Daniel and the Lions
Daniel 6:1-3 ESV
Daniel 6:4-9 (Plot against Daniel and the Injunction)
Daniel 6:10-13 ESV
Daniel 6:14-18 (Darius Duped)
Daniel 6:19-23 ESV
Daniel 6:24 ESV
Daniel 6:25-28 ESV
When we left off in our previous lesson King Belshazzar suddenly died and the new King in town was a Darius the Mede.
King Darius didn’t waste ant time in restructuring Babylon.
We are told in Daniel 6:1-3, “It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; and over them three high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.”
Because Daniel had distinguished himself and that caught the Kings’s eye, that made him an instant target. The other satraps put Daniel under a microscope.
The other satraps watched every move he made, looking for a way to make Daniel fail. It didn’t turn out to be an easy job. The other satraps were not able to find fault with anything Daniel did!
So…they regrouped. They decided to find another way to make Daniel a target for King Darius. They looked for a loophole with Daniel and his God. Specifically, the law of his God.
Then they formulated a plan.
Now, Daniel was apparently unaware of their plot…probably because Daniel was working hard at his job! All the while the other officials were spending their time plotting against Daniel.
The other officials (Prefects, Satraps, Counselors, and Governors) sought out the King and buttered him up with praise and adoration. Their plot was to convince the King to decree an ordinance to enforce an absolute rule that if anyone…absolutely anyone prays to any god or man except King Darius, they will be thrown into a den filled with very hungry lions. The rule set up was for a 30 day time period.
Well of course King Darius thought it was a terrific idea so he agreed to make it a law. Apparently they also convinced the King that the law could not be changed or revoked once the King signed it (Daniel 6:4-9).
It seems like they thought of everything.
In the meantime, Daniel heard about the new law and:we learn from Daniel 6:10-13, “When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, “O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.”
Once the King figured out what happened he tried to figure out a way to change the law because Daniel was a valuable asset to Babylon. Of course, the other guys quickly reminded the King it was a law, an irrevocable law, so it is what it is.
At that point King Darius knew he p’d been duped.
He also knew there wasn’t anything he could do. So, he ordered Daniel to be taken to the den of lions and he told Daniel he hoped the God he served would deliver him.
They had a procedure when this sort of thing happened and a stone was placed at the entrance of the lion’s den and the King placed the seals on it (his seal and the seal of all of the lords which made it all official.
The King must not have been very happy about how this all turned out because he went back to the palace and he didn’t eat anything. He also didn’t have any entertainment that night. In addition to that he didn’t sleep a wink (Daniel 6:14-18).
The King had a really bad night and at dawn he got up and decided he had to face what he’d done to Daniel. In Daniel 6:19-23 we are told, “At break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.”
So, here’s the plot twist…we learn from Daniel 6:24, ”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.”
Well…they sure didn’t see THAT coming!
It turns out King Darius made quite a turn-around that day! In Daniel 6:25-28 we are told, “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.”
Yup, in the end everything worked out for Daniel and King Darius’ eyes were opened as well about THE God of the heavens and the earth.
GOD was faithful to those who turned to Him.
Spiritual Practice: Angels
Angels are real. You do not need to be afraid or uncertain. Pray and ask God to flood your soul with the Spirit and send angels to guard you. God will answer your prayer just like He answered Daniel’s prayer.
In God, Deborah