Have you been forced into a corner where you have been compelled to do something that you don’t want to do? Maybe it was falling prey to the AARTO act, having to pay huge fines only to find out those laws were unconstitutional. You have heard the saying “Chose your fights.” That is, make certain you will win the fight before you start. Within most countries today there are laws that might be quite legal, but are willingly or even unwillingly designed to push Biblical Christianity into a corner, to hamstring her, to silence her … to remove the visible power she has as a participating “force” in society. Often the laws designed, without mentioning the Bible or Christianity are crafted to remove the power and authority the Church once enjoyed. But as always, the proponents of such laws forget that when you “touch the Church, you touch the Lord of the Church”. The temporal silencing of Bible Churches does not affect the fact that the King of the Church is Sovereign.
Da 6:16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
1) With his back against the wall the king orders Daniel be thrown into the Lions’ Den.
(1) Note that this is not a den with one lion … there are a number of these flesh eating creatures in the den. Their purpose was for punishment. Using this method of brutally ripping people apart and eating their flesh as entertainment seems to have become popular between the First and Third Centuries.
(2) The king had no other option than to succumb to his own handwritten, signed law.
(3) The relationship the king had with Daniel. His parting words were that Daniel claw onto His God in faith that He would rescue him. One wonders whether the king was afraid of the “gods’ in general or Daniel’s God in specific. We need to pray that we will never be the cause of someone being hurt emotionally, physically or worse through our irresponsibility.
2) The Lions’ Den was converted into a maximum security prison.
Da 6:17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.
(1) The stone makes one think of Jesus’ tomb.
(2) Not only was a sealed impression of the king’s signet ring pressed into the seal, his nobles rings were used as well. It almost seems as though there was a lack of trust here.
(3) Some commentators say that Daniel in the Lions’ Den is a picture of Judah in the Babylonian Exile (now that of the Medes and Persians).
(4) Although there is much argument around the shape of the Lions’ Den it does seem as though there was an opening (gateway) on one side and was open at the top. Verse 23 informs us that Daniel was lifted “up” from the den. Although the den was most likely sunken, its walls must have protruded rather high. Hence Daniel being lifted up, out of the den. Most people in prison have a reason to be there, but there are those who are innocent, have been framed and without the resources to fight cases. There are also many Christians in prison in various countries because of their faith … which might be in conflict with the country they are in. Spare a prayer for those like this who are in prison.
3) Sleeping in the den and unable to sleep in the palace.
Da 6:18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.
Verse 22 implies Daniel had a safe, restful night yet verse 18 tells us the king’s night was sleepless. Why could the king not sleep? No eating and no entertainment shows he was in fright and panic because this man whom he trusted will be mauled to death in the Lions’ Den. Is there more to this through? Some suggest that the king was going to lose his most trusted asset. Daniel ruled through godly conduct. The king knew the others were greedy, another reason they wanted Daniel dead. On the other hand, maybe the king was sympathetic towards Daniel’s God. Sleep is important. God created us to sleep so that the body can reenergize. If you cannot sleep there could be a host of reasons from physical to environmental, from emotional to fear. The king’s problem was worry, fear and anxiety. If Daniel died he would be guilty. Early the next morning he goes to the Lions’ Den:
Da 6:19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den.
Here we see the king is still anxious
Da 6:20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”
His voice filled with anxiety, most like his body was shaking … he inquires whether Daniel’s God … (he calls Him the “living God”) has been able to rescue him.
4) What a relief! Daniel hears and responds.
Da 6:21 Daniel answered, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.”
It’s not that Daniel was sinless … but that he was guiltless of the malicious charge brought against him … namely being disloyal to the king.
(1) He was respectful towards the king. This was very different to the way the satraps engaged with the king. Here is a lesson for us who believe in Jesus. Whether we are in the right or wrong we need to control ourselves and be respectful to all people, especially those in authority over us. We are always God’s representatives, wherever we are … and God sees.
(2) God sent His angels to protect Daniel. However many lions there were, they were no contest for the angels. Do you believe in angels? Listen to what God says about angels …
Heb 1:14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
God’s angels protect His people daily from many disasters. When you say … “That was almost” when you were almost involved in an accident, you ought to say “Thank You Lord for protecting me.”
(3) Daniel was innocent of crimes against the crown. According to him, God protected him from lion attacks because he was guiltless. We might have to face uncomfortable situations and environments as Christians, even when we are guiltless … but God will stand by us. He has said
Heb 13:5 “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you”
1 Pet 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Daniel believed God to be sovereign. Do you? Father, thank You that You promise to care for us, Your blood washed children. Amen.