darius the mede decided to divide the kingdom into 120 provinces and he appointed a high officer to rule over each province.
the king also chose daniel and two others as administrators to supervise the high officers and protect the king’s interests.
daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers.
because of Daniel’s great ability the king made plans to place him over the entire empire then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way daniel was handling government affairs but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn.
he was faithful always responsible and completely trustworthy so they concluded ” our only chance of finding grounds for accusing daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion”.
so the administrators and high officers went to the king and said ” long live king darius.
we are all in agreement we administrators officials high officers advisers and governors that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced.
give orders that for the next 30 days any person who prays to anyone divine or human except to you your majesty will be thrown into the den of lions and now your majesty issue and sign this law so it cannot be changed an official law of the medes and Persians that cannot be revoked” so king darius signed the law.
but when daniel learned that the law had been signed he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room with its windows open towards Jerusalem.
he prayed 3 times a day just as he had always done giving thanks to his God then the officials went together to Daniel’s house and found him praying and asking for God’s help so they went straight to the king and reminded him about his law.
” did you not sign a law that for the next 30 days any person who prays to anyone divine or human except to you your majesty will be thrown into the den of lions? ”
”yes ” the king replied” that decision stands it is an official law of the medes and Persians that cannot be revoked.”
then they told the king ” that man daniel one of the captives from Judah is ignoring you and your law.
he still prays to his God 3 times a day.”
hearing this the king was deeply troubled and he tried to think of a way to save daniel.
he spent the rest of the day looking for a way to get daniel out of this predicament.
in the evening the men went together to the king and said ” your majesty you know that according to the law of the medes and the Persians no law that the king signs can be changed.”
so at last the king gave orders for daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions.
the king said to him ” may your God whom you serve so faithfully rescue you”.
a stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den.
the king sealed the stone with his own royal seal and the seals of his nobles so that no one could rescue daniel then the king returned to his place and spent the night fasting .
he refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night.
very early the next morning the king got up and hurried out to the lion’s den.
when he got there he called out in anguish ” daniel servant of the living God was your God whom you serve so faithfully able to deliver you from the lions?”
daniel answered ” long live the king .
my God sent His angels to shut the lions mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in His sight and I have not wronged you your majesty.”
the king was overjoyed and ordered that daniel be lifted from the den .
not a scratch was found on him for he had trusted in his God.
then the king gave orders to arrest the men who had maliciously accused daniel.
he had them thrown into the lion’s den along with their wives and children.
the lions leaped on them and tore them apart before they even hit the floor of the den.
then king darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world ‘ peace and prosperity to you.
I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of daniel for He is the living God and He will endure forever .
His kingdom will never be destroyed and His rule will never end.
He rescues and saves His people .
He performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth .
He has rescued daniel from the power of the lions” so daniel prospered during the reign of darius and the reign of cyrus the Persian.
we don’t know what protecting the king’s interests looked like but I can only assume that in taking care of the welfare of the king daniel and co were making sure that the king’s subjects didn’t treat him with disrespect and that they obeyed the laws of the land including paying their taxes.
its possible that if daniel was asked to make sure the king’s subjects worshipped idols that he would have neglected his duties but I think darius respected his faith so he wouldn’t have put him in that position where he would have been forced to contradict his beliefs.
we can learn from the example of Daniel’s life to be faithful responsible and trustworthy.
our loyalty and devotion is demonstrated both in how we prove ourselves to be diligent guardians of each others secrets and how we are willing to defend our friends when their reputations are under threat of being destroyed.
this doesn’t mean you have to get into battle scenarios every time someone insults your friend but you definitely shouldn’t be someone who contradicts them in front of others and you should always be there to show support for them when they need someone to agree with them and back them up in affirming their good character.
Jesus said if we are faithful in the small things then He will reward us with the big things.
if we prove to others that we can handle light weight responsibilities it is possible that they might trust us with a duty that is considered to be more heavy.
there are some people in the world who believe in other religions including the religions of atheism and evolution who are quite happy for us to believe what we believe and don’t mind at all if we share our beliefs with them, then there are others who are happy for us to believe what we believe so long as we don’t try to convince them to change their beliefs and then again there is a third militant group who are determined to wipe out anyone who claims to represent any religion ( despite the fact that atheism and evolutionism are both religions) . this is their stance in principle but more specifically their general stated aim is to completely abolish Christianity cos the lie is no threat to anyone only the truth.
we know that king darius was friends with daniel.
he loved and admired him so much that he was determined to make him second in authority only to him.
we do not know how much pressure was being exerted on darius to make a snap decision regarding the legalisation of idol worship and the exclusive nature of it only including his own person.
he would have grown up worshipping demons posing as gods so he may not have been comfortable with the idea of having other people worship him.
we do not know how many hours it took darius to make the decision to sign into law the edict that he would be worshipped as a deity.
I am sure if he had thought it through he would have made the mental connection that his friend daniel could not possibly bow down and worship him as he would be committing an act of blasphemy and disregarding the beliefs he had been raised to cherish.
we know that he had the choice to say no to his advisors.
he was more powerful than them and they could only operate with his authority.
when we are faced with similar choices when we are placed in positions of power we should always be careful to exercise our duties with regard to the profession of faith we have made in Christ even if we have to make difficult unpopular decisions.
we should care less about offending people and trampling on their rights than we do about preserving the faith of our subjects or those in authority over us and making sure that they are governed with godliness as our steps are directed by our master and commander Jesus.
I love the fearlessness of daniel.
now he could have prayed in secret and still maintained an appearance of obedience to the king.
he could have joined in with the idol worshippers who put their souls in bondage to demons and saved his bacon but not only did he choose to pray he chose to do it in a part of his house that was visible to those walking past his window.
this is how we should be.
we should make no secret of our love for Jesus. we should be bold and courageous in expressing it.
I am sure you know daniel prayed facing Jerusalem cos that is where the temple of God could be found.
we should love Jesus so much that we can’t possibly live with ourselves if we do anything to disrespect our relationship with HIm.
just as a bride is eager to please her groom we should strive to cultivate holiness within ourselves.
it is interesting that the jealous administrators and officials chose to remind darius of the law he had made.
of course he knew the laws he had made he wasn’t stupid.
he didn’t need them to jog his memory.
they were intentionally bringing the law he had made to his mind for the purpose of bringing down daniel and setting in motion his destruction.
the medes and Persians had a major flaw in the way they set up their laws so they couldn’t be changed.
they could have just done what America did with the prohibition laws and just ignored it and chose not to enforce it.
darius was the king he wasn’t bound by the law he was above the law.
he was the only one in the land who was above the law.
only those who make the law have the permission to break it.
or is the law maker bound by the law not to break it?
we know that God gave us the ten commandments which are the foundation of the laws of the western world.
God is not bound by the laws of physics and He wouldn’t disobey HIs own law.
He tells us not to be jealous but He is called a jealous God.
its ok for HIm to be jealous cos He knows that in loving any other being apart from HIm we are risking our souls burning in hell.
HIs jealousy is more like zealousness or passionate zeal for us to be connected to HIs heart.
darius could have rescued daniel any time yet he chose to kowtow to the advice of his subjects rather than to listen to his conscience and display fidelity towards his good friend daniel.
he could have sent daniel down into the den with a sword so at least he would have had something to defend himself against the fierce lions.
the officials were really harassing darius.
they wouldn’t respect his wishes and give him as much time as he needed to think about it.
he was the king he should have just told them to get off his back and go play the zither.
darius recognised Daniel’s faithfulness to God.
I believe this demonstration of affection for Jehovah touched his pagan heart.
He recognized the divine authority of God but at this point had not decided to cross over the lake of doubt into decisionville.
at this point He did not know that God could rescue daniel but he knew that if Daniel’s God was a God there was at least a very large possibility that He was capable of delivering him from certain death.
heres the crux though- even if God had not delivered daniel He would still be and is still God.
we must not let our faith or willingness to follow God be dictated to by circumstances.
even at the final moment of sealing the rock over the den darius was faced with the choice of liberating daniel or leaving him to suffer.
although insomnia and lack of hunger or desire for food is not evidence of a guilty conscience it certainly was in darius’s case.
it seems kind of thick headed that darius pulled an ed sheeran and started thinking out loud the next morning asking darius if God had liberated him from the lions.
obviously a dead man would not be able to respond.
perhaps on some subconscious level while asking daniel if he was alive darius knew that God had delivered him or perhaps he was driven crazy by tiredness and grief .
we all tend to act a little psycho before our first coffee of the day. 🙂
it wasn’t strictly true what daniel said that he was totally sinless which is what being innocent in Gods sight means cos all of us are capable of sinning we are all wrestling with a little or big something that is bothering us and attempting to keep us from having a relationship with Jesus but it is true that God looked at Daniel’s life and He saw that daniel was wrestling with HIs faith that He was daily attempting to put to death the desires of the flesh and nurturing the desires of the HOly Spirit.
the angels who shut the lions mouths wouldn’t have been afraid cos they knew the power of God was flowing through them and He was protecting them from harm just as they were keeping daniels toes from getting chomped by hungry feline teeth.
it is also not true that daniel didn’t wrong his majesty the king cos he clearly defied orders but in a sense that daniel did not disobey God he had not done anything to cause his earthly master to stumble spiritually.
perhaps by affirming his innocence daniel was desiring to prick the conscience of his king.
perhaps there was no intent behind it and he was just categorically stating the facts that praying to his ( the one true) God never should have been an issue that came between friends.
perhaps just as incredible as the fact daniel didn’t die is the miracle that happened when God prevented the lions from even laying a single claw on him.
this means the angels would have had to instantly create a bubble like forcefield around daniel so the lions couldn’t touch him.
I think it was unnecessary and cruel of darius to condemn the wives and children of the jealous officials to death as well as their evil minded husbands.
it wasn’t their fault they married idiots or had duds for dads.
this example from history shows us how our actions affect our spouses or partners and children or those we are placed in guardianship over by the law of the land or by circumstances beyond our control .
some think they can have prosperity without peace but in truth unless we have peace and Jehovah Shalom living in our hearts there will always be a war raging on within us that shall never cease .
despite darius’s best intentions you cannot force someone to believe in the one true God.
they have to come willingly or they won’t truly come at all.
they may give mental ascent to believing in Jesus while secretly continuing in their rebellious ways.
popularizing faith and commanding that it becomes the state or empirical religion has the effect of people associating religion with just following the crowd and just going to church or the temple cos they are afraid they will be killed if they don’t which is a very real fact for those who live in the muslim world and in some hindu and Buddhist areas.
true faith is found in the personal commitments we make to follow Christ not in just towing the line and doing what is popular.
it is true what darius said that Elohim is living and will never die.
it is impossible to kill HIm despite what the foolish Nietzsche said tellingly using the character of a man who had lost his mind.
God is always king of the universe regardless of how much permission He gives satan to temporarily run riot.
believe you me the devils chickens are coming home to roost.
although darius was undeniably talking about the jews when he talked about God saving HIs people we are the people of God if we repent of our sins and accept Jesus in our hearts so that promise also applies to us.
its true that since the beginning of the world until its completion God never has and never will cease working miracles.
Daniel’s enemies thought the lions would get the better of him but they could never get the better of the God in him who roars like a lion over our troublesome circumstances .
God placed daniel in a position of authority during the reigns of nebuchadnezzar, darius, cyrus and Belshazzar.
we can learn from the example of his life to always be obedient to God even when we are afraid it might cost us our life or cause us to lose our social standing or position of power.
daniel knew that it was not his skills that had gained his position of authority but only the favour of God.
such a situation is also perpetually our own.