Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. 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?” Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 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.” 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. 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. Daniel 6:19-24
There is a lot going on in today’s verses. First we have a king who was so guilt ridden that he could not sleep and rushes first thing to see if Daniel is still alive. He knows what he did was wrong but did it anyway and the hoped God would come in and fix everything.
Then we have Daniel. All Daniel had done was pray to God as he had done for years. Here we have a man who was faithful to God through his life and was rewarded for his faithfulness. It was these earthly rewards that Daniel received that caused the other wise men of Babylon to become jealous and plot to end Daniel’s life.
Finally we have the plotters against Daniel. Many must have also rushed to the lion’s den to see if their plot had succeeded. They were looking to gain from Daniel’s death. What they did not expect was to find Daniel alive and for the king to become enraged at their scheme to kill Daniel. Not only did Darius kill the wise men that plotted against Daniel but he killed their entire families. What to make of all this?
Why was Daniel saved? We are told the reason was a simple one, he trusted in God. Daniel had lived his life serving and trusting God. God was first and Daniel places all else second. Daniel did not know that God would save him from the lions. Daniel was content that whatever his fate that God was in control. Just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Daniel knew that God could save him and that was all that was important. Even had God chosen to let Daniel die, Daniel would still worship God. In fact that is most likely what Daniel did as he was lowered into the lion’s den, he prayed to and worshiped God.
What about King Darius? Here we have someone who does what he wants and then hopes someone will bail him out when things do not go as planned. He knew Daniel did nothing to deserve death but could not get his pride out of the way so he could do the right thing. Instead he sent Daniel to his death and expected God to fix things. Then after he finds Daniel alive what does he do, he kills all the men and their families who sought Daniel’s death. He blamed them so he would not be accountable for his actions.
We do the same today, I know I do. We do something and then expect God to come to our rescue. We look for someone else to blame. In the USA we have become a nation of blame shifters. Nothing is ever our fault. We have to find someone else to blame. Someone needs to pay. We let our kids play at someone else’s house and when they get hurt we sue our neighbor. Maybe we let them ride a carnival ride and when they get hurt we sue everyone even remotely involved. We never stop to ask if maybe we bear some responsibility. If someone dies not only do we sue we blame God. We are ready to blame everybody but ourselves.
We have two people we can model our lives after. Do we want to be like Daniel and trust God? Trust Him with our lives? Or do we want to be like the king? Finding someone else to blame and hoping that even though we do not trust God that God will save us from our own decisions. Acting like Daniel is hard but the reward is eternal. Acting like the king is easy but any rewards for acting like Darius are fleeting. We need to think and act eternal, act like Daniel.
Have a blessed day,