Daniel and the Lions
Updated: Jan 25, 2021
Daniel 6 (NKJV)
Galatians 6:7 (NKJV)
When Daniel 6 opens we are given considerable information into the life of Daniel. He was a Hebrew taken captive by the Babylonian Empire. First, we learn after he was captured Daniel was made a ‘satrap’ or an administrator of a Provence. We know from his title that Daniel had considerable power and he succeeded in gaining the trust of many, including King Darius. The king even had plans to give Daniel a substantial promotion over the Provences. When the other administrators realized that King Darius had favored Daniel for promotion, they set about to look for a way to destroy Daniel. (https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/words/Satraps)
The other administrators couldn’t find fault in Daniel, “because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him (Daniel 6:4).
They knew Daniel was a Hebrew who worshipped the Hebrew God Yahweh so they knew THAT was where they needed to do harm to Daniel’s reputation. In Daniel 6:7, “All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.”
They dye was cast.
The administrators succeeded in convincing King Darius that the statute was necessary in order for the king to know who supported him fully. In Daniel 6:8-9, they convinced the king, “Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.” Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.”
We read in Daniel 6:10 that even though Daniel knew about the decree, he went home, faced Jerusalem, knelt down three times a day, and worshipped Yahweh God just as he had always done.
The other administrators (verse 11) kept watch and found Daniel praying to his Hebrew God. They made a bee-line to King Darius and in verse 12 said, “Have you not signed a decree that every man who petitions any god or man within thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.”
The other administrators were really happy that their ‘plan’ to expose Daniel was going well.
“So they answered and said before the king, “That Daniel, who is one of the captives from Judah, does not show due regard for you, O king, or for the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day” (Daniel 6:13).
BAAM. They KNEW they had Daniel right where they wanted him. The decree was written, signed, sealed and unalterable. King Darius could not go back on the decree even if he wanted to. He had no choice and the king had to give the order to have Daniel thrown into the lion’s den. In Daniel 6:14-15, The King was distraught, mad at himself for signing the decree, and tried to think of a way to save Daniel. King Darius really did NOT want to throw Daniel into the lion’s den, but he was the KING and he signed the edict.
He had no choice.
So, in Daniel 6:16-17, King Darius “gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.” Then a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signets of his lords, that the purpose concerning Daniel might not be changed.”
WOW...notice that even though King Darius gave the order to throw Daniel in with the hungry lions he honestly believed that Daniel’s Yahweh God was THE God and He would close the mouths of the hungry lions.
That, my friends, is exactly what happened!
We learn in Daniel 6:18-20, “Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no musicians were brought before him. Also his sleep went from him. Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”
This King...who had not known Yahweh before Daniel came to Babylon BELIEVED. He believed because he had witnessed Daniel’s faithfulness and true holy character. In Daniel 6:21-22, Daniel said, “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”
Daniel was not injured by the lions AND the decree of the King was honorably fulfilled!
In addition to that, the men and their families who conspired against Daniel received the same fate they sought for Daniel (we reap what we have sown...Galatians 6:7). I have found that 100% of the time, we eventually reap what we have sown.
In Daniel 6:26-27, King Darius made a new decree that everyone in the kingdom would fear and tremble before Daniel’s God:
“For He is the living God,
And steadfast forever;
His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed,
And His dominion shall endure to the end.
He delivers and rescues,
And He works signs and wonders
In heaven and on earth,
Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”
We learn in Daniel 6:28 that, “Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.”
I have to admit that while I loved the story of Daniel and the Lions as a child, and I remembered that God saved Daniel when I read it as an adult, I am moved in a deeper way as I study it today. Realizing that Daniel knew the likelihood of his death, he still worshipped Yahweh God. King Darius witnessed Daniel’s faith and devotion to his God and HE believed in God as a result. Both men and all who lived in Babylon heard the words of the King as he declared that Daniel’s God IS the true LIVING GOD.”
Today, God shines light on Daniel’s faithfulness. Today, we witness how our love and faithfulness can change our world. We may not face lions in a den, but daily we may face others who seek to discredit us and make us look bad. As we do, we can remember Daniel and know that our God is The LIVING God whose Spirit lives and breathes IN us.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: God Breathes IN You
Take time (as long as you have or want) to consider God IN you. Thank God for the gift of His Spirit!
In God, Deborah