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Lesson # Dan. 6:24
Study Material - Dan. 6:24
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24 The king then gave orders, and they brought those men who had maliciously accused Daniel, and they cast them, their children, and their wives into the lions' den; and they had not reached the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.
The account of these events are brief in the Bible. I have some notes from the writings of Josephus (first century historian), which elaborate a bit more on the events of the lions den.
He states that when Daniel was released for the den, his accusers did not believe that his deliverance was due to divine intervention, but that the lions had been fed fully such that they would not be hungry. They intensified their demands against Daniel.
The king, became fed up with their treachery and constant attacks against Daniel, and ordered the lions be fed lions with 'much flesh'. Then he brought those accusers of Daniel and presented them with a challenge, either Daniel's deliverance was due to divine intervention or it was due to lions that lacked an appetite, therefore these accusers would not mind entering into the den knowing that the lions had just engorged themselves (on the much flesh that they had just been given) and certainly would not now be hungry.
They were thrown into the den along with their families and the lions tore them apart. And that settled that. The claims that all the counselors were in on the conspiracy was only a claim by the chief conspirators in order to gain the kings participation in the new law. The number of the conspirators is not specified, but those few who put this thing together got their due.
Why were the wives and children executed as well? That was the custom of the day. Anyone who conspired against the state would lose not only their life, but their families would die as well. From our perspective that is certainly wrong. The Bible does not authorize this mass execution, but the Bible does record the events as they occurred. The king made the decision and was not forced to by God or anyone else.
Here we see the three methods by which God controls history. The angel closed the mouth of the lion - Gods direct intervention. Daniel's example in all of these was a message distributed through all of the kingdom and even until our time - Gods indirect intervention through His word. Gods word sets up standards which influence the morals of society. The last method is the kings order to have the conspirators executed - Gods permissive intervention. God allowed the function of the state to carry out the order to have these men killed.
We can look at this last method in two ways. By the method of law and order, God controls society. Now this is an application of the second method of control - indirect intervention - wherein God allows the function of law and order through due process. Certainly these should be through the proper functions of law and order, but when you look at the third function of permissive intervention, then you can see that there are times when the jungle methods can get involved in the making of history. God permitted the king to issue his order, though it was wrong from the perspective of proper legal due process and an over application of condemning those who were not a party to the conspiracy (the wives and family members). We can see this application of historical control throughout the ages as one bad group will invade and destroy another more evil group, but that is really function of the jungle law too.
So when a person chooses to live apart from God, then the jungle rules take over. The conspirators were defeated by means of the very jungle rules they tried to use to their advantage, and even more so. God had a hand in this one as he held the lions back when it came to Daniel, and released their increased appetite when the conspirators were thrown into the den.
This is our lesson of the day. Choose to live in the jungle and ignore God in your life and you'll suffer the consequences of the jungle. You can play the game and maybe get along for a time, but sooner or later your life will succumb to others who play the game and so the circle continues. Your only means of support is your own cunning or wit or resources that the jungle has given you, but when your luck runs out, then there will be no one there to provide further support. There will always be the Hitler's and the Usama's of the world, and God will allow them to continue until their historical usefulness comes to an end, then they will certainly get their due. This does not mean that God condones their actions, only that they are functioning within the jungle where many other peoples choose to live their lives apart from God. The jungle is not all plush grass and prosperity. It is in fact a deceitful world of misery and doom.
Even the King Belshazzar's luck ran out and he was the king. These counselors or administrators were just more pawns in the jungle who perceived themselves as better than Daniel. They lusted for what Daniel had and hated him without cause.
On the other hand you can choose to live in the sphere of fellowship and in Gods will for your life. In this case you may be resident in the jungle but you'll have that wall of fire, that bubble of divine protection from God and within that sphere of protection you will be safe from the many evils that the jungle can throw at you and delivered in some fashion.
The choice is always in front of you in your daily life. Just as the families of the conspirators were destroyed, so we should be able to see that the jungle is ruthless and uncaring. They found themselves looking up at the bloody jaws of the lion, and that blood was theirs. Each of us can go through life with just as dramatic a life as they. Be obstinate, be apathetic, be stubborn and believe that this kind of thing won't ever happen to you and you are just asking for trouble not only for yourself, but for your family too.
The purpose of this message is to wake us up. It is violent and unforgiving on the one hand if you are negative toward God, and on the other hand, it is a beautiful gift of deliverance and victory for God and us as beneficiaries if we choose to live our lives inside Gods will.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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