FBCWest 538 | Praying without Ceasing
Recorded On: 01/15/2023
Hymn # 40 “All Hail the Power”
SCRIPTURE READING – 2 Corinthians 12:9 & 10
Giving of Selves and Our Offerings
OFFERTORY MUSIC – Pru Hungate
Praise and Worship
“Only King Forever”
Proclamation of the Word
Message by Pastor Joe
“Resolved to Obey and Worship Only the Lord, God”
“Praying without Ceasing”
PRAYER TIME / Time of Reflection
“Another in the Fire”
Acknowledgements and Announcements
Benediction “There Is Freedom”
Daniel 6:1 & 2 Darius appoints Daniel as 1 of 3 commissioners over the kingdom and Daniel distinguishes himself
Daniel 6:3 – 6 The other commissioners and leaders conspire against Daniel
Daniel 6:7 – 9 They agree to get the king to sign an injunction that no one may pray to anyone other than the king for 30 days and if they do they will be put into a lions’ den
Daniel 6:10 Daniel knowing of the injunction continues to pray to God as he has done before
Daniel 6:11 – 13 Daniel is accused of violating the injunction
Daniel 6:14 & 15 The king tries to figure away to deliver Daniel but could not
Daniel 6:16 – 18 King makes the order, but states God will deliver Daniel, but has a sleepless night
Daniel 6:19 & 20 King got up early and called out to Daniel if God was able to deliver him
Daniel 6:21 – 23 Daniel answers that an angel shut the mouths of the lions
Daniel 6:24 King orders those who accused Daniel & their children to be thrown into the lions’ den and they do not survive even to the bottom
Daniel 6:25 – 27 King makes a decree that all people in the kingdom are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel
Transcript of Service
We're doing a mini series on resolve to obey and worship the Lord God only. Now, the reason that I've chosen it this way is that we need to resolve ahead of time before things happen, because it has been my experience, whether it's in the choice of a spouse or or moral activity or other decisions, that if you don't set a standard before you get to the situation, you will compromise to that situation and the world oftentimes wants us to compromise to its standards rather than to God's standards. So we need to set that resolution and that resolve beforehand. And so we took a look last week at how three Hebrew young men chose to only worship God and not the golden image of never are and how God delivered. This week, we're going to take a look at another one of those people in the Book of Daniel that we learn in children Sunday School. And part of the problem when we learn things in Children's Sunday School is not that the lesson was and good and it teaches us something, but we tend to think, oh, I know that story, and then we stop paying attention to the story. So I want us to kind of take a look at this in a little more in depth. And so starting with it says in verse one of chapter six, it seemed good to there is to a point 120 satraps of the kingdom that they would be in charge of the whole kingdom. And over them, three commissioners for whom Daniel was one, and these satraps would be accountable to them, and that the king might not suffer loss. And so what we see is this king who is is developing his kingdom and is setting up and the organization decided that the kingdom of the Middle Persian Empire is such that if just one person is overall, then too many then can fall to the traps. So we set up 120, if you will, satraps, which are leaders like governors throughout the kingdom. And then he set three commissioners over them. So that they would look to make sure that they weren't cheating the king and others. And so one of those commissioners was Daniel. Now, Daniel was a Jew. He was not a middle Persian. And so but the king saw great value in Daniel because Daniel had served honorably and well for Deb Nasser and for Belshazzar. And now this is the third king. And we're going to see if you keep reading in, Daniel, that he serves another king. And Daniel is always distinguished in his service. This is then this Daniel began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit. And the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom. And so Daniel had succeeded so well that the king goes, I need to give this guy a promotion because he's doing such a fantastic job. It kind of reminds me of Joseph. God gave Joseph this ability of great management capabilities, and he's also given Daniel this great ability to manage and govern things. And so again, but it is a God given gift. Then the commissioners and the satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to the government affairs. But they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption in as much as he was faithful and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him. Now, see, he wasn't a middle Persian, but even if he was, there is this kind of situation that when somebody succeeds, other people become jealous. And so they go, Well, wait a minute, we can't let Daniel succeed because then it makes us look bad because he succeeded and we're not. So they try to find some way to get rid of him. So they conducted an investigation and they find that Daniel is faithful, that he does his job well. There's no negligence and there's no corruption. He's not taking a portion off the top for himself. He is faithful to the king to make sure that the king's business is being taken care of. Then these men said, we will not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel, unless we find it against him. With regard to the law of his God. Now, Peter, in his letters to us, talks about that if we should behave ourselves, that we should conduct ourselves according to the law, and that if we find ourselves being persecuted, it should be because we are faithful to God, not because we've done anything wrong. And this is exactly where Daniel is. He's done nothing wrong. And so say, well, we can't we can't get him on a corruption or negligence charge. But there's something that he does related to his God that we can find advantage to and if you will, you may very well find yourself in this situation that people will say, let's attack his faith. This attack your faith. What is it that you may be weakened or what is it that you claim to declare? And how can we use it against you? Then these commissioners and satraps came by a rank agreement to the king and spoke to him as follow. So we see, and if you will, a conspiracy. It's not a couple of the 120 satraps and the other two commissioners come and commit a conspiracy, if you will. They come to agreement to say this is what we're going to do. This is King Darius. Live forever. Always. They're always started off by saying, we want you to go on and on and on. And all the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefect and the satraps, the high officials and the governors have consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction, that anyone who makes a petition to any God or man beside you or King for 30 days shall be cast into the lion's. They know that Daniel is a man of prayer. So they go, We want you to establish this injunction that if you're anybody, is going to pray or make a petition, they've got to do to you because they know that Daniel is a man of faith and they know that he prays and seeks this petition to God. So they come up with what they think is a perfect draft. Now, King established the injunction and signed the document so that it may not be changed According to the law, the made in the Persians, which may not be revoked. And so not only do they get the King to agree, because let's face it, they appeal to his hubris. You're such a magnanimous king and you're such a wonderful king. People are just like you. And if they don't, you're going to be thrown into the lion's then. And they're of this law, because under our form of government, if you sign an injunction, it cannot be changed. No. How? No way. And so what they do is, therefore, King Darius signed the document that is the injunction. So it prohibits anyone to make a prayer or request or petition anybody other than. KING Their for 30 days. Now, when Daniel knew that the document was signed, entered his house, now it was on the roof chamber that he had windows open towards 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. So first off, Daniel knew we like to say ignorance of the law is no excuse. You know, you may not know something, but the government doesn't care. It's a law, therefore you have to obey it. Well, Daniel knew the injunction.
He knew that he was enjoined from doing praying to anyone other than areas. Now, Daniel didn't start friend. Daniel did what he always did. Well, he went to his rooftop and he prayed for Jerusalem. Why? Because when Solomon dedicated the temple, he prayed that when the people of God backslid and got away from him and they lost the land that if people would pray for Jerusalem and the temple, begin to repent of their sins and asking God to restore the land that God would hear, Oh, Daniel is praying and seeking God's forgiveness for his people so that they might be restored to the land. Who is continuing to do that, as he has always done? But notice then you could have said, you know, it's just throw it away. Now, before I ask you the next question, I want to tell you a story so that you may know that when I point one finger this way, three fingers are going back. Ever since I can remember as a child, I believe in. But there was a time just before I started high school and just before I graduated from high school, I stopped coming to church and kind of stopped doing anything. I didn't do bad stuff. No, I didn't do drugs, you know, I just didn't go to church and think much about God, just didn't care. And my mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer. And the doctor, when he told her that he was diagnosed with uterine cancer, asked what she was going to do. He goes, Well, I guess I'm going to die because I don't have insurance from the money to pay for the treatment. So in between this time and the time that he was able to get her admitted to the City of Hope and they did the surgery and all the other treatment for a number of years for free, I was angry and I was walking here in Westminster on a street called Wyoming, and I started telling God how unfair and how I thought it was terrible that he would take such a woman. There was a good woman who was a great man who I lived as if I were upper middle class with a mother who probably made enough money to be just above the poverty line. It was not well, but I would have never known it because I was well provided for and I was angry and I was telling God how it's terrible and why would he do that and whatever. And while I was walking angry at God and telling God what for, they didn't hear it audibly, but it was as loud in my soul as if you would have been a while since you talk to me, hasn't. All he needed to say had been more than 30. I've matured since then. You could have said, you know, it's just 30 days away now. Start returning my. But as the New Testament tells it, we are to pray without peace. Now, sometimes we think, well, that means we're on continuous prayer. And I think that's a good thing. We should be in continuous prayer because let's face it, while we're driving, we need to pray because there's a bunch of idiots out there who obviously aren't praying and we need protection. So we need to we need continuous prayer, but we also need to never cease praying no matter what the situation is. And then it goes, I'm not waiting 30. My question to you, how long would you wait to be connected to the right worship? Wasn't too long ago and we were told that we could not assemble again. It was okay to go to a big box hardware store and buy stuff, which offended me because the women, they care more about their customers than we do about our people. Now, back then there was a lot of unknown and people had poor mobility and fear, whatever. But I refuse to accept that we cannot worship together. I find it interesting we have a constitution that protects us, our rights of worship. But why we should we would be surprised about that when the commandments of God are considered just mere suggestions.
Anyway, we didn't start worshiping because they told us not to. We just simply continued to worship. And more and more views that I don't want to watch it on TV. I want to because the Scriptures tells us that we are not true. We are to assemble ourselves, not as the custom of some, but we're to do that because we encourage each other. We strengthen one another where there is a aspect to joint worship. Yes, you can worship at home and you ought to worship at home. You ought to do more than just worshiping here. How long is it okay to say, I don't need to pray, don't need to worship, I can. You just says that we are dwelling where to get sustenance, what how we're able to maintain our long that we go without meaning. And I would say now that I've matured and I've seen the immature me and the mature me, not a single day if we not now. Currently prayer is kind of being both. And I get a little upset and I know the people are well-meaning, but you will hear people talk about the power of prayer and it drives me crazy. And I try to be sympathetic with those who are meaning. Well, there's even books about the power of prayer and mean, and I've given this story before and I'll give it again to get you to understand I have car trouble and I'm lost. I take my cell phone and I call you and I say, I am not too sure where I am, but my car is broken down. I think I'm in the desert. I'm not sure and I'm thirsty and I'm hungry and find me and get and you come. You bring me water and an iced tea and food to eat. You bring a tow truck and a mechanic. Somehow you found me and you bring me home. And shortly thereafter my car is fixed and in my garage. Now for that happens, I. How awesome is the cell? The cell phone has power because I used it and all my troubles were taken. And you look at me and go, You know, when you called me, I saw your number and I answered the phone. Anyway, because I know your problem. But I answered and I came in even though you didn't know where you were because you were lost. I found and provided for your name. And I brought you home. You're giving glory to the self. If you think God, When we pray and He delivers, we go, Oh, the power of prayer. It is not the power of prayer. It is the power of the donor. So his glory short, he's wonderful, He's awesome. The mechanism by which we see him is through prayer. And then he goes, I'm not waiting 30 days. I'm not waiting the day. I pray three times a day, and that's what I'm going to do. And he doesn't know The end of this story is simply note by doing this, he's going to be thrown into a den with a whole bunch of light. But that's his commitment to his and ought to be our commitment to that as well. And these men came by, I'm sorry, by agreement bound Daniel making petition and supplication before God. Then they they agreed 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 beside you king for 30 days is to be cast into the lion's den. And the king replied, The statement is true according to the law of the Medes and Virgin, which may not be overlooked. Then they answered and spoke before the King. Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, paid no attention to your king or to the injunction which you have signed, but keeps making his petition three times a day. Oh, King He didn't just do it. Wanted to try, but three times every day he has made petition to his God and not to you. Then as soon as the king heard this statement, he was deeply distressed and set his mind on delivering Daniel And even until the sunset, he kept exerting.
So you're asking, you're going. I made a mistake, Daniel is a faithful person and not only as a faithful person. He has been benefiting me because my kingdom has been running wonderfully with him and he's looking up and he's trying to find all the Philadelphia lawyers and he's trying to figure out a way that he can get an exception to the injunction, but he can't find one. And so he's trapped. And these men came by agreement, the king, and said him, recognize that it is the law of the mainland Persians, that no injunction or statute which the king establishes may be changed. So they put it right back in the state and the king gave order and Daniel was brought in and fast into the lion's den, the king spoke and said to them, Your God, who you constantly serve, will himself deliver. What a wonderful statement. Here's the guy who made this stupid rule. Understand exactly who Daniel is and the God that Daniel's serving so God's able to deliver you. It's not Daniel who says God's able to deliver me. It's the king who gave the orders to have him thrown into. And when we see the little pictures in the book, it's a lion And Daniel. No, no, there are lions. And then it's a lion. Apostrophe s a possible punchline, and he's thrown into the lion's den. But the king, the God himself, can deliver. And a stone was brought and laid over the mouth of the dean, and the king filled it with his own signet ring. And with the signet ring of his noble so that nothing would be changed in regard to them. Now, I think this is done for two reasons. I think it's done so that everyone will know that no one has interfered and the king will know that no one has interfered because he's hoping and suspecting that God will deliver. Daniel But these traps and other commissioners are such devious people. If God was able to say they might come and try to intervene themselves because no one's going in or out, I've got my signet ring on it. And the king went off to his palace and spent the night fasting and no entertainment was brought in before him and his sleep fled. From now he made a statement of faith. The Lord was able to deliver. But this king is very much like you and me. All God can deliver. What if he doesn't? What if he doesn't? What if he does? There is this fear and there's this lack of sleep because you're just not simply sure that God is able to deliver. Then the King arose at dawn at the break of day and went in haste To the lion's den. Okay, the order has been done. Neither was God able to do this, was not able to save him. When did come near the end of the lion? I'm sorry. Within to Daniel, you cried out with a loud voice. The king spoke and said of Daniel Daniel, servant of the living God as your God whom you constantly serve and able to deliver you from the lion, not notice again, the king keeps saying, What's God that you constantly, Sir, you may be in my service, but you continually serve and we may be in the service of our employer or whatever. But our service is always to the king. So what's what's not able to deliver? You then Daniel spoke to the king or King live or notice Daniel to say, Yeah, idiot King. I was able to get through it. Yeah. The you were so stupid that you let other people talk you into not he was all king live forever. He gave the same salutation that those who tried to get Daniel executed. Things are fine. KING I'm not upset with you. I'm not upset with him for it. It's okay. My God, that his angel and shut the lions lion's not one line or punch a lion's mouth. And they have not harmed me in as much as I was found innocent before him. And also or you open. I committed no crime. The I didn't do anything wrong to you and I haven't done anything wrong to my God. I simply sought his forgiveness of my people so that we might be able to return home. And he sent an angel to shut their mouth. Then the king was very pleased and gave orders to Daniel to be taken out of the line. So Daniel was taken up from the scene and no injury, whatever was found on him because he had trusted in his.
You see, God just doesn't save you a little bit. He just does it. It wasn't like, well, they scratched him or they beat him. No, no, there was no injury. Just as Shadrach, Meshach and have been to go and no singes on their hair, no smoke. Now I was perfect. God completely save then. Now I can't promise you that God will not deliver you or me out of a similar sentiment. I'll tell you why in just a moment. The king gave orders and they brought those men what maliciously accused Daniel and had them cast into the with their children and their wives into the lion's den. So, in essence, is an eye for an eye. You accuse an innocent man. And as the law God says, you do that you suffer an eye for an eye. So you wanted to be you wanted him to be put in the lion's den. Now you're going to be put on lines. And with your children and your wife. And they had not reached the bottom of the day before the lions overpower them. And crush all of their. Now, I'm pretty sure the lions were really hungry and upset because their they had right before them a good meal all. Then it got stopped. So after being eased all night long, they decided they'd have a feast and they overpowered, rushed and they all those people who accused them. Notice what happens after that. And there is the king wrote to all the people, nations and men of every language.
We're living in all the land. So here is isn't good enough to say, well, everybody is here. He said, You write a decree, a law, and he sends it out to his entire kingdom. It doesn't matter if you speak Persian or mead or Brie or Hebrew or whatever it is, whatever language you speak, it puts it in that language. He says, Make your peace abound. I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom, men are to fear and tremble before not very, but the God of Ben, or He is the living God and enduring forever. And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed and His dominion will be delivered. We'll be forever. He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonder heaven and honor, who has also delivered Daniel for the power of the Lord. Various who had made a law who said everybody supposed to pray them makes another law says you are to fear and tremble. The God of them. I suspect it didn't go as well as the satraps and commissioners had expected because they expected it to be the end of Daniel. But instead it was to the glory of the Now. That's why I can't promise you that if you're thrown into a lion's den, that God will deliver you out of that, just as their work is. I had the opportunity to go around and be in the Coliseum where a number of believers die by being torn apart by line. The difference is in Daniel's salvation. God received glory. Perhaps in our destruction, God will receive more glory because whether we are delivered or not, or His Word is what he may say. And as in this situation, those who suspect and those who never believe give glory to God, and perhaps in our death, those will say that person, we are not worthy. You give glory to God. That's why I didn't call this a series of heroes, because sometimes it's the hero. We don't know the ones who have gone to the state or the Coliseum or in a thousand other different way because of their faith, commitment to God need to learn from them. The Daniel could have compromised and said 30 days not that I can, but he had resolved before that he was going to be God's forgiveness or his people that they might turn for the and whether God took them or not, He was committed. The Lord. He didn't say his commitment because he was going to be delivered. He made his commitment because his commitment to God is more important than his commitment to the Kingdom. The world is going to seek for us to compromise our faith. Maybe because of jealousy, maybe because of hatred, maybe because of a whole different multitude of. But whether he delivers this or not, his words said that he will never leave us nor forsake that he dwells in. So when we find ourselves in the fire or the flood or the lion's den or wherever we may find ourselves in persecution, we know we are not alone, that God is there with us. And even if He did not deliver us out of the lion's mouth, he would deliver us to his kingdom.
And all God's people said.