I would turn our attention to a final study of Daniel and Big God Theology. Let us look this week at Daniel 6:25-28 that this Big God is seen as ‘He Is The God Of Rest’. Let us look at this final thought that ‘Daniel Found Rest Like the Heights Of Heaven’. I see in verse 25 there is ‘The Heights Of Heaven’s Multiple Peace’. There are multiple facets of peace. There is the peace of God; it came at the time of salvation. It is wholeness and completeness. There is also the peace with God. There has been given to God’s people the ability to say, ‘nothing between my soul and the Saviour’. This pagan king Darius sees Daniel with multiple peace. The songwriter said it best with these words. ‘Far away in the depths of my spirit tonight, rolls a melody sweeter than psalm; In celestial like strains it unceasingly falls, o’er my soul like an infinite calm. Peace, peace! Wonderful peace, coming down from the Father above. Sweep over my spirit forever I pray, In fathomless billows of love.’ I know of no greater truth than God’s peace like the waves of the ocean rolling over us time and time again during the dark days of an encounter with Satan and his lion’s den.
I see in verses 26-27 ‘The Height Of Heaven’s Manifested Power’. This earthly king in verse 26 makes a decree about Daniel’s God. This lost pagan king says of Daniel’s God that He is a living God, a steadfast God and His kingdom shall not be destroyed and His dominion shall be until the end. This was a nice decree, pretty words, coming from a lost man about Daniel’s God but it changes nothing or states nothing about Daniel’s God. His God was all of this and more before the decree and long after this king lays in the dust of the earth, Daniel’s God ever liveth. We are told of His manifested power in verse 27. The king said God delivered, rescued, and worked signs and wonders in getting Daniel free from the lion’s den. It was blessed that the king recognized this power but long before this king and long after thinking our God worketh in a great manifested power we can be assured that it is not by our might and power that God does anything but it is by His Spirit.
In verse 28 we find ‘The Heights Of Heaven’s Manifested Prosperity’. This is not the first time but one of many over the years of time that Daniel has landed upon his feet at the top. How can it be that he keeps on keeping on? It is because he knows and lives with the Big God Of Rest. He knows the God who causes all of His people to operate in an easy yoke. It is not a double yoke of pulling the load 50 – 50. There is only one hookup. He pulls and we rest.
When I think of these truths of the Big God Of Theology I want to exclaim:
God is so Big, God is so Big, God is so Big
He’s so Big to me.
He reigns Supreme, He reigns Supreme, He reigns Supreme
He’s so Big to me.
He controls it all, He controls it all, He controls it all
He’s so Big to me.
He lives in me, He lives in me, He lives in me
He’s so Big to me.
Let us study once more Daniel’s Big God Theology. This week we will look at Daniel 6:16-23 and the fact that ‘He Is A God Of Rest’. Daniel has found several points of rest in our Big God. Today let us look at this truth; ‘He Found Rest Among The Hounds Of Hell’. The ‘he’ in our title is Daniel. The ‘hounds of Hell’ are the presidents that order the decree of anyone found praying to any other but the earthly king. This would result in them being thrown in the lion’s den.
In verse 16 I find ‘Daniel Found Rest In The Word Of Promise’. I am amazed from whence this promise came. It is coming from the mouth of a pagan Gentile king. A lost man, if you can believe it. I wonder if the lost of this world see any God on us. It certainly will make all the difference. He told Daniel, ‘thy God whom thou servest continually, He will deliver thee.’ He saw in Daniel a great faithfulness to his God. He told Daniel that his God would deliver. The word has the idea that he has a hedge about Daniel for protection. Oh, how I am reminded that greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world, or for Daniel, in the lion’s den.
Let me remind us that before you encounter your lion’s den, may God give you a promise that will sustain you in a dark hour. You cannot get a promise from God that suits your need if you are not in His Word.
I see in 6:22a ‘He Found Rest In The Work’s Of Power’. God shut the lion’s mouth. They had no power over Daniel. They later killed and ate a large group of people. If this be true, curl up, pillow your head on the devil, and rest until our God opens the door of the lion’s den for deliverance. The devil has no power over us unless it is given him from above. The devil might slobber on you, and gum you, but he can’t eat you. He has no teeth. The Lord pulled all his teeth at Calvary. Thank you Lord. I can live in the fact that greater is He that is in me than all the devil’s in Hell. I am reminded of the great missionary Jonathan Patton. The cannibals came to eat him night after night but never did. They later said they were afraid of the two shiny men on top of his hut. I am sure if God let the cannibals see the shiny men the lion’s could see them in the den.
I find in verse 22b and 23c ‘He Found Rest in The Witness Of Preservation’. Daniel said that there was no hurt upon him because innocency was found in him. The word ‘innocent’ is our word for a man of integrity. The word means a servant who does not have to be checked on. No one had to come by the lion’s den to see if Daniel was still holding on.
In verse 23c I find in the witness that Daniel ‘believed in his God’. The word ‘believe’ means to cast ones self in total reliance and dependency upon another.
Let the devil roar. He can’t come near me unless it is ordered of the Lord. Even than he can only mess with my body, he cannot come near my soul. That, my friend, causes me to rest.
Let us begin today to bring to a conclusion our study of Daniel’s Big God. We will study the subject for another 2 or 3 weeks and look at this Big God as ‘He Is The God Of Rest’. I am interested in the text of Daniel 6:3 where the Bible says that “…an excellent spirit was in him;” This goes along with our study of the God Of Rest. God’s rest is always amazing. It is always the inward as manifested to the outward. It is never dependent on outward circumstances. His oath, His covenant, His blood supports me in the whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay. Rest cannot be explained. It must be experienced. If you need it explained, more than likely it has never been experienced. In the words of a preacher friend after a message, ‘that kind of preaching will get in the bed with you.” May the need for an experience of true rest get in the bed with us. A great preacher, Jonathan Edwards, was run off from a church as one said of him later, “He appeared to be a man whose happiness was out of the reach by his circumstances.”
I want us to see that ‘He Found Rest In The Habits Of Holiness’. ‘Daniel Practiced The Habits Of Holiness When Forbidden.’ In 6:10 he knew the writing was signed but he did as before. What decrees had been signed? The other presidents who could not understand the excellent spirit in Daniel got the king to send out a decree that anyone caught praying to anyone but the king was to be thrown in the lion’s den. Peter said in the book of Acts, ‘We ought to obey God rather than man.’ If you and I will not practice holiness while we are at liberty to do so, we will not practice them when they are forbidden.
‘Daniel Practiced The Habits Of Holiness With Faithfulness.’ In verse 10 we find he did as he did before. He did in the present what he had done in the past. Daniel prayed three times a day and the writing did not deter his faithfulness and so much the more even as the day the writing was signed. Rest is not found in super spiritual things but in the mundane spiritual exercise of day in and day out practices of holy living. We will find our greatest rest will come from our daily quiet time of prayer and Bible study.
‘Daniel Practiced The Habits Of Holiness With Fervency’. The text says in 6:10 that he kneeled three times a day and gave thanks before his God. The word thanks means to kneel with hands extended, palms upward, while giving words of loud praise. Let us remember he always opened the window toward home, he always kneeled, always prayed out loud and there would be no change today just because a human said he couldn’t. The text said it was all done before his God. Let us be more concerned with the fact that God is watching than that man is looking. We will find great rest for our souls in our faithful practice of holiness. Let us have a time each day that we have an appointment with the Lord to pray and read His word. If there is more outward advances toward Him there will be less inward decline away from Him. Let not man or circumstances keep us from our habit of being alone with our God. We will find rest even when all around our soul is giving away.
We will look this week at some final remnants from Daniel’s Big God. I guess you can tell that I like to close. This is my second week with closing remarks and the way it looks now there are two more ‘and finally’ coming. We have been looking at this Big God and the fact of ‘He Is The God Of Rest’. I want us to see ‘He Found Rest From The Head Of Horrors’. The ‘he’ speaks here of Daniel and the heads of horror were the other presidents that had the lion’s den decree drafted.
I want us to see in verses 3-5 ‘Daniel Rested In Their Exception’. The key to the president’s exception is found in verse 3. There was an excellent spirit found in Daniel. This phrase can be written; ‘a spirit of excellence’ was in him. When God dwells in us it will be displayed on our outward man and the world will not be excited by this display of Christ likeness.
Let us see in verse 4 that these presidents examined Daniel and could find no error or fault in him except that he was always faithful. My friend, does this world find our lives to be without fault and but a display of God’s faithfulness. The exception clause was that they couldn’t find anything in Daniel’s life except with the law of his God. They probably said ‘who wants a God that demands we pray three times a day’. While they examined and made exception Daniel rested in his Big God.
I see in our study of 6:7 that ‘Daniel Rested In Their Edict’. All of the leaders came together and established a royal statute and a firm decree. The decree stated that if you prayed to anyone but the king you would be thrown in the lion’s den. We cannot ever look to man to take care of us or supply our needs. Peter said, ‘We must obey God rather than man.’ The world can develop its laws that will cause us to be forced to decide between obeying God or man but we can always rest in the edicts of man, no matter what they develop, that God will take care of us.
In 6:4 ‘Daniel Rested In Their End’. Once Daniel spent the night with the lions and was safe the king commanded that they were to bring the men who had accused Daniel. Their wives along with their children were to be brought also. How I am reminded that our sinful decisions don’t just affect us but those we care for most. The king commanded that they be thrown in the lion’s den. Daniel didn’t try to stop them but rested in their end. His Big God knows best. The text tells us the same lions that never touched Daniel had the master over his enemies. The word indicates that they had their way with them. The text tells us they broke all their bones in pieces before they ever hit the ground. Oh, what a horrible death. How I am remind of a couple of lessons. One is ‘greater is He that is in us than he that is in the lion’s den’. The second lesson is to be ‘careful in touching God’s man’. The lion’s den may be your fearful end.
Let us continue to study the great truth of Big God Theology from the Book of Daniel. Today let us conclude our thoughts on ‘He Is The God Of Retribution’. I have found in my study that there is retribution for doing wrong seen very clearly in the life of Belshazzar the king. In the life of Daniel we see there are ‘Lessons Of Righteousness’ and retribution for doing right.
I find in Daniel 5:29 he is ‘Clothed With Royalty’. Remember Daniel is of Jewish descent. He has been in Babylon since he was a young boy. He is now an old man. The scarlet robe was one of the king’s robes. This was the robe only a Gentile king would wear. Belshazzar doesn’t say anything about the words on the wall. It seems as though he is passing temporary authority over to Daniel. He is also ‘Chained With Rulership’ This was the crest of authority and he places Daniel 3rd in command. The text tells us in 5:30 that Belshazzar was slain that night by Darius the king of the Medians.
In Chapter 6 and verses 1 and 3 I find the ‘Commission Of Repetition’. Daniel was declared to be 1st President under Darius the king. Daniel seems to be like the Energizer Bunny. He keeps on going and going. He has now been a high up official in three world empires. He was high up in Nebuchadnezzar’s, Belshazzar’s, and now in Darius’s kingdom. There will be yet one more kingdom in Chapter 10, verse 1 where we find Daniel high up in the kingdom of Cyrus, the king of Persia. God truly keeps His word when He says, ‘He resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble’. Daniel has truly walked humbly before his Lord and time after time he has been highly exalted. Many never connect the dots of God’s retribution program. He gives to some while withholding from others. He can cause some to reap where they never sowed. He comes to some with a hand of condemnation while the same hand to others is a comfort. He causes some to see good come out of bad while to others it is nothing but bad they see. He can lift some while putting others down. He can cause some to be in the light and cause the same light to be darkness to others. Who is He? Why, He is the God of Retribution. I saw the results of a hurricane some time ago on the North Carolina coast. I told some that I wanted to find out who caused this and make sure that I was on the ‘ins’ with them and not the ‘outs’.
If He is the God of Retribution what does He expect from me? I feel it can be summed up in the words of this song.
Dare To Be A Daniel
Standing by a purpose true, Heeding God’s command,
Honor then the faithful few! All hail to Daniel’s Band.
Hold the Gospel banner high, on to victory grand!
Satan and his host defy and shout for Daniel’s Band.
Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose firm. Dare to make it known.
It has been 3,00 years since Belshazzar and Daniel lived. Belshazzar may still be receiving retribution in Hell, though I am not his judge, while Daniel is still clipping the coupons of righteous retribution in the presence of a Big God in Heaven.