“It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit wasin him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.” (Daniel 6:1-3)
According to what was mentioned above, Danial was chosen above all the other princes in the realm. This of course caused jealousy among his peers as we can see in the next verse. “Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.” (Daniel 6:4) So, these fellow rulers couldn’t find any fault with Daniel. However, this didn’t stop them from coming up with an evil plan. For they persuaded the King to make it against the law to petition anyone other than the King himself. And if any do go against this law, they would be feed to the lions. And thus the King put it into law.
“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” (Daniel 6:10) So, we see that this didn’t stop Danial from praying to God. For he feared God more than man. “Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.” (Daniel 6:11)
So, there devious plan worked and they went and confronted the King on this matter. Then they reminded the King that he signed a decree and must follow through on what was written. “Then the king, when he heard thesewords, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him. (Daniel 6:14) So, we see that the King favored Danial and didn’t want any harm to come upon him. However, these men again reminded the King saying: “Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed. (Daniel 6:15)
“Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast himinto the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. (Daniel 6:16) Wow, we see that the King himself had confidence in the God whom Danial worshiped. This shows that Daniel’s faith in God was evident before all men. God help our Christian walk to have such an impact on those around us as well.
“Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?” (Daniel 6:18-20) This again shows how much of an impact that Daniel had on King Darius. For not only did his Godly personality make him someone the King could trust, but he had seen in Danial the true and living God as well.
“Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live forever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” (Daniel 6:21-22) This I’m sure was music to Kings ears. “Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.” (Daniel 6:23) So, we see that Daniel’s faith in God was his source of deliverance. For we know that God hears those who put their trust in Him.
“And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions--they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.” (Daniel 6:24) So, we see that those who devise evil will eventually be punished in the end. And the sad part about all this is, that even family members can be negatively affected by the outcome as well.
However, from all this evil came such a great blessing. So again, living a life that’s pleasing to God always has a good outcome. For we read: “Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: ‘Peace be multiplied to you. I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.’ So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.” (Daniel 6:25-28)
“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard? The everlasting God, Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary; there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to him that hath no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31) God help us to be those who do wait for Him and trust Him in all things, even as Daniel.
Here we have a story of a woman named Hannah which starts off like this: “Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.” (1 Samuel 1:1-2) Now what we are told is that Peninnah would provoke Hannah to tears and cause her to grieve because she was barren. However, one year as she went with her husband Elkanah to the House of the LORD, she went into the temple and prayed. So below you will find that prayer of Hannah and see how the LORD changed her life.
“And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.” (1 Samuel 1:10-11) Now while she was praying, we are told that Eli the Priest was watching her of being drunk. But she said: “No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. (1 Samuel 1:15-17) Then we see that Hannah replied by saying: “Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.” (1 Samuel 1:18)
And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her. Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD. (1 Samuel 1:19-20) So, we see that Hannah prayed and believed the word of Eli the priest. Thus she did finally conceived a brought forth a Son.
And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.
The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed. (1 Samuel 2:1-10)
Now we know that the story does not end there. For we see that Hannah gave her son Samuel over to Eli the priest to minister in the temple. And yes, this is the same Samuel who became that great prophet of Israel. So, we see that through her faith and commitment to fulfill her vow, she helped shaping Israel's future forever. But the story does not end there. Because when she did give her son Samuel to Eli the priest, we see that: “Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the LORD. And they went unto their own home. And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD." (1 Samuel 2:20-21) Wow, what a blessing that was. God gave her five more children which finally silence Peninnah, Elkanah’s other wife.
So, we see that Hannah was blessed because of her faith and trust in God. Therefore, let us trust God as well for every situation we may be in. And just as He did for Hannah in her situation, he will take care of us as in ours. Amen. Below is the prayer of Hannah after God had blessed her with her first son Samuel.
After hearing how bad the devastation of Jerusalem was, Nehemiah mourned and wept for the city. For the report of those who came down from the city was as follows: “And they said unto me, the remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. (Nehemiah 1:3)
Now Nehemiah was the cup bearer for the foreign King whom he and the rest of the children of Israel were servants to. So that King noticed that Nehemiah was sad and thus we read: “And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, and said unto the king, Let the king live forever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?” (Nehemiah 2:1-3)
“The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, the remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven …” (Nehemiah 1:1-4)
And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.
Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, if ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.” (Nehemiah 1:5-11)
We as Christians should follow Nehemiah's example for his nation. For his heart was broken for what had happened to Jerusalem. So, we in like manner should be praying for our churches as well. For we can see that there is a lacking of power and unity among believers today. We need revival and we need it now. God help us to walk in the Spirit and take up the yoke of Christ and do that which we are called to do. For we are to be the salt and light of this world.
Mary, as most of us all know, conceived the Christ child miraculously within her womb. Now, this didn’t go over very well with Joseph whom she was espoused to. I say this because, from what we can read from the Gospel account, she may have been look upon (at least by Joseph) as being an unfaithful wife. But Joseph as an act of kindness, was considering to divorce her privately. I say as an act of kindness because during that time, women could be stoned to death for adultery. However, the angel said to Joseph in a dream: “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 1:20) So, the angel had to convince Joseph that she was not unfaithful to him, thus he refrained from putting her away. Therefore: “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.” (James 1:19). Amen.
So, I include below Mary's encounter with the angel Gabriel, her declaration of faith in God by believing the angel Gabriel's message, her pronouncement of the goodness of God over His people as well as her pronouncement of evil over the His enemies. But before all this took place, we have the angel Gabriel’s announce to Zacharias the priest that he and his wife Elisabeth would conceive a child in their old age. And many of us know that this child would become none other than John the Baptist.
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33)
Now after the angel pronounced to Mary that she was going to conceive a child, she was puzzled and asked an innocent question: “Then said Mary unto the angel, how shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:34-37)
So, we see that Mary didn’t doubt the words of Gabriel the angel, but only was curious on how can this happen while being a virgin. We see this also to be true in Mary’s response to all this: “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:38) Thus we see Mary’s faith being clearly displayed.
So again, Mary did not doubt the words from the angel Gabriel's mouth as we read above. However, this was not the case with Zacharias. For we read that he doubted the angel Gabriel's announcement that his wife would conceive in her old age. For he said to Gabriel: “Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.” (Luke 1:18) And then we have Gabriel’s response to him saying: “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season” (Luke 1:19-20) So because of his doubt, he could not speak until his son John was born. So, if an angel of God is sent to you with a message, you best believe him as Mary did. Amen.
Now as the story goes, Mary went to visit Elisabeth who was now in her sixth month of pregnancy with John the Baptist. “Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.’” (Luke 1:39-45 NKJV) Again, we see Mary being applauded by Elizabeth for her believing the word of God.
“And Mary said: ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.’” (Luke 1:46-55)
How blessed are those women who preach the word of God as Mary did above! For this is not going against the scriptures because there is nowhere in the Bible that forbids a woman from preaching God's word. For we only see that scripture only forbids a woman from taking on a leadership position. This would forbid her to teach in a church setting as well as taking on a leadership position over her husband at home. But again, this would not restrict her from sharing the word of God to others. So, let’s encourage every man, woman and child in Christ to preach the Word of God with all boldness. Amen. Below are some scriptures that pertain to the roles of Christian women outside and within an Church assembly.
Women can be Prophets and even Judges. However, this doesn’t give them permission to be a Priest as in the Old Testament nor Elders or Bishops in the New:
Women can assist in preaching God’s word as did Priscilla below:
Women can take on the role of a Deacon (Deaconess) as Phoebe was:
However, women are not permitted to be Teachers or be Leaders in the Church which would be an assembly of Christians:
And Solomon said, Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father great lovingkindness, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great lovingkindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Jehovah my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child; I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give thy servant therefore an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this thy great people?
And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life, neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern justice; behold, I have done according to thy word: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there hath been none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honor, so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee, all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream: and he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, and offered up burnt-offerings, and offered peace-offerings, and made a feast to all his servants. (1 Kings 3:6-15)
And Solomon stood before the altar of Jehovah in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven; and he said, O Jehovah, the God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath; who keepest covenant and lovingkindness with thy servants, that walk before thee with all their heart; who hast kept with thy servant David my father that which thou didst promise him: yea, thou spakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thy hand, as it is this day. Now therefore, O Jehovah, the God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel, if only thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me as thou hast walked before me. Now therefore, O God of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto thy servant David my father. But will God in very deed dwell on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded! Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O Jehovah my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee this day; that thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place whereof thou hast said, My name shall be there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall pray toward this place. And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: yea, hear thou in heaven thy dwelling-place; and when thou hearest, forgive. (1 Kings 8:22-30)
If a man sin against his neighbor, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and he come and swear before thine altar in this house; then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his own head, and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness. When thy people Israel are smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; if they turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication unto thee in this house: then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest unto their fathers. (1 Kings 8:31-34)
When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them: then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou teachest them the good way wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance. If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting or mildew, locust or caterpillar; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be; what prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, who shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling-place, and forgive, and do, and render unto every man according to all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;) that they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers. (1 Kings 8:35-40)
Moreover concerning the foreigner, that is not of thy people Israel, when he shall come out of a far country for thy name's sake (for they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy mighty hand, and of thine outstretched arm); when he shall come and pray toward this house; hear thou in heaven thy dwelling-place, and do according to all that the foreigner calleth to thee for; that all the peoples of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name. (1 Kings 8:41-43)
If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatsoever way thou shalt send them, and they pray unto Jehovah toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name; then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. If they sin against thee (for there is no man that sinneth not), and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captive unto the land of the enemy, far off or near; yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn again, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captive, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have dealt wickedly; if they return unto thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies, who carried them captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name: then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling-place, and maintain their cause; and forgive thy people who have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee; and give them compassion before those who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them (for they are thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron); that thine eyes may be open unto the supplication of thy servant, and unto the supplication of thy people Israel, to hearken unto them whensoever they cry unto thee. For thou didst separate them from among all the peoples of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord Jehovah. (1 Kings 8:44-53)
And it was so, that, when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto Jehovah, he arose from before the altar of Jehovah, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread forth toward heaven. (1 Kings 8:54)