Daniel in the Lions’ Den – the cost of Jealousy

by Jim on April 10, 2013


Ministry Encouragement Podcast #041 – 4-10-13  –  Rev. Jim W. Hollis

Sponsored by: Proactive Ministries (www.proactive-ministries.org)  Offices: (770) 803-9988

Hello and welcome to another episode of the Ministry Encouragement Podcast.  Today I will be sharing on the major topic of:

The sin of Jealousy related to the story of Daniel in the Lions’ Den

We will be covering several key texts in the Bible from both the Old and the New Testaments.  These are:

“God opposes the proud” (I Peter 5:5)

“Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged.” (Matthew 7:1,2)

We will see that Jesus says, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5)

Jesus teaches us that hypocrites who judge will go to “the father of lies” – Satan, the enemy of our souls – whose top identity is “the accuser” of the brothers and sisters:

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“Now have come the salvation and the power
    and the kingdom of our God,
    and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
    who accuses them before our God day and night,
    has been hurled down.
11 They triumphed over him
    by the blood of the Lamb
    and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
    as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:10-11)

Underneath all of the above is the horrific sin of jealousy.  These other causes of suffering are often driven by jealousy.  While some people will confess adultery, lying, cheating, stealing and other acts of wickedness – you will be hard pressed to see any other human being come clean about confessing jealousy. 

In the book of Proverbs we find:

Proverbs 6:16-19

The Message (MSG)

Seven Things God Hates

16-19 Here are six things God hates,
    and one more that he loathes with a passion:

eyes that are arrogant,
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent,
a heart that hatches evil plots,
feet that race down a wicked track,
a mouth that lies under oath,
a troublemaker in the family.

Do we have things in our lives that we need to confess?  Absolutely.  Are any of us immune from the need to confess our sins?  Not one, we are all sinners in need of God’s Grace and Forgiveness.  All of us have issues.  There is one ancient account from the Old Testament that some of us may have heard in our childhood, about a good man named Daniel who was thrown into a den of vicious lions and survived.  It is the old story of:

Daniel in the Lions’ Den

(The book of Daniel, Chapter 6, Verses 1-28)

The story of Daniel, a righteous man after God’s own heart is one in which jealousy runs rampant, leading to murder by scheming and treachery.  The other leaders in Daniel’s group became jealous of the King’s admiration and affirmation of Daniel, for he had an excellent spirit, which came out of his relationship with God.  They became angry, leading to jealousy. This propelled them to conspire and scheme as to how they could have Daniel put to death without bringing any blood on their hands, personally.

So they appealed to the King, stroking his ego and pride.  They got the law passed that no one should show any allegiance to any other person or god other than the King.  If they did they would suffer the penalty of death.  The King passed the law as it flattered himself.  He had no intention of harming Daniel at that point, but Daniel’s peers laid the trap well.  The King then could not go back on the law and was forced to carry it out, having Daniel tossed into the Lions’ Den.

Two major things here:

1) When Daniel found out about what had taken place, he continued to pray and give thanks to God for God’s love and faithfulness in his own life.  This is a VERY different attitude than most of us would have taken, if we reflect on it.  Would it not have been better for him to go directly to the King and sort out the evil motivation which had caused this to happen, letting the King know what the real darkness was?  No.  Daniel trusted God to vindicate him.  That is faith in the highest form.

2) When the King saw this all come together, and knew he had to put Daniel to death, he was greatly troubled and realized that he had acted too hastily and was immensely distressed but had to carry out the law.

We see this story of Daniel played out again and again in modern culture in America.  Executives from huge corporations and banks have plotted to steal the retirement funds and life savings of hard, honest working people, taking them illegally, selfishly, and with deadly consequences. Yet, they never do jail time.  Rather, some of them have spent time out of work on vacation, with the money off-shore in safe places, floating around the Chesapeake Bay on their yachts.  Lawyers got them off because of laws that would not be changed for years.

There is a time of reckoning coming upon the whole world.  All of us will give account of how we have lived and the things we have done.  If we are in a saving relationship with Christ, having received his forgiveness we will pass from this world into eternal life with God forever.  If we are without repentance, and Christ’s forgiveness, we will be eternally lost.  This is the reality of both the justice and love of God.  God is love indeed –  but also just.

For this episode let’s end with the best news of all – the good news of Hope and Grace:

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  (I John 1:9)

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.  17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”  (John 3:16-18, NRSV)

Thank you so very much for being part of our podcast community!  Your sharing in listening to these episodes is an enormous source of encouragement and blessing to those of us who put this together each week.  Thank you for your emails, your voicemails, your Facebook messages, posts and chats, and all other communications.  It is always wonderful to hear from each of you.

If you have thoughts, questions, disagreements, or any other things to share about this episode, please feel free to email me directly at: jim@ministryencouragementpodcast.com

Or you may contact me at our ministry offices in the Atlanta, GA area: (770) 803-9988.  Call with your thoughts or prayer requests.  And would you please prayerfully consider sharing this Podcast with others you know?  It can be an encouragement for them.  Until next time, may God bless you richly and fill each of us with Divine Love and Grace.



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