Tasks for this week:

  1. Watch all three parts of Conviction Under Fire
  2. Complete daily Bible reading
  3. Memorize Daniel 6:26-27 and Daniel 9:19

Week 26: Day 1

This week’s sermon, Conviction Under Fire, with Tim LaFleur, focuses on Daniel 3:8-18. (Click HERE to download study notes for this week.)  We have divided this sermon into three parts for you to watch throughout this week (Days 1, 3, and 5). Please watch the first part today.

Today’s F260 Bible reading: Daniel 5-6

5:1 King Belshazzar prepared a great banquet for 1,000 of his nobles, and he was drinking wine in front of them all. 2While under the influence of the wine, Belshazzar issued an order to bring in the gold and silver vessels—the ones that Nebuchadnezzar his father had confiscated from the temple in Jerusalem—so that the king and his nobles, together with his wives and his concubines, could drink from them. 3So they brought the gold and silver vessels that had been confiscated from the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, together with his wives and concubines, drank from them. 4As they drank wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. 5At that very moment the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the royal palace wall, opposite the lampstand. The king was watching the back of the hand that was writing. 6Then all the color drained from the king’s face, and he became alarmed. The joints of his hips gave way, and his knees began knocking together. 7The king called out loudly to summon the astrologers, wise men, and diviners. The king proclaimed to the wise men of Babylon that anyone who could read this inscription and disclose its interpretation would be clothed in purple and have a golden collar placed on his neck and be third ruler in the kingdom. 8So all the king’s wise men came in, but they were unable to read the writing or to make known its interpretation to the king. 9Then King Belshazzar was very terrified, and he was visibly shaken. His nobles were completely dumbfounded. 10Due to the noise caused by the king and his nobles, the queen mother then entered the banquet room. She said, “O king, live forever! Don’t be alarmed! Don’t be shaken! 11There is a man in your kingdom who has within him a spirit of the holy gods. In the days of your father, he proved to have insight, discernment, and wisdom like that of the gods. King Nebuchadnezzar your father appointed him chief of the magicians, astrologers, wise men, and diviners. 12Thus there was found in this man Daniel, whom the king renamed Belteshazzar, an extraordinary spirit, knowledge, and skill to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve difficult problems. Now summon Daniel, and he will disclose the interpretation.” 13So Daniel was brought in before the king. The king said to Daniel, “Are you that Daniel who is one of the captives of Judah, whom my father the king brought from Judah? 14I have heard about you, how there is a spirit of the gods in you, and how you have insight, discernment, and extraordinary wisdom. 15Now the wise men and astrologers were brought before me to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation. But they were unable to disclose the interpretation of the message. 16However, I have heard that you are able to provide interpretations and to solve difficult problems. Now if you are able to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, you will wear purple and have a golden collar around your neck and be third ruler in the kingdom.” 17But Daniel replied to the king, “Keep your gifts, and give your rewards to someone else. However, I will read the writing for the king and make known its interpretation. 18As for you, O king, the most high God bestowed on your father Nebuchadnezzar a kingdom, greatness, honor, and majesty. 19Due to the greatness that he bestowed on him, all peoples, nations, and language groups were trembling with fear before him. He killed whom he wished, he spared whom he wished, he exalted whom he wished, and he brought low whom he wished. 20And when his mind became arrogant and his spirit filled with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne, and his honor was removed from him. 21He was driven from human society; his mind was changed to that of an animal. He lived with the wild donkeys, he was fed grass like oxen, and his body became damp with the dew of the sky, until he came to understand that the most high God rules over human kingdoms, and he appoints over them whomever he wishes. 22“But you, his son Belshazzar, have not humbled yourself, although you knew all this. 23Instead, you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven. You brought before you the vessels from his temple, and you and your nobles, together with your wives and concubines, drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone—gods that cannot see or hear or comprehend. But you have not glorified the God who has in his control your very breath and all your ways! 24Therefore the palm of a hand was sent from him, and this writing was inscribed. 25“This is the writing that was inscribed: mene, mene, teqel, and pharsin. 26This is the interpretation of the words: As for Mene—God has numbered your kingdom’s days and brought it to an end. 27As for Teqel—you are weighed on the balances and found to be lacking. 28As for Peres—your kingdom is divided and given over to the Medes and Persians.” 29Then, on Belshazzar’s orders, Daniel was clothed in purple, a golden collar was placed around his neck, and he was proclaimed third ruler in the kingdom. 30And that very night Belshazzar, the Babylonian king, was killed. 31(6:1) So Darius the Mede took control of the kingdom when he was about sixty-two years old. 6:1 It seemed like a good idea to Darius to appoint over the kingdom 120 satraps who would be in charge of the entire kingdom. 2Over them would be three supervisors, one of whom was Daniel. These satraps were accountable to them, so that the king’s interests might not incur damage. 3Now this Daniel was distinguishing himself above the other supervisors and the satraps, for he had an extraordinary spirit. In fact, the king intended to appoint him over the entire kingdom. 4Consequently the supervisors and satraps were trying to find some pretext against Daniel in connection with administrative matters. But they were unable to find any such damaging evidence because he was trustworthy and guilty of no negligence or corruption. 5So these men concluded, “We won’t find any pretext against this man Daniel unless it is in connection with the law of his God.” 6So these supervisors and satraps came by collusion to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! 7To all the supervisors of the kingdom, the prefects, satraps, counselors, and governors it seemed like a good idea for a royal edict to be issued and an interdict to be enforced. For the next 30 days anyone who prays to any god or human other than you, O king, should be thrown into a den of lions. 8Now let the king issue a written interdict so that it cannot be altered, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be changed.” 9So King Darius issued the written interdict. 10When Daniel realized that a written decree had been issued, he entered his home, where the windows in his upper room opened toward Jerusalem. Three times daily he was kneeling and offering prayers and thanks to his God just as he had been accustomed to do previously. 11Then those officials who had gone to the king came by collusion and found Daniel praying and asking for help before his God. 12So they approached the king and said to him, “Did you not issue an edict to the effect that for the next 30 days anyone who prays to any god or human other than to you, O king, would be thrown into a den of lions?” The king replied, “That is correct, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be changed.” 13Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the captives from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the edict that you issued. Three times daily he offers his prayer.” 14When the king heard this, he was very upset and began thinking about how he might rescue Daniel. Until late afternoon he was struggling to find a way to rescue him. 15Then those men came by collusion to the king and said to him, “Recall, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no edict or decree that the king issues can be changed.” 16So the king gave the order, and Daniel was brought and thrown into a den of lions. The king consoled Daniel by saying, “Your God whom you continually serve will rescue you!” 17Then a stone was brought and placed over the opening to the den. The king sealed it with his signet ring and with those of his nobles so that nothing could be changed with regard to Daniel. 18Then the king departed to his palace. But he spent the night without eating, and no diversions were brought to him. He was unable to sleep. 19In the morning, at the earliest sign of daylight, the king got up and rushed to the lions’ den. 20As he approached the den, he called out to Daniel in a worried voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, was your God whom you continually serve able to rescue you from the lions?” 21Then Daniel spoke to the king, “O king, live forever! 22My God sent his angel and closed the lions’ mouths so that they have not harmed me because I was found to be innocent before him. Nor have I done any harm to you, O king.” 23Then the king was delighted and gave an order to haul Daniel up from the den. So Daniel was hauled up out of the den. He had no injury of any kind because he had trusted in his God. 24The king gave another order, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and thrown into the lions’ den—they, their children, and their wives. They did not even reach the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones. 25Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and language groups who were living in all the land: “Peace and prosperity! 26I have issued an edict that throughout all the dominion of my kingdom people are to revere and fear the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God; he endures forever. His kingdom will not be destroyed; his authority is forever. 27He rescues and delivers and performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions!” 28So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian. (NET Bible)

Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible® (NASB),
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission. www.Lockman.org