The things of the Old Testament were written for learning (Romans 15:4). Daniel, a man taken from his home as a young man who lived his life in captivity, shows how one’s faith in God can change one’s life.
After the Medes and Persians overthrew the Babylonians, Daniel served in the court of king Darius. Darius liked Daniel, but he was tricked by those who were enemies of Daniel into making a decree that would and did cause Daniel trouble. "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. 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" (Daniel 6:4-5).
It says much of the character of Daniel that the only way in which anything could be found against him was by entrapment concerning his devotion to God. The decree stated that for a period of 30 days no petition could be made of any God or men save by the king. Darius let his ego get the best of him and signed the decree into law. He was not thinking of any harm it might cause, just glory to himself. He was soon to regret signing this decree.
Daniel’s faith in God and loyalty showed in his response to the decree. When Daniel heard of the decree he fully understood its meaning. The Bible states, "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" (Daniel 6:10).
Daniel was neither afraid nor ashamed to offer prayer to God no matter what the government required.
Daniel’s enemies were quick to report Daniel’s transgression to the king. Darius was not happy with the outcome of his ego trip and it seems he even took the blame for the wrong that was to befall Daniel (Daniel 6:14).
He had a strong affection for Daniel, but try as he might he could find no way to deliver Daniel from the punishment. In fact, those who brought the transgression to the kings’ attention were quick to point out the fact that the kings’ decree could not be changed.
Daniel’s faith in God shows plainly in the words of Darius just before having him thrown into the den of lions. "Now the king spoke and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee" (Daniel 6:16b).
What a wonderful statement of Daniel’s devotion to Jehovah!
The king spent a sleepless night, he was so concerned about his friend Daniel. The Bible states that he arose early to find out if Daniel was safe. His question was truly a great one, "…Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions" (Daniel 6:20)?
How relived he was when Daniel told of how he had been delivered. "Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live forever. 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 …no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God" (Daniel 6:21-23).
The enemies of Daniel must have been surprised when Darius sentenced them to the fate they had planned for Daniel. Because of Daniel’s faith and devotion to God he was delivered from the lions. Would we have been in the lion’s den? How strong is our faith and devotion?