1 August 2021 | Church-Wide VBS | Daniel and the Lion’s Den

What to know when dealing with difficult circumstances? – Daniel 6

Today we start a two Sunday emphasis on with VBS. VBS was special time for me, first you attend, and then you get old enough to help. We did them on mission trips to Canada and Costa Rica. Its a special tool that the church uses during the summer and has become special because it changed so many lives through the years. So today and next Sunday with that same Spirit we are going to focus on Bible School. 

This week we are going to study about a Biblical Character named Daniel. Daniel is famous for being the man in the Lions Den. But this morning lets study God’s word and lean about things we need to know when facing difficult circumstances. Because face it, we are all going to face difficult circumstances from time to time. Maybe not a lion’s den, or maybe it is, but either way what can Daniel teach us about dealing with difficult circumstances. 

THE BACK STORY TO DANIEL – The book of Daniel is 12 chapters long. For the sake of time, we are going to briefly discuss the chapters leading up to chapter 6 where Daniel is tossed into the Lion’s Den.

Chapter 1 – Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon takes over Jerusalem. Daniel, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are introduced to us and taken by King Neb to become some of his useful servants. 

Chapter 2 – King Neb has a dream and no one can interpret it. King decides he’s going to have all the wise men killed since they can’t interpret the dream until Daniel steps on the scene and through the power of God is able to tell the King his dream and the interpretation. Daniel is promoted and made ruler over the whole province of Babylon and over all the wise men.

Chapter 3 – King Neb makes a golden image of himself and demands everyone to bow to it, however Shadrach, meshach and Abednego Stand their ground and are thrown in to the fire. Yet they are not burned and their is a another person in the fire with them. They didn’t even smell of smoke.

Chapter 4 – King Neb has another vision, Daniel interprets and says listen you need to change your ways or God is going to run you out of your kingdom. King Neb is run out of his kingdom, then he turns to God and praises him and he is reestablished as ruler. Neb finish up that chapter saying that ‘God is able to humble those who walk in pride.” 

Chapter 5 – Belshazzar (Neb’s son) is now king. He sees the vision of a hand writing on the wall, but no one could interpret it, So Daniel is summoned to help. He interprets the writing and tells Belshazzar that God has numbered the days of his kingdom and that it will be given over to the Medes, that night Belshazzar dies and Darius the Mede becomes king. 

Chapter 6 – Darius makes Daniel a commissioner. One of three. To be over all the wise men and satraps. They become jealous of Daniel because he was so gifted and conspire against him. They talk Darius into giving an edict that no one can worship any other God except King Darius for 30 days. They knew Daniel would not go for that, so they waited and when he prayed they turned him in and Darius had him thrown into the lions den. God sent an angel and the angel shut the lions mouth through the night. His accusers and their families were all thrown in the lions den, and the Bible says that the lions started eating them before they touched bottom. 

So what can we learn from Daniel about Difficult circumstances. 

  1. Difficult circumstances will often try to reshape your identity. Losing your identity in trials. 

Daniel 1:6-7, “Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hannaniah, Mishael and Azariah. Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them, and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah Shadrach, to Mishael Meshach and to Azariah Abed-nego.” 

If we are not careful what we are going through, will become who we are. The circumstances has a we of reshaping our identity. Think about a family going through addiction, or Divorce, or difficult medical issues. Etc. etc. Daniel refused to go by anything other than his name because he knew who he was and wasn’t going to let this difficult moment redefine who he was and what his identity was all about. 

By the way – 

The name Belteshazzar means “Bel protects his life” – Bel was a god in Babylon. 

The name Daniel means “God is my judge.”

Each name Daniel and his friends were given carried a meaning associated with a different Babylonian deity. Abednego means “servant of Nebo,” for example. Belteshazzar, the name given to Daniel, means “Bel protects his life.” The meaning of the name Daniel is “God is my judge.” The suffix of Daniel’s name (and Mishael’s) is -el, which refers to Elohim, one of the names of the God of Israel. Azariah and Hananiah carry the suffix -iah or -yah, which is short for Yahweh, the covenant name of God

2. Sometimes the only way to be delivered from the trial is by going through it, not around it. 

Daniel 6

We all pray for God to remove the obstacles or issues. I can imagine Daniel was praying and saying, Look Lord here I am in a place surrounded by pagan God’s and worship of Pagan Gods and they are trying to throw me into a pit with some hungry lions. Make this stop please, I mean I really love you the one true God.

Sometimes you have to be placed in the lions den in order to be delivered from it so God gets all the glory!

I think at times we want Christianity to be easier then what it really is.

3. Don’t fear the schemes of the devil, God has a way to turn it around. 

We see this in both situations – Daniel 3 – the men who threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fire burned up, but they walked around in it didn’t even smell like smoke.

And then in Daniel 6, Daniel spends the night in the Lion’s, An angel stays with him, the lions don’t even open their mouths, yet in the end, the one’s who conspired against them were eaten by the very device they had threatened Daniel with. 


4. Don’t let you circumstances cause you to compromise your standards.

 (Can’t eat that he might not defile himself.” – Purposed in his heart.)

Daniel 1:8, “But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank, so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.”  

5. Daniel leveraged his influence. 

“Truly your God is the God of gods.”

Daniels circumstances are now seen from a 360 degree angle. But you have to remember that Daniel could only see from his front facing angle. But in every difficult circumstance, God was made much of, not Daniel, but God.