cross.  He never compromised with the scribes, Pharisees, or rulers of Israel.  He withstood them all and paid the price.

He was with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in that fiery furnace!  Daniel 3 v 23 - 25: "And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24  Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. 
25  He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."

The seven men who tossed these three Jews into the fire died from the intense heat, but here the king sees them walking around in the fire, free from their shackles, and the Son of God keeping them from any hurt.  Their garments were not even singed, nor was the smell of fire and smoke on them.  Now that's a victory!

If God can keep them from the tiniest blister in such circumstances, because of their faith and total commitment, then surely He can do the same for those who follow Him and worship the Father in Spirit and truth, when we are confronted with a deadly virus.  

I wrote in a blog on March 22, 2020, that God can stop Covid 19 as He has stopped other plagues written in the Bible, which He even initiated.  The ten plagues of Egypt.  The plague on those who murmured against Moses during the Exodus.  And He had warned us in Revelations of the seven vials of deadly plagues in the time of the end.

There are already some causing fear and sorrow and death.  AIDS has been around for quite a while since the 80's.  Ebola is another.  Now Covid-19 which is not even fully understood.  I read a report from China this morning that people who recovered from Covid 19 and had antibodies which would fight off a recurrence, can no longer feel so secure.  It seems after two months the antibodies have weakened and are no longer much use.

We need divine protection like Daniel had in the lions den, like the three men in the furnace had.  Jesus showed up in their midst and saved them to the uttermost because they were willing to die for their faith in God.

Daniel 3 v 16 - 18: "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
17  If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
18  But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."

Words of sheer beauty in the face of death, spoken to an arrogant king who not long after was replaced by Darius, after Nebuchadnezzar received the writing on the wall, first edition, executed the day after Daniel interpreted those ominous words.

Could we, under similar circumstances defy a king and mock him in front of huge crowds, be willing to die for Jesus, who died for us?  Will we take the mark of the Beast on our right hand or forehead so we can continue to buy and sell but forever be lost to Heaven?  Or rather refuse it and be martyred?  These days are ahead, but not far off.

The plagues are already upon us, but are we getting the message?  If we submit our lives totally to Jesus and obey His every word, no matter if we live or die, we are eternally safe.  We cannot play games with God which He might lose.  He will never lose.  He gives us the free will to love Him or reject Him.  He forces no-one.  He will fulfil every word in the Bible for He cannot lie nor cheat.

Jesus' last words to His disciples just before His ascension were that they, and we, will know the season of His return.  Not the day nor hour, but the season.  Not Spring nor Summer, but a set time like a season, and dear readers, we are witnessing the season right now.  

If there are mockers and scoffers about this, that's perfectly in line with the Bible.  2 Peter 3 v 3 - 4: "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4  And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."

In the last days they will scoff and mock saying since the Apostles died nothing has changed.  They ask, Where is the promise of His coming?  Many say don't make this pandemic about God and religion.  It has turned this world upside down and there is no end in sight.  TV news on any channel is wall to wall Pandemic.  It has complete domination over this world.  It is a sign from God that Jesus will soon return.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, we worship and bow down before Your Throne, we worship in one accord in Spirit and in truth.  We abolish all our traditions that make You irrelevant and call upon the name of Jesus to save us.  We repent of rejecting You and following the world run by Satan, we choose to follow You and keep Your Word no matter what.  Father, may we humbly ask to be accepted by You.  We will separate ourselves from all idolatry and sinful behaviour.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.