The Courage to Obey

  • October 23, 2019
Wednesday 23

Daniel 6:10-28

Daniel is a great example of living with scriptural convictions even when doing so could put one’s life at risk. His experience in the lions’ den took place when he was old, but it wasn’t the first time he’d chosen to obey God rather than man. In fact, standing for his convictions had become the pattern rather than the exception of his life.

A look at Daniel’s life reveals the fruit of living in faithful obedience to God.

He had wisdom beyond his years. After Daniel stood up for his convictions regarding food, the Lord gave him greater knowledge, wisdom, and understanding than all the king’s other advisors (Dan. 1:17-21).

God granted him favor with the kings. Instead of persecuting him for speaking truth, kings promoted Daniel to the highest place of authority, even though he was a Jewish foreigner (Dan. 2:46-48).

His obedience presented opportunities to speak about God. If Daniel had chosen to blend into the culture, the Babylonian and Persian kings probably wouldn’t have noticed him. But since he didn’t back down from his convictions, the phrase “the God of Daniel” echoed in the chambers of those kingdoms, and God was glorified (Dan. 6:26).  

God used him to write Scripture. Daniel was a trustworthy and obedient servant in the midst of a pagan culture, and God revealed amazing future prophesies in the book he penned. (See chapters 7-12.)

Although we may not stand before kings in palaces or lions in a den, we too can be used by God when we practice uncompromising obedience to Him.

Bible in One Year: Luke 6-7

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10 Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.

11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God.

12 Then they approached and spoke before the king about the king's injunction, Did you not sign an injunction that any man who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, is to be cast into the lions' den?" The king replied, The statement is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked."

13 Then they answered and spoke before the king, Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the injunction which you signed, but keeps making his petition three times a day."

14 Then, as soon as the king heard this statement, he was deeply distressed and set his mind on delivering Daniel; and even until sunset he kept exerting himself to rescue him.

15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, Recognize, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or statute which the king establishes may be changed."

16 Then the king gave orders, and Daniel was brought in and cast into the lions' den. The king spoke and said to Daniel, Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you."

17 A stone was brought and laid over the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of his nobles, so that nothing would be changed in regard to Daniel.

18 Then the king went off to his palace and spent the night fasting, and no entertainment was brought before him; and his sleep fled from him.

19 Then the king arose at dawn, at the break of day, and went in haste to the lions' den.

20 When he had come near the den to Daniel, he cried out with a troubled voice. The king spoke and said to Daniel, Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?"

21 Then Daniel spoke to the king, O king, live forever!

22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime."

23 Then the king was very pleased and gave orders for Daniel to be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den and no injury whatever was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

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.

25 Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language who were living in all the land: May your peace abound!

26 I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel; For He is the living God and enduring forever, And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, And His dominion will be forever.

27 He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions."

28 So this Daniel enjoyed success in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

17 As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.

18 Then at the end of the days which the king had specified for presenting them, the commander of the officials presented them before Nebuchadnezzar.

19 The king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king's personal service.

20 As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm.

21 And Daniel continued until the first year of Cyrus the king.

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and did homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present to him an offering and fragrant incense.

47 The king answered Daniel and said, Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery."

48 Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.

26 I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel; For He is the living God and enduring forever, And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, And His dominion will be forever.

1 Now it happened that He was passing through some grainfields on a Sabbath; and His disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating the grain.

2 But some of the Pharisees said, Why do you do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?"

3 And Jesus answering them said, Have you not even read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him,

4 how he entered the house of God, and took and ate the consecrated bread which is not lawful for any to eat except the priests alone, and gave it to his companions?"

5 And He was saying to them, The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

6 On another Sabbath He entered the synagogue and was teaching; and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.

7 The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if He healed on the Sabbath, so that they might find reason to accuse Him.

8 But He knew what they were thinking, and He said to the man with the withered hand, Get up and come forward!" And he got up and came forward.

9 And Jesus said to them, I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to destroy it?"

10 After looking around at them all, He said to him, Stretch out your hand!" And he did so; and his hand was restored.

11 But they themselves were filled with rage, and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.

12 It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.

13 And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles:

14 Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and John; and Philip and Bartholomew;

15 and Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot;

16 Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

17 Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place; and there was a large crowd of His disciples, and a great throng of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon,

18 who had come to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were being cured.

19 And all the people were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.

20 And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

22 Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.

23 Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.

24 But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.

25 Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.

27 But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

29 Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.

30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.

31 Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.

32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.

33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.

34 If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount.

35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.

38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure--pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."

39 And He also spoke a parable to them: A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit?

40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

41 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

42 Or how can you say to your brother, `Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye.

43 For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit.

44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush.

45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

46 Why do you call Me, `Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?

47 Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like:

48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

49 But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great."

1 When He had completed all His discourse in the hearing of the people, He went to Capernaum.

2 And a centurion's slave, who was highly regarded by him, was sick and about to die.

3 When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders asking Him to come and save the life of his slave.

4 When they came to Jesus, they earnestly implored Him, saying, He is worthy for You to grant this to him;

5 for he loves our nation and it was he who built us our synagogue."

6 Now Jesus started on His way with them; and when He was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof;

7 for this reason I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.

8 For I also am a man placed under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, `Go!' and he goes, and to another, `Come!' and he comes, and to my slave, `Do this!' and he does it."

9 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith."

10 When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

11 Soon afterwards He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large crowd.

12 Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her.

13 When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, Do not weep."

14 And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, Young man, I say to you, arise!"

15 The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother.

16 Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, A great prophet has arisen among us!" and, God has visited His people!"

17 This report concerning Him went out all over Judea and in all the surrounding district.

18 The disciples of John reported to him about all these things.

19 Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?"

20 When the men came to Him, they said, John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, `Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?'"

21 At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind.

22 And He answered and said to them, Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.

23 Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me."

24 When the messengers of John had left, He began to speak to the crowds about John, What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?

25 But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who are splendidly clothed and live in luxury are found in royal palaces!

26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and one who is more than a prophet.

27 This is the one about whom it is written, `BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.'

28 I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."

29 When all the people and the tax collectors heard this, they acknowledged God's justice, having been baptized with the baptism of John.

30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.

31 To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like?

32 They are like children who sit in the market place and call to one another, and they say, `We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.'

33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, `He has a demon!'

34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, `Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'

35 Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children."

36 Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table.

37 And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume,

38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.

39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner."

40 And Jesus answered him, Simon, I have something to say to you." And he replied, Say it, Teacher."

41 A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.

42 When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?"

43 Simon answered and said, I suppose the one whom he forgave more." And He said to him, You have judged correctly."

44 Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.

45 You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet.

46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume.

47 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little."

48 Then He said to her, Your sins have been forgiven."

49 Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, Who is this man who even forgives sins?"

50 And He said to the woman, Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

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Publish Date October 23, 2019
The Courage to Obey

Practicing obedience prepares us to be used by God.

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