Daniel’s Life and Death Test

Key Verse: “When Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.”
—Daniel 6:10

Selected Scripture:
Daniel 6

DARIUS, THE MEDIAN KING, set over his kingdom one hundred and twenty princes, who reported to three presidents, the chief of these being Daniel. “Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.” (Dan. 6:3) The other presidents and princes were jealous of Daniel, in particular because he was not even of their nation, as he was an Israelite. They desired to find something against him, but could find no fault in him, because he was faithful in all his responsibilities over the king’s realm. Finally they concluded, “We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”—vs. 5

The jealous presidents and princes knew that Daniel faithfully prayed to his God three times a day, because they had witnessed it. They contrived a plan to snare him, and crafted a law which stated that for thirty days no petition could be made of any god or man except of the king. The penalty for disobeying this law would be to be cast into a den of lions. They brought this new statute to king Darius, but didn’t tell him their real motive. The king, perhaps flattered by the idea of having all petitions come to him for thirty days, agreed that it would be an appropriate honor to his office and signed the new law, putting it into effect, “according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.”—vs. 8

Our Key Verse indicates that Daniel, although aware of the new law, continued his practice of praying to the God of Israel three times a day, doing so at his window so that others could see. Those conspiring against him saw what had happened, and brought the news of his disobedience to the king. Darius was extremely upset, realizing he had been tricked into signing such a law. He labored the rest of the day to find some loophole that would allow him to release his faithful president Daniel, but was reminded that “no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.” (vs. 15) So, according to the stipulation of the law, he had Daniel cast into the den of lions but, having been so affected by his example, “The king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.” (vs. 16) What a marvelous demonstration of faith from one who was not even an Israelite!

King Darius fasted throughout the night and didn’t sleep at all. Early the next morning he went quickly to the den of lions and found Daniel not only alive, but not hurt at all. An angel had miraculously stopped the mouths of the lions. Darius declared, “I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”—vss. 26,27

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |