2007-05-02 - Daniel
Installment 48 ~ Chapter 6
In studying Daniel, we have already seen these principles: First, God is the ultimate authority over all people and governments. Second, His children are to stand for Him in a fallen world. Standing for Him sometimes means confronting authority, disobeying authority, and includes accepting the consequences of our acts.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego broke the law when they refused to worship an idol. They accepted the consequences. It was only through God's mercy that they were spared. Daniel, on the other hand, had the privilege of being the conveyer of bad tidings on a number of occasions and consequently while he may have expected to loose his head, he too was spared.
Obedience to God necessitates standing for Him in trying times. It can mean putting submission to His will ahead of compliance to "the powers that be." Sometimes believers act as if they believed, "If I stand firm for the Lord, then He should protect me from any consequences." These people forget that obedience to God is about spiritual growth. And as we'll see in this passage, Daniel, like his three associates, is about to pay the price of obedience. I hope he isn't allergic to animals. He certainly had better be ready to say "nice kitties."
Introduction: As we saw previously, Babylon fell. Herodotus describes it this way:
"Hereupon the Persians who had been left for the purpose at Babylon by the river-side, entered the stream, which had now sunk so as to reach about midway up a man's thigh, and thus got into the town. Had the Babylonians been apprised of what Cyrus was about, or had they noticed their danger, they would never have allowed the Persians to enter the city, but would have destroyed them utterly; for they would have made fast all the street-gates which gave upon the river, and mounting upon the walls along both sides of the stream, would so have caught the enemy as it were in a trap. But, as it was, the Persians came upon them by surprise and took the city. Owing to the vast size of the place, the inhabitants of the central parts (as the residents at Babylon declare), long after the outer portions of the town were taken, knew nothing of what had chanced, but as they were engaged in a festival, continued dancing and revelling until they learnt the capture but too certainly. 1
Speaking of this new kingdom McGee notes:
"'Darius' is the Darious Cyaxares II of secular history, and he ruled for only two years. Cyrus, who followed him, was the son of Darius' sister Mundane and of Cambyses the Persian. This was what brought the empire together into the Media-Persian empire which now ruled the world." 2
1 Archer, Jr., Gleason L., The Expositor's Bible Commentary, "Daniel," Zondervan Interactive Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1990.
2 McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Vol. 3, "Daniel," Thomas Nelson Inc., Nashville, TN 1982, p. 563.
To be continued.
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