DANIEL CHAPTER 6
DANIEL IN THE LION’S DEN
Daniel is one of the two men in scripture where there is no sin recorded. The other is Joseph. King Darius will issue a new law that disallows the worship of anyone other than himself for one month. This is a picture of the Antichrist demanding worship of himself during Daniel’s 70th week. Scripture is clear that in the end times believers will persecuted falsely. Daniel is a model of perseverance in the midst of tremendous persecution.
“1 Peter 2:20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.”
Daniel provides us with an example of how God wants us to respond during times of unjust suffering.
DANIEL’S FOUR MARKS OF INTEGRITY
It pleased Darius (Cyrus was the king, Darius was a viceroy of the king, a governor of Babylon, not the king himself.) to appoint 120 satraps (a Persian official that ruled over a province) to rule throughout the kingdom (of Babylon), 2 with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel (who is 80 years old at this time). The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. (Daniel’s long experience with the government of Babylon, along with his positive, winsome and teachable attitude, made him an exceptionally qualified candidate.) 3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. (Second only to Darius and King Cyrus.)
THE PLOT AGAINST DANIEL
4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. (Daniel demonstrated high integrity in public life by being faithful in his work and his record was spotless.) 5 Finally these men said, "We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God." (Now they are going to investigate his personal and private affairs.)
6 So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: "O King Darius, live forever! 7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed (not true, Daniel had not been consulted.) that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions' den. (They would pit Daniel’s religious convictions against the Medo-Persian government, yet even his personal purity demonstrated by his prayer life is beyond reproach.) 8 Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered--in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed." 9 So King Darius put the decree in writing. (Once the king put a law in writing, not even the king himself could overturn it.)
THE PRAYER OF DANIEL
10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. (Daniel, knowing the law had been signed, refused to obey it and maintained a consistent walk with God, regardless of the circumstances.)
DANIEL DISOBEDIENCE TO THE LAW IS EXPOSED
12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: "Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or man except to you, O king, would be thrown into the lions' den?"
The king answered, "The decree stands--in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed."
13 Then they said to the king, "Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day." 14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.
15 Then the men went as a group to the king and said to him, "Remember, O king, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed." (According to Medo-Persian policy, the law was irrevocable. Darius and Daniel have been legally trapped.)
THE LIONS IN DANIEL’S DEN
16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions' den. The king said to Daniel, "May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!" (Imagine of being guilty of prayer. This was Daniel’s ‘holy habit.’ Beth Moore says there are 3 ways you can respond to an emergency. Each of us knows what it’s like to receive a phone call, an email. Life changes and we are thrown in a completely urgent situation. One hour before everything was okay. How do you react in a middle of an emergency? You must be ready in advance. 1. We can panic. 2. We can become paralyzed. 3. We can pray.
What happens when we panic? When we panic we do the wrong thing. It the nature of panic.
What happens when we get paralyzed? We do nothing.
What happens when we pray? We do the power thing! In a crisis you can do one of three things. Heaven moves when we hit our knees and we pray. God is all about relationship and thru prayer he forces the issue of relationship and we cry out to Him for help.
Holy habits vs. old patterns. God can change our patterns. What if we began to react in the spirit vs. the old patterns? Daniel reacted in the Spirit, making petitions to God.
Philip. 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In times of sudden crisis, when catastrophe and disaster comes, when something urgent comes, have you recently been faced with a situation where you say to yourself, my mind could really go left here? This one could play a number on me, an my old dark heart could take over in a nanosecond. Everything can be affected by prayer. Don’t compartmentalize. Everything, medical, physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, financial – pray about it. It’s the last thing the enemy wants. Then speak the Word. There is power in God’s spoken Word. Speak thanksgiving. Speak deliverance. Are you kidding me, think about what He’s delivered you from! He is able. And the more we spit it out, the more he delivers us. This was Daniel’s habit.)
17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel's situation might not be changed. (Can you think of some others who rolled a stone across a tomb, that a situation might not be changed? You have not got the situation God can not change. Don’t ever give up. You do not have the one situation God can not change. God has a way of changing situations.)
18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep. (This is like us being so upset we can’t watch television.) 19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions' den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?"
21Daniel answered, "O king, live forever! 22My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king." (Daniel carries on a calm conversation with Darius. He was not anxious or fearful about being in the lion’s den. What integrity! What a man of God!)
23The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. (God will deliver many in Daniel’s 70th week in like manner. See Rev 3:10.)
DARIUS EXECUTES DANIEL’S ACCUSERS
24At the king's command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions' den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones. (This is terribly uncomfortable, tragic and difficult to process. But this is the way life worked and the ways things happened in Babylon. Those lions were hungry, but God shut their mouths.)
DARIUS ISSUES A DECREE CONCERNING THE GOD OF ISRAEL
25Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language throughout the land:
"May you prosper greatly!
26 "I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.
"For he is the living God
and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
his dominion will never end.
27He rescues and he saves;
he performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions."
When people face a fiery trial, or a lion’s den – there are three scenarios before us:
Situation A – we can be delivered from the fire, from the lions. That’s what we want. Sometimes He chooses A. That’s what I experienced with Josee. It’s happened many times in our lives that we might not know about
Situation B – we can be delivered through the fire. We are going to come out on the other side, but we are going to take us through the trial. This is going through the pain, that grows us, and delivers us from bonds. But we survive to tell the story. In this particular chapter, God chooses B and Daniel is delivered through he lions den, not from the lions den.
Situation C – we can be delivered by the fire straight into God’s arms. C brings us home.
We live in the lion’s den and it’s not always pretty. Urgent situation? Default to the Spirit.
28So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.