Daniel 6 (1)
Daniel was unchanged and unaffected by the regime change which occurred in Babylon. His reputation had doubtless preceded him, and Darius preserved him from the fate of Belshazzar and his court. We are not surprised that Daniel was established in a place of authority in the Persian Empire. Nor are we surprised that some people hated him for it. Stand firm for Jesus and His Word, and even some of your brothers and sisters in Christ won’t like you. Ask Joseph. Every time I read this chapter, I can’t help hearing the lines from Paul Simon’s “Keep the Customer Satisfied”: “It’s the same old story: everywhere I go, I get slandered, libeled, I hear words I never heard in the Bible…”
Read Genesis 37.
Read Daniel 6.1-5.
Think it Through
1. Darius continued Daniel in a role of great responsibility in the Persian Empire. How would you describe that role (vv. 1, 2). It’s clear that he, and those associated with him, knew of Daniel’s faith in God (cf. v. 6). Why would Darius elevate a man like this? Daniel was not one to be quiet about his faith, or to refuse to speak out against any injustices he saw around him. At the same time, he was very skilled in the work appointed to him (v. 3). Comment on what we can learn from Daniel about bearing witness to the Lord by our lives and our words. What can we do to become more consistent in this?
2. There will always be people who don’t like us. What reasons might people – neighbors, co-workers, even fellow Christians – have for not liking us? Certain people didn’t like Daniel, but was Daniel to blame? Why didn’t his co-workers like him? We need to make sure that the people who don’t like us don’t like us for the right reasons. Explain.
“Normally, in fact, those entrusted with kingship or any other rule confide least in the people closest to their predecessors; but Daniel enjoyed the same trust from all, receiving equal privileges and being entrusted with the same governance—hence, of course, his becoming one of the three supervisors under Darius. Now, by ‘supervisors’ I think there is reference to what are now called viceroys, and by ‘satraps’ to the governors of the nations, Daniel being one of the supervisors.” Theodoret of Cyr (393-466 AD)
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hatedyou. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.” John 15.18-22
Father, let me not fear what others might think of me, say about me, or do to me. Help me to grow as Your witness, and in all that my calling requires so that, like Daniel, I might…
Pray Psalm 66.1-3.
Pray that the people around you might see the works of God in you, and give Him thanks and praise.
Psalm 66.1-4 (Regent Square: Angels from the Realms of Glory)
Shout for joy to God, all people, sing the glory of His Name!
Give Him glorious praise and say, “How great Your pow’r and great Your fame!
All the earth shall worship gladly as they praise Your glorious Name!”
T. M Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006.