• BACKSTORY OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS – YOUR GIFTS MAKE A WAY BUT BE AWARE (v1-13). This is a wonderful biblical narrative of a faithful child of God. He was known for his faithfulness to God and for his competent use of his gifts and abilities. These will always open the door to challenges.

Your Gifts/Abilities Make a Way (v1-3). An old adage of the church is that your gifts will make a way for you (probably from Proverbs 18:16). In these verses, we see this to be true of Daniel.

    • How do we see in verses 1-3 that Daniel's gifts made a way for him (even in enemy territory)?
  • How are we at trusting God's word and believing that our gifts will make a way for us?
    Be Aware that Darkness Hates the Light (v4). We talk often about a mature faith. One thing a mature faith knows is that when we let God's light and allow God to work in our lives, opposition will often follow. We think it is opposition to us but, it is actually opposition to the God in us.

    • What happened in verse 4? Did these people have any good reason to charge Daniel?
  • Remember, in our lives, sometimes opposition will come from surprising places and without notice? Have you ever experienced this?

  • Why could they not effectively accuse Daniel? Do we strive to carry ourselves so that we are "neither corrupt nor negligent?"
    People will Conspire (5-13). The degree to which darkness will go to attack the light is astonishing (remember they killed Jesus). Here we see the depths that people will go.

    • This is important because it leads to the final point of our sermon . . . what basis did the conspirators choose to attack Daniel? We don't need to shout if from the roof tops but, are people aware that we are followers of Christ?
    • Luke 16:8 tells us that the children of darkness and shrewd than the children of light. This is why it is important for us to be close to God to receive wise instruction. What do we see in verses 6-13 that shows how shrewd and manipulative they were? PURPOSE OF YOUR TRIAL – STRUGGLING IN THE LIONS DEN (v14-20). Thus begins Daniel's trial. Out of nowhere, he finds himself in the midst of a trial. Remember, our trial is not just about us. Daniel is involved, the conspirators are involved, and — a surprising ally — is involved.

Vexation of the King (v14-15). Pay attention to the king. Although he is a man of profound worldly power — able to issue edicts to global nations — his heart is inclined towards hope . . . towards Daniel and towards Daniel's God. Pay attention to the king. What do we see in verses 14-15 to let us know how the king is feeling? How did he feel about Daniel? Remember, we never know what surprising people God might place in our corner.

Daniel in the Lions' Den (v16-17). Here is Daniel's trial. For no good (earthly) reason, Daniel is placed into the lions' den.

    • Have we experienced this in our lives? Times where have been persecuted or been burdened with life's trials and there appears to be no reason? When we thought we were doing everything right? Remember from Romans 8:28 that God will draw good from all of these situations.
      Hope of the King (v18-20). The king in this narrative is a fascinating personality. He is virtually all powerful. No one will hold him accountable for his actions. Yet, he struggles mightily with what is happening.
    • What do we see in verses 18-20 to show us about how the king felt about this situation?
  • Look at verses 16 and 20. What does the king see, think and hope of Daniel's God?

  • How does he know about Daniel's God? Do we carry ourselves so that others know of our God?POWER OF YOUR GOD REVEALED (v21-28). The purposes of our trial is not always just us. Often, our response and God's response speaks to others. Think about this biblical narrative. Daniel, the king and the conspirators are watching closely. How will we and God respond?

  • Rescued from the Lion's Den (v21-22). The first blessing, clearly, is that God rescues Daniel from the lions' den. God will be with us through our trials. The power of God is revealed in the life of Daniel. How does Daniel respond to his trial? Who gets the credit? How do we respond when we come through our trial? Who gets the credit?

  • Enemies/Haters Defeated (v24). Remember that the conspirators are not just enemies of Daniel but are enemies of God. Look at Exodus 16:8. Don't take it personally when people come against you; it is not you but the light in you. How was the power of God revealed in the life of the conspirators in verse 24?

  • In the Mouth of the King (v25-28). We never know the impact of our activity in the lives of others. Daniel is effected in a powerful way. The conspirators are effected in a powerful way. And, the powerful king takes powerful action on behalf of our God. How is the power of God revealed in the life of the king in verses 25-28?

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