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Friday, June 23, 2017

Daniel Chapter 6 — The Lion’s Den Expounded (Daniel in the Lion’s Den)

Daniel Chapter 6 — The Lion’s Den Expounded (Daniel in the Lion’s Den) [Print Document]

In the book of Daniel, chapter 6, we read the true story of a man who left all for the sake of God. There is no mention that Daniel ever was married or had children (and of course, there is nothing wrong with marriage). We know he loved God and served God faithfully. Because of this and because King Darius favored Daniel to appoint him to be over all the realm of Babylon, the presidents (saraks or high-level officials) of Babylon despised Daniel and wanted to have him killed.

They requested that Darius sign a law that would prohibit anyone in Babylon from asking a request of any god or man (except for Darius) for a period of 30 days (Dan. 6:7). By doing this, these wicked men thought that they could have Daniel killed, since they knew he faithfully prayed to and sought God. With pride in his heart, the king signed the law, which promised death by lions to anyone who would break this law. But, Darius had been ignorant of the true intentions of these wicked officials. Let’s see what happened next.

Daniel 6:10-11
“[10] Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. [11] Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.”

When the matter was brought to the king’s attention, Darius was grieved because he knew he could not change or alter the law of the Medes and the Persians. He urgently sought some legal way to release Daniel from going to the lion’s den (Daniel 6:14). But, he found none. Reluctantly, after the presidents urged Darius to maintain the law, Darius ordered Daniel to be thrown into the lion’s den. He told Daniel these words…

Daniel 6:16-20
“[16] Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. 17. And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. 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.

19. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. 20. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?”

The King Visits Daniel

The sad king expected to hear no answer, but a voice came up out of the den. It was Daniel’s. He was alive!

Daniel 6:21-23
“[21] Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. [22] My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. [23] Then was the king exceeding 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 manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.”

Notice verse 23? The last part said, in essence, that because Daniel believed God, he was not injured and no harm came to him. But, what happened to the wicked who sought to kill Daniel? And, what happened to those who agreed with them in attempting to murder Daniel? Let’s see.

Daniel 6:24
“[24] And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.”

Judgment of God on the Wicked

Sadly, they did not repent, because if they had, God would have spared their lives, and not let the lions kill them. Also, we see that their wives and children were killed by the lions, which God’s angels had restrained earlier. The angels did not restrain the lions that killed these children and wives because they agreed with the wicked men (their husbands and fathers) who had sought to kill Daniel.

In the same way that Haman and Zeresh his wife (in the book of Esther) had discussed, as a family, how to kill Mordecai (Esther 5:9-14), it is certain that the wicked presidents in Daniel 6 had discussed with their families how to kill Daniel. They might have talked about it around the dinner table for several weeks in a row. And, God saw that their families agreed with them in plotting to kill Daniel. That is why God’s angels did not shut the mouths of the lions when the women and children were thrown in. God is merciful, but He will judge the wicked and all who agree with the wicked.

Because God is just, He cannot let wickedness continue. These wicked men and their families would have plotted other ways of harming Daniel if they were allowed to remain. We also know that God was calling out to them, warning them, and pleading with them before they were judged. God’s Word says that all people are without excuse (when it comes to seeking and knowing God).

God’s Faithfulness to Warn the Lost Soul to Repent

In Romans 1, God had Paul write:

Romans 1:18-22
"[18] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,"

In Jeremiah 29:13 God says: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

2 Peter 3:9 says: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Since God wants all to come to repentance, we can know that He called out to those people that were cast into the lion’s den, in Daniel 6. But, God delivered Daniel because He served God faithfully and trusted in God. Daniel was faithful to God; so the wicked presidents (officials) had nothing they could say against him. Returning to the scripture...

Daniel 6:4 says: “Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.”

The Example of Daniel

Now, we know that Daniel was not sinless and perfect, but he was faithful to God, and did not do wrong by his fellow man. When Daniel was convicted by the Holy Spirit to repent, he repented. When he was tempted to abuse his power, he resisted that temptation, knowing that God would meet all his spiritual, emotional, and physical needs (Psalm 36:7-8).

We read in Daniel 5 how King Belshazzar (of Babylon) offered to give Daniel power and wealth in exchange for Daniel interpreting a mysterious inscription on a plastered wall. Listen to Daniel’s response:

[Daniel 5:17] “Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.”

Daniel did not lust after power or wealth. He was not focused on temporary things, such as fame, wealth, power, prestige, lust, or entertainment. He only used the power he had for the glory of God and for the benefit of others. He lived a righteous life, set apart and away from sinfulness. For his obedience to God and His Word, Daniel was greatly blessed.

We can learn from the book of Daniel that forsaking the ways of the world and walking with God are truly fulfilling and rewarding. As Christians, our focus and attention should never be on the things of this world. When we stand for what is right, we will be persecuted, but we will overcome through God’s power and because His presence is with us. In the same way that Jesus (before He came to Joseph and Mary) was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the fiery furnace, Jesus is also with us Christians wherever we go, and in all difficulties and hardships; and He will deliver us. Looking to God and obeying Him is how Daniel escaped the lion’s teeth, and that is how we will be delivered in all hardships we face. As we look to God and forsake the ways of the world, we will be delivered from temptations and from trials.

People around us will not understand why we don’t want to partake in worldly things that they enjoy, such as going to a bar, seeing a movie, playing a video game, laughing at a dirty joke, etc. They will persecute us, but God will deliver us as we look to Him and trust in His Word.


So, to sum up what we have read in Daniel 6, we can see that Daniel was persecuted for doing what is right. We will receive persecution for doing what is right, but just as God was with Daniel, so God is with us, to deliver us and bless us for obedience to Him. If we obey God, we will escape, while the wicked will be thrown into the snares and traps that they laid for us (just like what happened to the wicked officials in Daniel 6). Doing God’s will over man’s and over our own will is always best.

Let us not be conformed to our culture, but let us forsake fear and man’s opinions, and seek to fellowship with God, obeying Him, and trusting in His Word. Sin should have no place in a Christian’s heart. Let us forsake sin, and turn to God. That is what repentance means. God will bless us with intimate fellowship as we look to Him and rest in Him. Psalm 36:7-9 is God’s promise to right now and forever abundantly satisfy those who trust in Him.

Psalm 36:7-9
[7] How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
[8] They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
[9] For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light."

If you are coming here as a non-Christian, I encourage you to read this. God desires to have fellowship with you, as you make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.”

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