Daniel, Servant of the Living God

Read Time: 9 Minutes

Daniel was faithful to God at all times. Even when his life was threatened he never succumbed to compromise when it came to his service to God. Because of Daniel's faithfulness, God kept Daniel from harm.

We have another superb record of God delivering Daniel in Daniel chapter 6. There has been yet another change in rulership. Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldeans was slain because of his disregard for God and Darius the Mede ruled Babylon. This happens in the year 426 B.C. according to E.W. Bullinger.

The word Darius is an appellative meaning "king" or "ruler" as we would use President, Pharaoh or Shah. After diligent study of the Word and historical records, Bullinger concludes that this is Astyages,* the same ruler, as Artaxerxes (the great king) of Nehemiah 2:1 and Ezra 6:1 and the Ahasuerus (meaning the venerable king) of Esther 1:1. We will visit these records as well, just not right now.

Many times when a new ruler comes on the scene he cleans house and puts in his own princes and counselors. However, we see that this Darius is wise and recognizes Daniel's worth and faithfulness.

Daniel 6
:1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes,
        which should be over the whole kingdom;
:2 And over these three presidents;
        of whom Daniel was first:
    that the princes might give accounts unto them,
    and the king should have no damage.
:3 Then this 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.
:4 Then the presidents
        and princes
    sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom;
    but they could find none occasion nor fault;
    forasmuch as he was faithful,
    neither was there any error or fault found in him.

This is a tremendous testimony about Daniel. There was no error or fault found in him regarding the kingdom or himself. He was faithful, not only to God but to his ruler as well. Yet he didn't let his loyalty to Astyages supercede his faithfulness to God.

:5 Then said these men,
        We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel,
        except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
:6 Then these presidents
        and princes
    assembled together to the king,
    and said thus unto him,
        King Darius, live for ever.
:7     All the presidents of the kingdom,
            the governors,
            and the princes,
            the counsellors,
            and the captains,
        have consulted together to establish a royal statute,
            and to make a firm decree,
        that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days,
            save of thee, O king,
        he shall be cast into the den of lions.
:8     Now, O king, establish the decree,
            and sign the writing,
        that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians,
            which altereth not.
:9 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing
        and the decree.

The adversary has worked through the people that Astyages has surrounded himself with to destroy Daniel. Astyages, even though he favored Daniel and recognized the great power of God, let pride and arrogance cloud his judgment. He couldn't foresee the consequences of his actions until he had already signed the decree making it law which he was obligated to uphold.

:10 Now 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. [he didn't change, he didn't compromise on the Word]
:11 Then these men assembled,
    and found Daniel praying
        and making supplication before his God.
:12 Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree;
        Hast thou not signed a decree,
        that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days,
            save of thee, O king,
        shall be cast into the den of lions?
    The king answered and said,
        The thing is true,
        according to the law of the Medes and Persians,
            which altereth not.
:13 Then answered they and said before the king,
        That Daniel,
            which is of the children of the captivity of Judah,
        regardeth not thee, O king,
            nor the decree that thou hast signed,
        but maketh his petition three times a day.

The princes just waited for Daniel to pray so they could trap him. Can't you just see these snakes spit out the words "which is of the children of the captivity of Judah."

:14 Then the king,
        when he heard these words,
    was sore displeased with himself,
    and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him:
    and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

King Astyages was totally disgusted with himself for allowing himself to be tricked. He did everything he could to find a loophole in the law he just signed. I am sure his heart just sunk when he had to order Daniel to the lion's den.

:15 Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king,
        Know, O king, that the law of the Medes
            and Persians is,
        That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.
:16 Then the king commanded,
    and they brought Daniel,
    and cast him into the den of lions.
    Now the king spake and said unto Daniel,
        Thy God whom thou servest continually,
        he will deliver thee.

This is absolutely awesome. Darius the Mede--Astyages--a pagan, spoke the Word to Daniel. Astyages could do nothing else; it was out of his hands. He had to relinquish deliverance to God.

:17 And a stone was brought,
    and laid upon the mouth of the den;
    and the king sealed it with his own signet,
    and with the signet of his lords;
    that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.
:18 Then the king went to his palace,
    and passed the night fasting:
    neither were instruments of musick brought before him:
    and his sleep went from him.
:19 Then the king arose very early in the morning,
    and went in haste unto the den of lions.

Astyages was so distraught that he refused all consolations and was not able to sleep all night. He did not have the peace that comes from believing God yet he had recognized that God could deliver Daniel. At the first opportunity he rushed to the den to let Daniel out.

:20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel:
    and the king spake and said to Daniel,
        O Daniel,
            servant of the living God,
        is thy God,
            whom thou servest continually,
        able to deliver thee from the lions?
:21 Then said Daniel unto the king,
        O king, live for ever.
:22   My God hath sent his angel,
        and hath shut the lions' mouths,
            that they have not hurt me:
        forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me;
        and also before thee, O king,
            have I done no hurt.
:23 Then was the king exceeding glad for him,
    and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den.
    So Daniel was taken up out of the den,
    and no manner of hurt was found upon him,
        because he believed in his God.

I can just see Astyages jump for joy when Daniel answered him. Can't you just see the worry and sorrow melt from his demeanor when Daniel's voice rang out from the lion's den? When Daniel was drawn out of the den there was not a single scratch on him. Those lions never touched him because he believed in his God .

:24 And the king commanded,
    and they brought those men which had accused Daniel,
    and they cast them into the den of lions,
        their children,
        and their wives;
    and the lions had the mastery of them,
    and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.
:25 Then king Darius wrote unto all people,
        and languages,
    that dwell in all the earth;
        Peace be multiplied unto you.
:26   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.
:27   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.
:28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius,
    and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. [Astyages's son]

Daniel's faithfulness to God had great impact on his boss-Astyages, Darius the Mede. God also protected his people even though they had been scattered throughout the unbelieving nations. God did not reside in the temple or the tent of the Ark of the Covenant alone but with the Believers. Today it is still true. God is with us always, not just when we go to church. Daniel's manner was to pray three times a day-look where it got him! We are also told to pray. Let us pray frequently, praise Him and let our requests be made known unto Him.

We shall see God move!

Colossians 4
:2 Continue in prayer,
    and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

Philippians 4
:6 Be careful for nothing;
    but in every thing by prayer
        and supplication with thanksgiving
    let your requests be made known unto God.
:7 And the peace of God,
        which passeth all understanding,
    shall keep your hearts
        and minds
    through Christ Jesus.


*The Companion Bible. Zondervan Bible Publishers, Grand Rapids, 1974. Appendix 57.
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