Are you willing to be persecuted to near destruction in order for someone to come to the knowledge of the true God?
“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.
[The king decreed that none should pray/make petition to any but the king for 30 days – vanity/pride. Praying was as regular, if not more regular, to Daniel’s daily schedule as eating.]
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 conspirators planned to catch Daniel praying because they knew Daniel would not worship another god. They wanted to kill Daniel but could not find anything wrong with his lifestyle, so they decided to trap him based on his faith. Oh, if we would live our lives for the Lord so that the only thing people can speak against us is our faithfulness to Jesus!]
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. 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.
[The king was clearly upset. At this point, the king could have been upset because he realized his vanity or that he realized he was losing one of his best governors. In any case, he made a diligent effort to save Daniel’s life.]
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. 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.
[We don’t hear from Daniel at all. The words of faith we hear are from the king, who states that the Lord will deliver Daniel. He’s not recorded as asking if Daniel thinks God can do it but is recorded as saying He “will” do it. Then, we see the king fasted. He did not sleep and spent all night thinking about Daniel. He’s not recorded as praying, but I wonder if he spent the entire night wondering if the Lord would choose to save Daniel. He’s probably thinking back to his first encounter with Daniel in which Daniel is presented as the man who interpreted the writing on the wall. The Lord had given Daniel the interpretation of the handwriting, the previous king’s dreams, and had given him wisdom to be elevated as a governor of his and Babylon’s kingdom. Surely, the Lord would look out for Daniel, he hoped.]
19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. 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?
[***Insert dramatic pause***Can you imagine the regret the king had and the intense hope he had? Please, please, please let Daniel be okay! Before the king even starts his day, he hurries to the den of lions. When was the last time we showed that kind of enthusiasm of expectation and hope for God to move in our lives or on behalf of someone for whom we care?]
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 exceedingly 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.
[God found Daniel innocent even though he had been sentenced to capital punishment for breaking the law. We did not read what Daniel thought going into the den, but we see that he had the faith and chose to believe in God no matter what fate would befall him. God delivered Daniel because he believed.]
24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, 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.
[Sin affects multiple people and not just you in a bubble. Your disobedience may not only destroy you but everyone associated with you.]
25 Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, 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.” – Dan 6:10-27
[Read that declaration again as a psalm of testimony and praise. King Darius completely removes himself as having any part of Daniel’s salvation. This decree overrides the previous decree that demanded worship and points all who would worship to the One True God of all.]