Book of Daniel
Chapter 6, Part 20
V. 10 – Daniel once again demonstrates his faithfulness to his faithful God and Father. He knows the decree that was made and signed into law. He knows the consequences of disobeying the decree, yet, where do we see him go? To his room, three times a day to the open window facing Jerusalem to pray! (I Kings 8:29 , 30; Psalm 5:7; Jonah 2:4) Now, some people have said that Daniel was insubordinate and arrogant. How do you feel about that assessment of him? I think he was the same Daniel he had always been. He was the Daniel who feared not for his life at the hand of men, but feared losing his soul by disobeying His Lord (Matthew 10:28 ). He is a remarkable example of faith.
V. 11 – “Then these men…” that is the governors and satraps who resented Daniel for his position in the government above them. After all, no matter what, Daniel is still a Jew. They plotted together to have Darius sign their decree, now they had to trap Daniel. Knowing his faithfulness to prayer three times a day (Psalm 55:17; I Thessalonians 5:17 , 18) at the same hour all they had to do was burst into his apartment and catch him on his knees. This took courage on their parts. If they had barged in and Daniel was not found in prayer, he could have had them jailed or worse for breaking and entering. But they did find him praying.
V. 12 – Like little five-year old tattletales, they went running to Darius to report Daniel’s defiance of his law. “Hey, Darius, didn’t you sign a law that said anyone praying to any god or man except you for the next thirty days would be fed to the lions?” The king responded, “Sure did, and the law can’t be revoked according to the law of the Medes and Persians.”
Nebuchadnezzar was considered above the law as he was a law unto himself. Darius had to abide by the law of the kingdom he served, Media. Once he had placed his signature on that document, nothing could break it. It was law. Remember, that’s why the governors and satraps made a deadline for the law, 30 days.
V. 13 – Daniel was more than 80 by the time of this law breaking, yet, the men coming against his still refer to him as “That Daniel, the guy from Judah” when they came to inform Darius of Daniel’s praying. He has been second or third in command of Babylon for about 65 years, but they never let him forget that he was only a Jew. That Jew, that one who believed in only one God, that prayer warrior extraordinaire was on his knees to his God! He broke the king’s decree. He broke the law! And his opponents wanted him dead. Worse, they wanted to watch his body being torn to shreds by ferocious, hungry lions.
V. 14 – Now, watch this! I have read Daniel several times over the years, but I never noticed this verse. “Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.” The men, knowing Daniel’s custom, probably went to him early in the morning at first prayer time. They rushed to the king as soon as possible to deliver their blow. His pet had broken his own law.
The king, the head of this still great nation was angry with himself for being talked into signing the decree that was now being used against a man he had come to love and admire. He tried everything he could think of throughout the day to retract the law that would cause his friend to be killed. There was no getting out of it. The Medes and Persians could not cancel a law that had been signed into effect. The kings were as bound as the people were by each law.
There was another king in history who “was exceedingly sorry” for making a statement too quickly. It was Herod, and his statement, “Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom,” to his niece who was also his step-daughter, caused John the Baptist his head (Mark 6:14 -29).
V. 15 – At sunset, these men who hated being subordinate to “that Daniel”, the Jew, came sauntering in to the king. Can you see the smug expressions that were on their faces as they approached the throne of Darius knowing that there was no way he could let Daniel off the hook? When I imagine it, I want to reach up and slap that expression off each of the faces!
“Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.” Can you all hear it? It’s there in their voices, the undertone that sounds like, “Na na na nana!” But they are speaking the truth, and so, Darius has to capitulate.
V. 16 – I absolutely love this verse, or the last part of it anyway. “Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.” Yes!!! God would deliver Daniel. The king of this heathen nation knew that. Darius had tried to protect and preserve his friend’s life. When he failed, he knew that the God Daniel worshipped daily would do for Daniel what he could not. The king gave the command to have Daniel placed in the lion’s den, but he knew Daniel would be fine because he served the real God.
As Christians this should gladden our hearts. God is able and will perform this same kind of deliverance for each one of us if we will be dedicated to Him! There is no mountain to high, valley too low, or water too deep that God can’t get us out of it. We need to learn to pray as Daniel did with thanksgiving and praise with complete confidence in Whom we believe, and without doubting. We may never be thrown into the lion’s den, but we still have an adversary, the lion, roaming throughout the earth seeking who he might devour (I Peter 5:8).
V. 17 – Now we see where the term, “Sealed his fate,” comes from. Darius had Daniel placed in the lion’s den, and before the lions were freed, a huge rock was placed at the mouth of the den and Darius and those who wanted Daniel dead all sealed the rock with their signets “that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel” (6:17). Who else do we remember who had a stone rolled over the opening of the place where His body was laid and had a seal over it? (Matthew 27:62-66)
I am blessed to have found this article while I was researching the laws of the Medians and Persians. I hope you will read it entirely as it answers the controversies about Darius being the king of Babylon . You may read the article here: http://www.foolforhim.com/scans/Kofal-John/darius.htm
Rev. Suzanne L. Taylor
Copyright © 2007
Book of Daniel
Chapter 6, Part 21
V. 18 – “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.” After walking Daniel to what the king thought would surely be his death, and seeing the stone moved into place and sealed, he went to his palace. This secular king fasted in behalf of his friend Daniel. Kings of those days were surrounded by good food, wine, music, and entertainment of all sorts. This night the king sent it all away for the sake of the Jew, Daniel, who was facing the lions. Vexed that he had been tricked into killing this dear man by those governors and satraps who acted out of jealousy, the king lay on his bed, but didn’t sleep that night. I bet Daniel did though.
God used this night of fasting and wakefulness to convict Darius of the fact the God of Daniel is the true God.
V. 19 – At dawn, when the time had come to check on Daniel, the king jumped off his bed and went forth to the den. It says he “went in haste” indicating that the night of waiting was long and filled with torment. He was in a great hurry to see what had become of his friend. I can just hear the thoughts running through Darius’ mind that night. He might have thought, “Oh, why did I listen to those morons? Why didn’t I ask them what Daniel thought of this plan since his name wasn’t mentioned as one who agreed with them? Why was I so hasty in signing the decree? What will I do if Daniel has been eaten alive?”
V. 20 – The king hastened to Daniel and cried out to him, “lamenting” or with a mournful cry. To lament means to express grief, sorrow, or regret. I’m sure this king suffered all those hours as he held his breath waiting for the reply from Daniel. I really like the way the king addressed Daniel from the outside of the sealed rock, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?” The answer to this is stated in a rhetorical question in Genesis 18:14a. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” The only possible answer to that question is a resounding, “No!”
I think the king probably had a sense of the power of Daniel’s God from his knowledge of the previous encounter of the Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah in the fiery furnace becoming four.
V. 21 – Now look at Daniel’s first words of response to the king. “O king, live forever.” This is the same kind of blessing to the king as the word Shalom is for the Jews. It encompassed Daniel’s wish for the king to live a long, healthy, prosperous life. Do you notice what’s missing from his words? Anger, bitterness, condemnation: judgmentalism: Daniel forgave the king for his weakness in signing the decree. I wonder if we could be so quick to forgive a friend who has brought us to harm. Notice that the king did not fawn all over Daniel asking for forgiveness. He simply greeted Daniel in a pained voice and Daniel’s compassion rose and he instantly forgave. Is there someone in your life you should forgive and restore relationship with? (Mark 11:25 , 26)
Everyone, even non-Christians can quote the Scripture from Luke 6:37 that says, “Judge not and ye shall not be judged.” But most people don’t go to the next admonition of that verse, “Condemn not and ye shall not be condemned.” They skip right over it to tell us that if we forgive we will be forgiven. Daniel neither judged nor condemned the king, he simply forgave him.
Next time the devil comes against you by bringing up things someone has done to you, rebuke him with, “I will not judge or condemn this person for I cannot read the intent of their heart. I choose to forgive (add name) as the Lord admonished me to in Luke 6:37 . Watch how quickly this will relieve your mind of the stress of rehashing the rehashed thoughts about that person. As you forgive and begin to pray for that person’s well being, you are blessed!
V. 22 – Daniel knew his God. He knew who his God was, how He works, how much He loved him and what God wanted from him. Remember Job? He was healed when he prayed for his friends. One thing Daniel knew positively is that God is above all governments. If he would have broken his faith with God in this and given up praying for a month, the governors and all would have found another method to entrap him. But Daniel was faithful therefore, he could proclaim victory. He agreed with Darius that God is his God when he declared, “MY God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths (notice the plural), that they have not hurt me…” And he could confidently declare why he had victory, “forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me…” He kept the faith, not allowing fear to change his allegiance even for the one month period. Because of his loyal service to God, Daniel was found innocent and righteous before God; therefore, God preserved his life.
I believe the Angel came and took away the appetite of the lions so they were not hungry. Lions will not kill if they are not hungry, at least not unprovoked lions. I also believe the Angel God sent to shut up the lions’ mouths was the pre-incarnate Christ, the same Savior who rescued the three from the furnace. Jesus is not just in the New Testament. Jesus is God and is throughout both Testaments; Concealed: Revealed.
Daniel told the king the truth, “and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” His faithfulness was to the living God, not to the king in spiritual matters. In matters of state, Daniel was loyal to the king and did his job well. He caused the king no harm personally or to the kingdom he served. There would have been no conflict if the meddling trouble makers hadn’t devised their scheme. Daniel and Darius were doing just fine before that.
We need to make this same commitment to the Lord and be willing to pray in spite of any penalty we might face. In 1Timothy 2:1-2 we are told to pray for our kings (president) and those in authority over us. This prayer “is good and acceptable in the sight of our God our Savior.” (V3)
As I researched for this study, I read a message by Pastor Greg Frazier. Thought I’d share this part of his message with you.
How can anyone pray on all occasions?
1. One way is to make quick, brief prayers your habit. Make prayer your response to every situation you meet throughout the day.
2. Another way is to order your life around God’s desires and teachings so that your very life becomes a prayer.
You don’t have to isolate yourself from other people and from daily work in order to pray constantly. You can make prayer your life and your life a prayer while living in a world that needs God’s powerful influence.
Also, please remember Ephesians 6:18. “Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.”
V. 23 – “Now the king was exceedingly glad for him…” for Daniel that is. He was thrilled, overjoyed and excited that Daniel had a faithful God and that he was safe and well. Would you say this relieved the king’s guilty conscience?
The king commanded that the men take Daniel “up” out of the den. Apparently the servants who were with the king could not move the stone from the mouth of the den so had to supply Daniel access over the side. It’s not clear if they used ropes to pull him up or if they lowered a ladder.
“…and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.” Daniel didn’t walk in fear of man. Daniel knew that, “For in him (God) we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring” (Acts 17:28 ).
The person who wrote the Book of Hebrews knew of Daniel’s exploits and knew that by the Lord’s salvation, Daniel was saved from the lions’ mouths. Let’s read Hebrews 11:33, “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.” Verse 32 names several Old Testament heroes, but Daniel is not named. He is, however, numbered among the prophets. Daniel didn’t stop the mouths of the lions; his faith did through his Almighty God.
Book of Daniel
Chapter 6, Part 22
This will be a short study tonight. We are through Daniel chapter 6.
V. 24 – Now Darius called his men and told them to fetch the ones who had accused Daniel and insisted he be fed to the lions. He did not execute all 120 governors and satraps who plotted against Daniel, but only the ring leaders. These were the ones who initiated the decree, pushed to have it signed quickly, and then pressed Darius to throw Daniel to the lions. These were the ones with a personal agenda and because of their attack on Daniel would now suffer the consequences. They would be thrown into the very trap they had set for Daniel.
This reminds me of Haman in the Book of Esther. Haman had a decree made also and he planned to have Mordecai hanged. Haman’s motivations for wanting to have Mordecai killed were purely vain. Mordecai would not bow down to Haman when he passed by and that offended his pride. He plotted, not only against Mordecai to have him hanged as that would be obvious, but against the entire Jewish nation (Esther 3:6). Haman was hanged on the gallows he’d had built for Mordecai (Esther 7:9, 10; 8:7). Haman’s ten sons were also hanged for their participation in their father’s plot (Esther 9:13 ).
When we read in Deuteronomy, we see both executions were biblical law given from God.
"If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you" (Deuteronomy 19:16-19).
It’s clear from this reading that God knew the hearts of men devised wickedness only. He foresaw the schemes of these evil man and made provision for their punishment. We think it’s unreasonable, even cruel that the families of these men were also killed. They had most likely stood behind their husband/father in his scheming and therefore were also guilty (Deuteronomy 24:16; II Kings 14:6).
Josephus, the 1st-century historian tells us that the men who accused Daniel and saw him alive and well outside of the pit that day would still not admit to a living God but claimed the lions had been fed before Daniel was pushed into the den. The proof that this wasn’t true according to Josephus was that the king ordered much meat to be fed to the lions before they “cast” the men and their families into the pit. Here in verse 24 it says that they were all overpowered by the lions before they even hit the bottom of the pit. Although well fed, the lions lunged and grabbed the people in mid air! I think this is proof positive that the angel, Lord Jesus, saved Daniel from those creatures.
V. 25 – Darius had signed a decree that set himself up as a god for one month. The month was not close to being over when he wrote a new decree “to all the people of all the nations and languages who dwell on the earth.” As sovereign leader of Babylon , Darius ruled over many nations. His letter was far-reaching and the message was beautiful.
V. 26, 27 – Darius made a decree to all the people in his kingdom. What was Darius commanding the people to do in this new law? Let’s read it.
"I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions."
Darius acknowledged the sovereignty of the Lord God over all the earth and her people. He commanded that the people would serve the Lord, Daniel’s God, with fear and trembling (Psalm 99:1; Philippians 2:12 ). He called the Lord “steadfast” also meaning, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). He is the God whose kingdom shall never end unlike the worldly kingdoms. The earth, moon, stars, oceans, mountains, etc… will pass away, but the Lord’s reign is eternal. His “dominion,” or authority, will never end (Luke 1:33 ). This is a truth Daniel also taught to Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:44 ).
This is the only God who can “deliver and rescue” from death as was proven in the fiery furnace with Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; and now was once again proven in the den with Daniel. Daniel’s God is the only one who can do signs and wonders in heaven (one instance is making the sun go backward ten degrees: Isaiah 38:8) and on earth by causing fire and lions to become of no effect.
Hezekiah and Darius were convicted of the reality of Daniel’s God because of what they saw Him do; Hezekiah for his own sake and Darius for his friend’s sake. They saw the greatness of God, His omnipotence, His loving-kindness in action. Look at what Jesus said to Thomas after His resurrection. “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29 ). We are the ones who have not seen, yet believe. Praise God!
V. 28 – We are to be believers and not doubters. We are to grow in faith daily as we read the Bible, pray, and fellowship around God’s name. Daniel spent many hours coming to know God in fellowship and prayer and, when the time came to be tested, he never doubted His Lord and was rewarded for his faithfulness. From the time of his captivity, Daniel prospered and was in good health. He ate the right foods for spirit and body.
We are now through the historical section of the Book of Daniel. We will move on to the exciting parts of the Book of Daniel, the dreams and visions Daniel was given throughout his long life of captivity.
Rev. Suzanne L. Taylor
Copyright © 2008