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Daniel – Devoted and Delivered.


Text: Daniel 6:10-27

Because this story is so well known, we’ll look at it from the perspective of the two major players in this drama, Darius and Daniel, and see what we can learn.

1. Darius

Darius the king has been left in a quandary. One of the things that we learn about him in this passage is that he was impressed with Daniel, that he liked him and admired him. He had, after all promoted him to a high rank in this new era of Persian rule. But he had been politically outmanoeuvred by the satraps and regional governors, and had allowed his ego, his vanity to over ride his better judgment, and he had failed to check their claims that this body of administrators were 100% in favour of this new law. And now here they are, touting on one of their own number, the man the king likes so much. V12-13  Obviously they weren’t!

  • His deep regret. V14 We may only imagine what that involved, negotiations with the accusers, perusing law books and case history, seeking advice from learned counsel… he worked hard until he could work no more, when the light faded at the end of the day, in an effort to find some way to undo the harm he had caused. But there was no hope – or was there? 
  • His reluctant verdict, V16  The sentence must be handed down, and Daniel must die, but there is one hope, when all other hope is gone. Our God is able to deliver us. Darius knew that Daniel’s God was the same God who had rescued him in the past, who had delivered the Hebrew boys from the fiery furnace, – no matter how difficult the situation, God can deliver us, if it is His will. 
  • His deep conviction. V18 It was a heavy night for Darius. His conscience was deeply troubling him. Because conviction of sin leads to repentance and repentance to forgiveness,
  • His call for forgiveness and pardon. V20  He cried with a lamentable voice! He wanted to know if the Lord is able to deliver, is he really able to save. And he saw the greatness and grace if God at work, for Daniel was spared. 
  • His Joy. V23  That had an astounding effect on Darius. Look at his testimony at the end of the chapter:-
  • His testimony and witness. V25-27  

So, to some extent, Darius is a typical sinner, lulled by his own pride and idolatry, a sinner before God, a sinner who suddenly finds that his sin has brought him into conflict with others, and with his own conscience. Troubled, in anguish and sorrow he seeks he seeks the help of God, and finds that in such circumstances, God always answers prayers, and he never turns away a sinner who truly seeks him. Psalm 34:6   Romans 10:13  

2. Daniel.

Let’s look then at Daniel, at his faithfulness in prayer before God, and how he fell foul of the law, and how he was delivered, and what it tells us…

  • His faithfulness.  V10 Now this is the lesson that will usually be taught in children’s meetings, and bible classes, and it is a salutary lesson for us also. Firstly that…
    • Daniel obeyed God, rather than man. Despite the cost – and look., Daniel KNEW that this law had been passed, and he knew that consequences of breaking it, but all of that was overridden by his desire to please the God who had so graciously chosen him and redeemed him. 
    • Daniel proved the power of prayer. Of course we can learn that God answers prayer. James 5:16  
  • His ARREST and TRIAL. V11 Wicked men, liars and traitors, men who had pretended to be friends, had arrested Daniel, and brought him before the king, despite his innocence of the crime forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. And notice how his enemies were determined to trap him. They KNEW when he prayed, and they knew where he prayed, and they made it his business to be there to witness his prayer-time! It was a deliberate tactic to ensnare a man of God. _ wonder how many more of these there have been? AND He was declared to be guiltless before God. Doesn’t that remind you of someone else? Someone who also was betrayed by a traitor, dragged before the authorities, yet without sin? Here’s what Isaiah wrote about this Man, Isaiah 53:7  
  • His ENTOMBMENT AND DELIVERANCE. …they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now notice some interesting details here as well:-
    • The mouth of the Lion’s den was BLOCKED WITH A STONE. V17 Wasn’t there another tomb that was similarly blocked? Matthew 27:59-60  
    • It was SEALED. and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; And again, Matthew 27:64-66 It was sealed with the seal of One who meant Daniel to live! that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. When Jesus’ tomb was sealed, God’s purpose was sealed too, – so that the whole world would know that he is risen and he lives.
  • His VICTORY OVER DEATH. V21  God could have rescued Daniel from the den by some miraculous intervention. He could have sent 10.000 angels, to destroy the Persian court, and bring Daniel to safety. He could have struck down his accusers as they worked through their plot, – but he didn’t. He demonstrated his power and greatness by shutting the mouths of the lions. He turned those big cats into purring kittens. Of course he can do this for he created them, and one day the lion and the lamb will lie down together in his new earth. Romans 8:32   Daniel was victorious over death.
  • His VINDICATION over all his FOES. V24  When Jesus died and was buried and rose again, he defeated his foes. Ephesians 4:7-10  
  • His EXALTATION in the kingdom. V28  Daniel was given more opportunity for service, and a high position. Jesus is exalted on high at the right hand of God. 

Daniel, is – to a limited extent, in this case, a pointer to Christ.

The well known, and well loved story of Daniel teaches us about God’s ability to deliver, and about the true faithfulness of the Christian who walks close to the Lord and about the power of prayer, and it points us to the Saviour. Like Darius, let us learn that we are sinners, and sorrow and grieve over our sin, and in humble repentance, seek the Lord, who never turns away all those who come to him for forgiveness and salvation.

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