Daniel Chapter 6

 Daniel 6

            This chapter contains the story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den

1It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; 2and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. 3Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. 4So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. 5Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”

This story begins right after the kingdom of the  Chaldeans or the place we call Iraq by

Darius who came from the Medes  or the place we call Iran.  Because the conquerors   often used  the local leaders to administer their governments.  I am sure the record of Daniels great service and reputation of honesty and fair dealing  was part of the e reason  he was placed very  high in the  new government.  He  was one of the three top men and his title was governor.  He describes q similar set of plans to get  him removed from office by the same sort of disgruntled locals who tried to get rid of the three men,  Shadrach, Meshach and  Abed-Nego who  the Lord saved from the  fiery furnace.

He was a   Jew  and very successful so  many were jealous and would like to see him gone.  Daniel continues his  story.  RGS Jr.

6So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever! 7All 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. 8Now, 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.” 9Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.

10Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.

11Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 12And they went before the king, and spoke concerning the king’s decree: “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.”

13So 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.”

14And the king, when he heard these words, was greatly 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. 15Then these men approached the king, and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is the law of the Medes and Persians that no decree or statute which the king establishes may be changed.”

16So the king 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.” 17Then 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.

This problem was especially bad for  Darius because he had carefully studied all the  credentials of  Daniel before he  was appointed governor.  His  job  performance was never in question and everything he did was exactly to follow the orders the king had given him and  he had always pleased the king.  He knew Daniel was a winner.

Darius had obviously become friends with Daniel because he  probably had to work with  him almost on a daily basis since  Daniel was  one of his governors.  Daniel was a man whose integrity was always outstanding,  he was personable, firm and yet kind and fair, so that all of  his dealings were exactly the kind of person the  king needed to make him look like a good  king.  As soon as the men who had plotted the destruction of  Daniel he knew the decree he had signed  was sure to  be aimed at his friend, Daniel.  He did not dare to change the decree for fear of damaging the legal system so  he had given the  order to throw  Daniel into certain death.

The next part of the story describes the agonizing wait  the king had until daylight the next morning when  he went to see what had happened.  RGS.Jr.

18Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no £musicians were brought before him. Also his sleep went from him. 19Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions. 20And 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?”

21Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22My 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.”

The king knew Daniels God had saved  him  so he takes a drastic  action!  RGS Jr.

23Now the king was exceedingly 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 injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.

24And the king gave the command, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions-them, their children, and their wives; and the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den.

25Then King Darius wrote:

        To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:

        Peace be multiplied to you.

26        I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.

    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.

27    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.

28So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

We know that some of the Jews returned to Jerusalem after 70 years of captivity.  I am sure it was God’s doing  but  God can use men to do  His  work.

Daniel even though he  began as a slave became the friend, and advisor to kings, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius and finally Cyrus the Persian.

I think the fitting end to my story is found in the 12th  chapter of Daniel, verse 3

And they that shall be wise shall shine as the brightness of the  firmament;

And  they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and  ever

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