-Now in the time of the Medes and Persians, ruled by Darius the Mede, Daniel was made one of the top three commissioners in the empire with plans by the king to appoint him over the entire kingdom. Daniel continued to show the extraordinary character and spirit he had possessed in the Babylonian Kingdom (Daniel 6:1-3). It was at this point that jealous enemies of him plotted together to usurp his authority in an effort to bring him down. It was no doubt a power struggle full of envy and deceit, and they were capable of tricking King Darius into making a foolish decision. The commissioners and satraps (a kind of governor over parts of the realm) looked for grounds to accuse Daniel in regard to government affairs; “but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him (Daniel 6:4).” Therefore, they finally realized that if they were to accuse him it would have to be in regard to the Law of his God (Daniel 6:5). It was at this point they came together “by agreement” to the king and presented a potential injunction aimed at deifying the king and exposing Daniel. The injunction would be signed and sealed according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which meant that it could not, under any circumstances, be revoked (Daniel 6:6-8). King Darius thoughtlessly signed the document into law basically sealing Daniel’s fate unbeknownst to him. When Daniel knew fully that the injunction was signed, he continued to enter his house’s roof chamber with opened window toward Jerusalem (which was commanded by the higher law of God, 1 Kings 8:26-54) in order to pray and give thanks to his God on his knees three times a day as he had been doing previously (Daniel 6:9-10). This was not a rebellion to the foreign king’s authority, but an answer to a higher call from the LORD according to His covenant with Israel.
-These enemies of Daniel’s “by agreement” found him making petition and supplication before his God, and then they approached the king to make accusation against the “exile from Judah.” They told him that Daniel paid no attention to the injunction to worship only the king, which was true but extremely underhanded in an act of sabotage. As soon as the king received this news he was “deeply distressed” according to the text, and he began setting his mind on delivering Daniel well into the night. He fasted that evening and refused entertainment in a restless night (Daniel 6:11-14, 18). As Daniel was cast into the lion’s den, the king was encouraging to him with these words, “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you (Daniel 6:16).” A stone was brought and put over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring for official procedure according to the law (Daniel 6:17). After his sleepless night, the king rose from his chamber at dawn and went in haste to the lion’s den. He cried out with a troubled voice, “Daniel, servant of the Living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions (Daniel 6:19-20)?” Daniel responded, “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also towards you, O king, I have committed no crime (Daniel 6:21-22).” A “very pleased” king had Daniel taken up out of the den, and no injury whatsoever was found on him, “because he had trusted in his God (Daniel 6:23).” Now with the king coming to his full senses in discernment, he had the men who had “maliciously accused Daniel” brought to the lions’ den along with their wives and children and had them thrown in. Before they even reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones (Daniel 6:24). This signified a complete abolition of the enemies of God and a new day dawned in the kingdom. Darius proclaimed that peace should abound from this point on. He made a decree as well that in all his dominion men were to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel. “For He is the Living God and enduring forever, and His Kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, and His Dominion will be forever. He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, Who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions (Daniel 6:25-27).” The final summation is that Daniel enjoyed success not only for the remaining years of Darius’ reign, but also in the reign of Cyrus the Persian (Daniel 6:28).
-*Application* How often do we follow the higher law of God when faced with a conundrum with our own government? Follow your convictions based on the Word of God and trust in Him. Constantly serve your Master and He will take good care of you, even when enemies arise. He is the true Deliver, and He is mighty to save (Psalm 18:2, Isaiah 63:1)!
Verses to Memorize: Daniel 6:16, 23