Speaking of LIONS, I recently read a story about an unemployed actor.  His agent told him about a bizarre gig.  A gorilla died at a small local zoo and the zoo keepers wanted a temporary replacement.  The man would have to wear a very realistic Gorilla costume and sit in a cage for 8 hours a day.

Insulted, but desperate, the out-of-luck actor took the job.  At first, he just sate in the cage, but his stage presence could not resist the opportunity to “act” a little.  He was encouraged on when people – especially children, responded and gathered to watch him hang upside down, swing from ropes, and pound his chest.

Everything was going great, and he actually began to look forward to his daily acting gig, until one day something frightening happened.  The trap door to the gorilla cage opened and in came a ferocious looking lion.

The actor in the gorilla costume started shouting for help.
“Get me outta here!”  I’m not a gorilla, I’m just an actor in a costume!  Call 911!!!

The Lion ran full speed at the man and pounced on him and said,
“Shut up you fool – you’re going to get both of us fired!”


Do you remember the 1993 film, “Indecent Proposal?”  In the film, a wealthy man offers 1 million dollars to sleep with another man’s wife.  The man is in financial ruin, and although absolutely offended and certain that he would never be bribed in this way, he eventually breaks down and chooses money above character.

Here is a more realistic and true story. A workman forgets to wear his safety glasses and is hit in the eye by a piece of stone.  Another worker sees his damaged eye and says “quick, let me shatter your eyewear – you’ll never have to work another day in your life”  http://advancedlifeskills.com/blog/is-your-integrity-for-sale/

We can consider any number of compromises that at one time we would have stood strongly against.
…Entering a wrong birthday so your child can play little league
…Padding your expense account to make up for the sacrifices you make for the company

We think that we have the answers to these questions, until some reasonable sounding argument comes along to convince us that we should surrender our integrity and compromise our faith.

What would it take for you to compromise your faith?
For DANIEL, the answer was that NOTHING came between him and his commitment to live for God.

Well into his 80’s, Daniel is still faithful to the Lord.
This is perhaps the BEST KNOWN story in the life of Daniel
It is NOT the story of a faithful teenager.
It is the story of a faithful SENIOR!

The AMAZING part about Daniel’s life is that at the
– END of his life
– after 70 years as a high ranking government official
– with plenty of motive to undermine his superiors
– In a land far from home
– where everything around him begged for him to compromise
– and where compromise would have yielded immediate gratification
DANIEL STAYS FAITHFUL to the point that his ACCUSERS find no moral fault
“We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God. (Daniel 6:5)

Daniel’s story…..
I.    Daniel’s Faith Established
Were you on fire for the Lord when you first became a Christian?
Many begin well
“Flash in the pan” a shooting term.  FLINTLOCK muskets contained charge of gunpowder in a pan that would ignite and then ignite the main charge.  When the powder in the pan failed to ignite the main charge, there would be an impressive  “flash,” but the bullet would never be fired.
DANIEL started well
HE continued and he now had a reputation

Daniel 6:1–3 (ESV) — 1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; 2 and over them three high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. 3 Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.

What is a satrap?  Well, if you asked a Satrap “what is an Executive Vice President,” he probably wouldn’t know either.

Daniel’s Faith is Opposed
AMAZING STATEMENT made about Daniel.  Daniel 6:4–5 (ESV) — 4 Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”

Imagine that being said
…about a politician
…about a professional athlete
…about a business owner

Could it be said about you?

But this only INCREASED THE HATRED of Daniel’s Peers against him!
Daniel was more trustworthy
Daniel was unshakably cheerful
Daniel was successful
Daniel was a REBUKE to the CONSCIENCE!

Their plan?  KILL DANIEL

Daniel’s Faith is TESTED
Daniel 6:11–12 (ESV) — 11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. 12 Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, “O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.”

Compromise would say
“I could PRAY PRIVATELY and Darious wouldn’t know”
“There’s nothing in the LAW that requires me to pray THREE TIMES every day”
“There’s NOTHING in the LAW that requires me to pray before an open window”

But DANIEL would not let the evil intentions of others interrupt his Quiet Time with the LORD!!!

He maintains his RITUAL of PRAYER

Daniel’s Faith is REWARDED.
Daniel 6:16–28 (ESV) — 16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” 17 And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him. 19 Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces. 25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: “Peace be multiplied to you. 26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. 27 He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.” 28 So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Daniels’ life was spared
King Darius honors God
Daniel’s accusers receive earthly justice
Persia is prepared to send the Captives back.  They are a part of God’s plan for Israel

Lessons from Daniel
1.  Daniel had “Steadfast Faith in a Changing World”
2.  Daniel suffered (no marriage, no home)
3.  Daniel NEVER RETURNED to Israel
4.  Daniel NEVER SAW the captives return

What was Daniel’s secret?
Daniel 6:10 (ESV) — 10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.
In DANIEL 2:17-18, Daniel and his friends hold a PRAYER MEETING
Daniel 2:19 (ESV) — 19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress once said,  “Prayer will make a man cease from sin, as sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.”

CONVICTION Daniel succeeded because he would not compromise
Did not eat of the kings food
Did not stop praying when his life was endangered

CONTENTMENT – Daniel accepted God’s plan, even though there were many trials and much that was unjust and unfair.
Daniel cheerfully accepted that God was in control and that God could use him right were he was.
Daniel bloomed where he was planted.

Is Your Faith Lion-Proof?

What does it take before you start reasoning your way into compromising situations?

Are your Biblical convictions non-negotiable?