I. KING DARIUS HAS JUST SPENT A MISERABLE NIGHT.
A. He realized that he had be hoodwinked by wicked men to condemn a man to death that he highly loved and respected, one who he was considering to set over the whole realm.
1. These men had appealed to his vanity, and pressured him to sign a foolish decree that no one could offer a prayer or petition to anyone except him for a period of thirty days. The penalty for such an offense was to be cast into the lions den.
2. These men were jealous of Daniel for they knew he was being considered for this high post they were all coveting.
a. They also knew that he was a man of such honesty and integrity that they would never find any flaw in his performance.
b. They also knew of his devotion to his God, and his consistent prayer life.
c. Thus the decree was designed to trap him.
B. When Daniel knew that the decree was signed, he continued to pray three times a day before his open window that faced Jerusalem.
1. This breach of the commandment was reported to Darius the king, and when he heard it was Daniel, he knew that he had been played for a fool.
2. He sought for some loophole in the law whereby he might rescind the order, but according to the law of the Medes and Persians, once such a law had been sealed it was irreversible.
3. At evening the men came to the king to insist that he enforce the law.
C. The king was caught in a trap and could only speak with great regret to Daniel, yet he encouraged Daniel declaring that his God whom he served continually would deliver him from the lions.
1. God often gives us words of encouragement from the strangest places.
2. We had a very lovable young man around here for several years. Due to drugs and an accident, he had mental and speech problems.
a. God used him in special ways. While he was in the mental ward at Orange Co. hospital, his Psychiatrist called the church asking how he could get saved. He said we have a young man over here that seems to know only one thing but he knows it well, he tells me all the time that Jesus loves me. I need to know this Jesus.
b. Kay was going through one of those times when she was discouraged and feeling a little down, and she said, "Lord I just need to be assured of Your love for me." Presently the phone rang and this young man who slurred his words so much that he was difficult to understand said, "Sister Kay", and then in the clearest, most distinct way he said, "Jesus wants you to know that he loves you." He then reverted again to his stuttering slurring speech pattern.
D. Though the king had encouraged Daniel with these words, he did not fully believe them himself, so he spent a sleepless night.
1. He ordered dinner canceled as well as the orchestra.
2. He tossed and turned all night ruing his folly in signing that decree.
3. Early in the morning he headed for the lions den and ordered the stone rolled away from the door of the pit, he then called down into the darkness in a lamentable voice, "O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God whom you serve continually able to deliver you from the lions?"
4. Relief and joy filled the heart of the king as Daniel answered "O King live for ever, My God has sent his angel and has shut the lions mouths and they have not hurt me."
II. IS YOUR GOD ABLE?
A. Earlier in the book of Daniel when the three Hebrew children were being threatened with the burning fiery furnace by king Nebuchadnezzer, they answered, "The God that we serve is able to deliver us from your burning fiery furnace." And He did.
B. Our God is a delivering God, and He is able to deliver you, from the fiery furnace, or the lions den.
C. Are there any limits to God's ability?
1. Is there anything that God can't do beside lie?
2. After Paul had prayed for the church in Ephesus, where He asked God to do some impossible things, such as comprehend the love of Christ which was beyond knowledge, and to be filled with the fullness of God. He then declared, "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think."
3. God's ability goes beyond your ability to ask or think.
4. He said to Jeremiah, "Behold I am Jehovah, the God of all flesh is there any thing too hard for Me?
D. We are told that one of the keys of Abraham's faith was that he believed that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.
1. Do you believe that God is able to do what He said He would do? Then what is your problem? Why are you worried.
2. Many times we are like King Darius, in that we may encourage others, and assure them that God is going to take care of things, but we are not quite sure. In the morning, he asked the question, "Is your God able to deliver you?"
III. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS GOD IS ABLE TO DO FOR YOU?
A. He is able to keep your from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory.
1. Paul asked, "Who are you, that you should judge another man's servant, before his own master he either stands or falls, and God is able to make him to stand.
2. In spite of what others might be saying about you, or judging your weaknesses, God is able to make you to stand. He is able to keep you from falling.
B. II Cor. 9:8
"God is able to make all grace abound toward you. That you may always have sufficiency in all things and abound in every good work."
1. O the wonderful grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin.
2. And to think that He is able to make this grace abound toward me.
C. Paul's glorious words of confidence to Timothy. "I know the one in whom I believe and I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed until that day." I have committed the keeping of my life to Him, and I know He is able to keep me.
1. I am weak, but He keeps me.
2. I may stumble, but He keeps me from falling.
3. I may fail, but He never fails, and I trust in His ability and not my ability. And I know that He is able.