November 27, 2022 – Pastor Mark Albrecht
Message Big Idea – In Daniel 6, Daniel is raised to high office by his royal master Darius the Mede. Daniel’s jealous rivals trick Darius into issuing a decree that for thirty days no prayers should be addressed to any god or man but Darius himself; anyone who disobeys this edict is to be thrown to the lions. Pious Daniel continues to pray daily to the God of Israel; and the king, although deeply distressed, must condemn Daniel to death, for the edicts of the Medes and Persians cannot be altered. Hoping for Daniel’s deliverance, Darius has him cast into the pit. At daybreak the king hurries to the place and cries out anxiously, asking if God had saved his friend. Daniel replies that his God had sent an angel to close the jaws of the lions, “because I was found blameless before him”. The king commands that those who had conspired against Daniel be thrown to the lions in his place with their wives and children, and that the whole world should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. How can we honor God in a hostile environment?
- Take a moment to reflect (if you are going through this on your own) or share (if you are with others in a group setting): What are you grateful for today? What are you struggling with today?
- Have you ever been in an environment or situation where there was tension or outright hostility towards you? How did you feel? How did you react? What would you do the same or different in light of this message of honoring God in the midst of hostility?
- Read Daniel 6 (Read twice – ESV and either NLT or Message)
- Go around the group and briefly retell the passage in your own words.
- What word or phrase “jumped off the page” and intrigued you the most? Why?
- Daniel was well trusted by King Darius. From reading this passage and looking at the previous chapters, what do we know about Daniel’s character?
- Why is our character (the actions or the way that we live) so important to God? In other words, how does our behavior show who we believe in?
- Sometimes it feels like our relationship with Jesus is being challenged, attacked, or used against us by others. Daniel 6:5-7 tells us of Daniel’s response. How should we respond in those moments?
- Notice Daniel’s turning to God was something that he daily did. Daniel didn’t just know a lot about God; Daniel knows God. What is the difference between knowing about God and knowing God and how does that impact the way we handle difficult trials and circumstances in our lives.
- What makes “you” you? What are a couple of characteristics about you that people know you for? (i.e. funny, caring, honest, etc…)What makes “you” you? What are a couple of characteristics about you that people know you for? (i.e. funny, caring, honest, etc…)
- Daniel shows the example that Jesus calls us to have: one that has a faith in Him to do what he says regardless of our feelings or outcome. Our faith should be something that doesn’t change because of the circumstances around us. Rather, Jesus and our faith in Him should be the one that carries us through all our circumstances. How can YOU develop a faith that doesn’t waver or fade? Share with your group a growth plan.
Live It Out:
- What is one thing God seems to be asking you to do in response to this passage? (i.e., “I will ….”)
- Who can you tell about this “I will” statement in the next 48 hours?
- Journal about your time in God’s Word this week. Stop to listen to what He might be telling you. Celebrate His presence through His Word!
- Darius’ response to having to put Daniel in the lion’s den shows part of the impact that Daniel was having on his life. How does obedience and faithfulness to God impact the people around you? Do the friends/people around you know that you follow Jesus? Pray about how you can naturally, organically, and faithfully reflect God’s goodness to others this week.