Focal Passage: Daniel 6:6-10, 13-16, 19-22
By Terry Kirby
Senior Pastor, Alpha Baptist Church, Morristown
The American Revolution was a great success. It is easy to brag when you win. But what would have happened if the Founders lost? In the closing words of the Declaration of Independence it states, “… with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” The brave men who signed this revolutionary document and the others who were totally committed to the cause of freedom were willing to die to be free regardless of the price.
In Daniel chapter six we see one of the most famous stories in the entire Bible. This story is powerful because it has all the elements of a great novel. The story has a powerful king with scheming deputies, a faithful man of God, a seemingly hopeless predicament, and the all-powerful God. Like the brave founders, Daniel was willing to pay the ultimate price for staying faithful to his God.
Now there was a new king in Babylon. Darius came into power when Daniel was 82 years old. The king divided his new kingdom into 120 districts, each headed by a satrap. He also divided 120 districts into three regions with an administrator over each one. God had blessed Daniel because of his faithfulness and Daniel found favor with every king he served. King Darius made Daniel one of the three administrators. The king may have honored Daniel, but the other 122 leaders did not. They remembered that Daniel was a Jew from Judea. They came up with a plan to kill Daniel with the help of the king.
Daniel 6:6-10 describes a meeting these leaders held with the king concerning an edict they had proposed to trap Daniel. This law would require that no one could petition any other god or man but the king for 30 days or they would be thrown into the lion’s den. This seemed reasonable to the king. Not only did this proposed law stroke the king’s ego, it was not a permanent law. In this polytheistic kingdom who would mind? This was the trap for Daniel. Unlike the others, Daniel was a monotheist. Daniel only prayed to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Three times a day Daniel would face Jerusalem and pray to the only true God and his enemies knew it.
As Daniel continued to pray, his fellow leaders went to the king and became what can best be described as, tattletales. Daniel 6:13-16 describes the scene where the king’s men tried to bully him into keeping the law of the Medes and Persians much to the displeasure of the king. The king had no choice but to order that Daniel be cast into the lion’s den and become cat food. The king had grown to hold Daniel in very high regard and spoke to Daniel before the punishment was carried out. In verse 16 the king says to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” The edict the king signed ordered that no one could make petition to any other god or man but the king. It sure sounds like the king himself petitioned Daniel’s God to save Daniel. Should the king have joined Daniel in the lion’s den? In this case it would seem that the king was above his own law.
Daniel’s God was the only one who could save Daniel and He did just that. After a restless night the king arrived at the den and was surprised but full of great joy to hear the voice of Daniel his beloved subordinate. The other 122 men became dinner for the hungry lions.