So we are going to continue with the same story from Daniel chapter 3 for this evening devotion. There is so many beautiful lessons that can be picked out of this chapter. This evening we will be focusing on loving your enemies.
From our reading we see that a death decree goes out to kill all the wise men, and even though Daniel and the Three Hebrew Boys were not called into the meeting with the King, they still held the title Advisor to the King, so the death decree hung over their head as well. Verse 23 tells us “And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.”
Now the leader of the Kings Guard by the name of Arioch is set with the task of killing the wise men. An important point that we must understand is, when the King gives a command, there is to be no questions asked or second guessing, you are to only execute the command.
Yet when Arioch comes to kill Daniel, they stop and have a conversation. Don’t you find that to be a bit strange??????? Well, here is the thing…… From Daniel Chapter 1, Daniel and the Three Hebrew Boys gained so much respect from their counterparts in the Kingdom because of their Christ like Character and Wisdom, that it caused their enemies to be at peace with them. Arioch , the man who was to kill Daniel respected him so much and felt so at peace with him, that he sat down and had a conversation with him about what was going on.
This causes Proverbs 16:7 to ring true in our ears, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him”…….. It cant be denied that, when you serve God with all your heart, lifting up Jesus Christ in your daily life, the peace of Go will fill the hearts of your most dubious enemy as they behold Jesus in you……. And remember from yesterdays lesson…Jesus loves you so much that he died so that he would have the ability to live with in you……
But peace with our enemies goes beyond this…… We read in verse 14 that Daniel spoke to Arioch with “wisdom and counsel” which can be translated to Wisdom and Understanding. This shows that he spoke to this person who was threatening his life choosing his words carefully and with understanding to the situation that Arioch was in. He did not speak harshly, and only think of his own well being, but showed love and compassion to the man that was there to kill him. This reminds me of Christ who prayed for the people who crucified him, asking God to forgive them…….
Man…..Daniel’s character really resembled that of Jesus Christ. How was this so???.. Well, Proverbs 2:6 tells us, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come Knowledge and understanding”…. The wisdom and understanding that Daniel spoke to Arioch with came from God.
Paul tell us how Daniel, and we ourselves are imbued with this wisdom and understanding….. Ephesians 1:16-17 tells us “Making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom”……….
Like we studied day two’s lesson, the Holy Spirit develops the Character of Christ within you. When you surrender to the Leadership and Guidance of the Spirit, you can respond to your enemies and persecutors in the same fashion.
Going father in the story…. Daniel and the Three Hebrew Boys pray for the understanding of the dream, which God reveals to Daniel in his sleep. After praising God for this blessing of a revelation, the first thing that Daniel does, before running to the king to find honor and glory for being able to accomplish this amazing feat. He goes to Arioch to make sure he does not kill any of the Wise men…..
This significance of this act is, the wise men were Babylonian and as the Hebrews were slaves, they saw Daniel and his friends to be lower then them, less than human beings even. Yet Daniel, with his Christ Like Character, went to ensure their safety over anything else. In Daniel chapter 3 you will see how these advisors repaid their Hebrew friends for this, but that is a study for another day.
The lesson here can be summed up by the words of Christ in Matthew 5:44…. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”……..
As there will be people on your campus, and in in life who dislike you and even may try to hurt you…… Will you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you in being peacefull and understanding to them, to pray from them, to bless them??????? Or will you respond to their negative treatment of you out of the abundance of your heart????? IF you struggle with this, let this be the focus of your evening prayer with God, and surrender it to him today…..