Daniel

English: Daniel in the Lion's Den, as in Danie...

English: Daniel in the Lion’s Den, as in Daniel 6:17-21; watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language throughout the land:  ‘May you prosper greatly!

I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.’”

(Daniel 6:25-26 NIV)

I read these words today which were not part of my regular reading. I read the whole chapter about Daniel. He was set up by his coworkers. He was sentenced because he prayed to God. And he endured the punishment set by the king. The part that got my attention was the action and heart of the king.

King Darius had the utmost respect for Daniel. He trusted him fully because of Daniel’s actions. He was not familiar with Daniel’s God. He didn’t pray with Daniel. All Darius saw was the life of devotion Daniel led. And when he realized he had to sentence Daniel to die, he was grieved.

 “When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.” (vs. 14)

This verse shows the caring heart of the king.

  1. 1.    Darius was distressed. He knew Daniel did not deserve death. These words suggest that he and Daniel may have been friends. He obviously cared for Daniel.
  2. 2.    Darius was determined. He was king and yet he couldn’t go against his own decree. He had to be a man of his word. The very thing he admired about Daniel was staring him in the face, integrity.
  3. 3.    Darius was dedicated. He tried everything. He didn’t stop until there was simply no hope.

In the end, Daniel was thrown to the lions and with a heartfelt plea from Darius saying, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” (vs. 16) The text goes on to say that Darius didn’t sleep. He was distraught and he couldn’t rest knowing what was happening to Daniel. Early the next morning he ran to see if Daniel was still alive. Much to his surprise, Daniel was not harmed and gave glory to God.

Daniel’s life always pointed to God.

  1. 1.    Daniel had integrity. He was a trusted employee of the king. He was also despised by his coworkers. As a result, they set him up. But he never retaliated.
  2. 2.    Daniel was devoted. His first response to reading the decree was prayer. He prayed three times a day and refused to stop. He was willing to take the risk because he was devoted to God.
  3. 3.    Daniel was delivered. God heard Daniel’s prayers, every one of them. And yet, he still had to face death. He did it with grace respecting the king’s decision.

 

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the lives that truly make a difference in this world. I think Daniel made an impact on the king because he had a relationship with him. He didn’t brush him aside because he wasn’t a believer in God. Instead he respected him. I think they were probably friends. That friendship along with Daniel’s devotion is ultimately what pointed the king to give glory to God.

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