Read Daniel 6:11-23. What does the king say to Daniel that reveals just how powerful a faithful witness Daniel is to God?
The conspirators soon spot Daniel praying — that is, doing exactly what the decree has forbidden. And as they bring the accusation before the king, they refer to Daniel in a demeaning way: “that Daniel, who is one of the captives from Judah” (Dan. 6:13, NKJV). In their eyes, one of the chief officers of the empire, the king’s favorite, is no more than “a captive”.
In addition, they pit Daniel against the king by saying that Daniel “does not show due regard for you, O king, or for the decree that you have signed” (NKJV). Now the king realizes he has been entrapped by signing the decree. The text says that “he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him” (Dan. 6:14, NKJV). But there is nothing he can do to save the prophet from the prescribed punishment. The irrevocable law of the Medes and Persians must be applied to the letter. Thus the king, however reluctantly, issues the command to throw Daniel to the lions. But in doing so Darius expresses some glimmering hope, which sounds like a prayer: “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you” (Dan. 6:16, NKJV).
The biblical text does not say what Daniel does among the lions, but one can assume he is praying. And God honors Daniel’s faith by sending His angel to protect him. In the morning, Daniel remains unharmed and ready to resume his activities in the government. Commenting on this episode, Ellen G. White says: “God did not prevent Daniel’s enemies from casting him into the lions’ den; He permitted evil angels and wicked men thus far to accomplish their purpose; but it was that He might make the deliverance of His servant more marked, and the defeat of the enemies of truth and righteousness more complete”. — Prophets and Kings, pages 543, 544.
|Though this story has a happy ending (at least for Daniel), what about those accounts, even those in the Bible (see, for instance, Mark 6:14-29), that don’t end in deliverance here? How are we to understand them?|