Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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The Decree unto Life 8.16.2015
Dear friend,

May we be renewed in the knowledge that our God, Who is the I Am, is reigning over heaven and earth now and forever. He is the one who rules over nations as well as over the lives of us as individuals. As we come to chapter 6 in the book of Daniel, we come to the most well known historical account in the life of Daniel, where we find the law of the state and the highest law of God in direct conflict. We come to two decrees: One unto death and one unto life....

Daniel is around 80 years old at this point in his life, has served faithfully in the Babylonian government since he was placed in positions of leadership when he was but a young man. As we heard at the end of chapter 5, the Babylonian dynasty had fallen to the Medes and Persians and Daniel now had a new king whom we was serving, Darius. The new king began to set up his administration. Let us pick up the story now in chapter 6.

The setting
KJV Daniel 6:1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;
2 And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.
3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
5 Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.

Daniel had been given the abilities which he possessed by God, he was using them in his service within a pagan kingdom and as the king considered putting him over the whole kingdom, the spirit of envy and jealousy began to rise up in his peers. They wanted his position and to be in the king's top favor, and did not want Daniel to be over them.

Because Daniel was faithful, and had not error or fault, they could not find any way to get rid of him. So......they sought to bring a conflict between the law of the state and the law of His God........a Decree of Death

The Trap
6 Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.
7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
8 Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
9 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.

They came to him with flattery and did not speak the truth in saying that all were on board with their proposed law concerning prayer. They did tell the king that the law could not be changed once it was signed, which the king did sign.

Daniel's Response
10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

Daniel, knowing that the writing was signed, did not alter his habit of praying at all, but continued to do as he had always done. He looked towards Jerusalem and not towards Babylon when he prayed, for Jerusalem was the center of worship for the Israelite people. The three men got back together and found that Daniel was continuing to pray before his God. So they went back to the king.....with a question for him..

The Trap is Sprung
12 Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
After the king answered the question, the three conspirators knew that they had Daniel just where they wanted him. In verse 13, they brought down the hammer on Daniel as well as on the king...

13 Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.

They referred to Daniel now around 80 yrs old, who had served in the Babylonian government and now was beginning to serve in the Mede-Persian government as "of the children of the captivity of Judah," (in other words, he is not one of us) as well as told the king that "he does not regard you, O king" which was not true. They did get it right in saying that Daniel has not regarded the decree that the king had signed which forbid prayer to anyone but Darius. Now the king realized that he had been deceived by the three men...

The King's Faith in the Midst of His Regrets
14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.
15 Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.
16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

The king worked hard to undo that which he had so foolishly done, the three men came before him to remind him that there was no going back on what had been signed into law and Daniel was put into the den of lion's. The king spoke powerful words of faith, saying "Thy God, whom you serve continually, he will deliver you." The den was sealed in order to make sure that things would go according to their plan. The king was beside himself at what he had done, so he called in faith upon the highest law, the law of God, for it was the only law which could overturn the law that these envious men had tricked him into putting in place in order to get rid of Daniel. That night neither the king ate and....neither did the lions. Very early in the morning the king hustled to the den, crying with a pained/grieved voice spoke out into the den....believing in the power of the living God, but yet wondering if he would hear any response from Daniel......

The King's Long Night
18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.
19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

To his joy, the king heard the voice of Daniel. The king heard the wonderful words of life coming from the den instead of the silence of death..................

21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.
22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
23 Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.

The consequences of their action in deceiving the king came quickly to the three men, to their children and to their wives....

The Awful Consequence to the Trappers and Their Families
24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.

Then King Darius wrote to his people in peace and declared another decree all people, nations and languages.

The Decree Unto Life
25 Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.
27 He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

This decree was much different than the first one, with the first one being a decree of death. This last decree was a decree unto life, through the Promise of the kingdom which shall not be destroyed, and the dominion of God shall be even unto the end. This God delivers and rescue, he works signs and wonders in heaven and in earth and has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. Daniel continued to serve the kings and he prospered in doing so, because the Lord of heaven and earth was with him.

Well, now let us think deeply over what we have read and heard about. As stated earlier, the first decree was one unto death, a decree which the three men under the motivations of pride, position and possessions lived by. Human pride will stop at nothing to attain that which it desires and through the motivations of envy, jealousy, lust, covetousness and so on, it is motivated and empowered to seek that which is so greatly needs in order to find fulfilment of the flesh. These men were merely operating by their principles when they sought destroy God by destroying Daniel.

A decree unto death was taken upon ourselves through our choice to reject our Creator, but He made a decree unto life through the Promise of Life!!!! For our Seeking and Gathering God did not leave us in that state, but made the Promise to us (Genesis 3:15) that He would send a rescuer to redeem us and would reverse the effects of our fall into sin. He did not take away the sentence of physical death, but did take away the penalty of sin by laying our guilt upon His Son, He took away the power of sin through the indwelling presence of His Spirit and one day will take away the presence of sin by receiving us into our everlasting home with Him. May we be reminded this morning that we live in that kingdom which will never pass away, but is eternal made not with human hands, but by God. We will inherit this eternal joy because God made a decree which the Apostle Paul wrote about in one of his letters..

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

God took away our sin and gave us His righteousness through the Sinless offering of His Son and in so doing, He made a decree unto life which is for all and unto all. Have you received this decree unto life? If not, receive it today, for through the redemptive work of Christ, you have the right to be one of his children through believing upon His name. (John 1:12)

May His grace be abundantly experienced by you today as you live another day in this glorious land of plenty which He has given us to live on and to care for in anticipation of a much greater heaven and earth.

Living in the Decree unto Life.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 16 Aug 2015 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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