Daniel in the Lion's Den

As we enter Daniel 6, we will see what happens to a man that is faithful to the Lord. Those who are faithful to God’s statutes are blessed. Those who are obedient to God’s commands are blessed. Those who willfully sacrifice their wills for God’s will in their life are blessed. Those who allow God's dominion over their life are blessed. What we perpetually see, is that God is restoring humanity back to himself. 

We now jump ahead to when Daniel is about 80 years old. And we meet this new King named Darius, who is also King Cyrus of Persia. The reasons why he has different names, is because kings would assume different names in different regions. But this story, is a story about a man who was truly after God's heart! We will see four particular truths that stem from this text.

Read: Daniel 6

“It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; 2 and over them three high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. 3 Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God. Then these high officials and satraps came by agreement[a] to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! 7 All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 9 Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction. 10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. 11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. 12 Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, “O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 13 Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.” 14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him. 15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.” 16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared[b] to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” 17 And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him. 19 Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions.20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.24 And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces. 25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: “Peace be multiplied to you. 26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.”28 So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.” 

 

Understand: Four Truths from the Daniel 6

  1. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. (Vv.1-5) 
  2. Adversity is a bridge to a deeper and more intimate relationship with God. (Vv. 6-15)
  3. The Lord has dominion over all things, and He will deliver you from your adversaries. (Vv. 16-24) 
  4. Recognize, that you are an instrument in the Redeemer’s Hands. (Vv. 25-28) 

Think: Application of the Four Truths from Daniel 6

1. Humbly approach the Lord, daily. 

  • Daniel never promoted himself. Rather, he just rested in the Lord’s control. 1 John 5:14-15 says, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” Well, what is his will? To deny ourselves, take up the cross. His word is a lamp for our feet, and a light on our path, and He is asking us to follow him. Practice the spiritual disciplines; meditate on His word and truths, read and listen to the Word, pray, worship, spread the word, serve him, be disciplined in the use of your time, fasting, journaling, devote yourself to learning."

2. Be confident in who God has called you to be. 

  • Satan loves to tell us over and over again, that we are not worthy of God’s affection and love. But God said we are worthy enough for his affection. Ephesians 2:4-9 declares, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved-and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”

3. Spend time praising the Holy Spirit. 

  • Donald S. Whitney explains, “All who come to God trusting in the person and work of Jesus to make them right with God are given the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit causes all those in whom He resides to have new holy hungers they didn’t have before. They hunger, for example, for the Holy Word of God— the Bible—that they used to find boring or irrelevant. They have new holy longings, such as the longing to live in a body without sin and to have a mind no longer tempted by sin. They yearn to live in a holy and perfect world with holy and perfect people, and to see at last the One the angels perpetually praise as ‘holy, holy, holy.” 

Evaluate: 

  • Am I allowing myself to be an instrument in the Redeemer’s Hands? 
  • Do I humbly approach the Lord Daily? If not, what is blocking me from doing so? 
  • Do I walk confidently in who God has called me to be? Are my desires matching His? 
  • Am I providing room for the Holy Spirit’s conviction and guidance? 
  • How might I strive toward Christlikeness as a result of Daniel 6?

Pray: Psalm 2

“Why do the nations rage[a] and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill. I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. 8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.9You shall break[b] them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” 10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” 

Great Restorer, thank you, for the truths that you speak to us through the life of Daniel. Thank you, for your provision and your guidance over my life. Lord you have dominion over all things, and I lift your name up, because you are worthy of all praise. I take refuge in you, 0 Lord, and you deliver me from my adversaries. Thank you, for that gracious provision. Holy Spirit, guide me and direct me in the midst of my trials and tribulations, so that I may cling to your Truth and not the finite words of this world. 

Penned by Tim Goodwin (Associate Pastor, Farmingdale)