Daniel Six
Daniel Faces the Lions
A Prophetic Application for
the Last Days

(Ulrike Unruh)

6:1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;
6:2 And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel [was] first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.
6:3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit [was] in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.

The time represented by the golden head of the great image in Daniel two, has passed, and the silver kingdom, representing the Persians and the Medes is now in power. Gubaru, the military commander that attacked Babylon in October, 539 B.C., was appointed by Cyrus, as the king of Babylon. Gubaru assumed the "throne name" of Darius. Darius organizes the newly conquered Babylon with system of high accountability amongst its various levels of government. He ruled for a little more than a year and died in 538. Then Cyrus, as the Medo-Persian Emperor became "king of all his lands".

Daniel was now around 80 to 85 years of age. He was no longer a young man, but still wise, and an acknowledged good statesman. The new king must have heard of Daniel prior to this for placed Daniel in a highly honored position in the new regime!

Darius "set over the kingdom a hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; and over these, three presidents; of whom Daniel was first." And "Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm." The honors bestowed upon Daniel excited the jealousy of the leading men of the kingdom. The presidents and princes sought to find occasion against him 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." {RH, February 8, 1881 par. 9}

The excellent spirit which was recognized in Daniel was of course due to His commitment and relationship with the God of heaven. This revealed itself in faithfulness to duty, his sound wisdom, and his unselfishness and lack of greed and intrigue, a rare combination of qualities among politicians in that time (and ours).

6:4 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.

" What a lesson is here presented for all Christians. The keen eyes of jealousy were fixed upon Daniel day after day; their watchings were sharpened by hatred; yet not a word or act of his life could they make appear wrong. And still he made no claim to sanctification; but he did that which was infinitely better,--he lived a holy, sanctified life. The true test of sanctification is the daily deportment. {RH, February 8, 1881 par. 10} The more blameless the life of Daniel, the greater was the hatred excited against him by his enemies. They were filled with madness, because they could find nothing in his moral character or in the discharge of his duties, upon which to base a complaint against 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." Three times a day, Daniel prayed to the God of Heaven.

6:4 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.
6:5 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.
6:6 Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.
6:7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
6:8 Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
6:9 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.

Why were these men so determined to destroy Daniel? They saw his goodness and his uprightness-- why won't they honor this?

One can only speculate on why?
One reason may be that Daniel was a high official in the conquered nations and it just wasn't the practice in those days to make a high official of the conq uered nation, the highest official (under the king) in the new. Daniel was placed over them, but he was not one of them. Yet even this does not seem like a good reason, seeing that they searched Daniel's record and found no problem anywhere. These men became jealous of Daniel because he found favor with kings and nobles, and was honored as the greatest man in Babylon

It was God's purpose that the great nations of the earth be exposed to His ways. There was Joseph in Egypt, Jonah in Assyria, Daniel and his three friends in Babylon, and now Daniel re-instated in the Persian empire. God's purpose is that there should be reflectors of His light in the great nations on earth.

Satan was determined to defeat this purpose. He worked upon the minds of the princes, causing them to be jealous of Daniel. If he could get rid of Daniel much could be accomplished in his attempt to thrawt God's plans.

1. Destroy the bright light shining for God in the new empire which Satan wanted to control.

2. Satan knew the prophecies concerning the restoration of Jerusalem and Cyrus' role in freeing the Jews and enabling them to start rebuilding. He realized Daniel, with his knowledge of these prophecies, would present it to the king and this would cause the Persian ruler to look favorably to the Jewish restoration in their own land. In Daniel 10 we find that Satan highly opposed this liberation. An angel draws back the curtain so Daniel can see the battle of fallen and righteous angels each trying to influence Cyrus concerning the decree to let Israel go.

So the advantages to satan if Daniel were removed at that time are several.

1. No more witnessing in the kings palace
2. Keep Jews in Babylon
3. And possibly thrawt the whole plan of Messiah being born to the Jewish nation -- the seed of Abraham.

So satan plays his psyclogical games on these princes -- getting them all riled up about "it's not fair that a foreigner should rule over us.

They in turn come up with a plan to trick the king into throwing Daniel into the lion's den. They create a law that they are pretty sure Daniel will break and present it to the king for him to sign into non-retractable law. They do not let the king know that they have neglected to run this plan past Daniel. They play on the king's fears and pride to get the law signed. The kings fears were whether or not his new subjects in newly conquered babylon were loyal to him.

The princes thought their plot through well. They begin their presentation with great flattery. In false humility they present the law as being for the glory of the king. The king is enjoying this praise and totally fails to think through the implications that this law will bring. And he signs it!


Now let's consider the prophetic nature of those verses.

This isn't just an exciting story to entertain children during Sabbath School. This story illustrates the crises that God's people willl face at the end of time.

Both Daniel 3 and Daniel 6 deal with crises over worship.
In Daniel 3 false worship was legislated.
In Daniel 6 true worship was forbidden

. When the Sunday crises comes -- false worship will be legislated, and true worship will be forbidden.

In both chapters God's servents remained true to God.

I'm reminded of the situation in Samoa, where we see a miniture of this scene. Sunday is chosen as the "Sabbath" by the Adventist church, while faithful Sabbath (on Saturday) keepers are harrassed. One individual wrote that never has the Sabbath meant so much and been such a blessing to him, as now when he had to stand up and make a decision to follow Christ even if it meant going against the strong opinions of others.

No longer is it just a "cultural practice", when the forces start putting on presure for false worship and against true worship. Then the polishing and sifting occurs. The nominal believers go with the crowd, while the faithful are polished and draw closer to their God.

Today, we know the crisis is just ahead. and we need to follow the example of Daniel and his three friends and establish a relationship with God so deep that we will not compromise our faith.


How easy it would have been for Daniel's three friends to "pretend" they were bowing to the image. Why not compromise a little by bowing down, after all they could use the time to be "praying to God in heaven", after all God knows the heart, doesn't He? BUT their body language would have been telling a different story. They refused to even give the appearance of evil.

In Daniel's situation, how easy it would have been to go into his closet for his prayers, or to pray silently as he walked along a river or path, forget about the open window and praying toward Jerusalem three times a day, at least till the 30 days were over. But no, Daniel would not hide the fact that He needed to talk to His best Friend and God!

Our relationship with God must be so deep that we will not compromise our faith, no matter how "small" the issue. True worship of our Creator God is more important than even preserving life itself.

6:11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God
. 6:12 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.
6:13 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.
6:14 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.
6:15 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.

With fiendish zeal these scheming princesare are determined to get rid of Daniel.

Do we realize that non-Christians are watching us? What do they see? Do they see a live committed to the God of heaven, or do they see someone acting, dressing, and dealing much like everyone else in the world? When the crises comes there will be people who will try to dreg up any dirt they can find to use against God's people. Few realize how important it is to serve God with an undivided heart so His righteousness may shine forth from us. Let the enemy only see good in our lives which will bring glory to God.

The Bible says we can rejoice if we "are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:11) "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a] a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters." 1 Peter 4:15

The princess found nothing to use against Daniel -- nothing until they manufactured a law against his relationship with God. Daniel was aware of the purpose of this new law, but it made no difference in his daily life. He had a special appointment, three times a day, to meet with his Lord, these appointments he would not miss, not even when ordered by the king.

In this chapter we see Daniel, noble and true, committed to his God and to faithful service to his fellowman. This is the picture of a human being who makes God his Lord, Savior, Guide and Friend.

On the opposite side we see the characters of men who who yield themselves to the influence of Satan. Underhanded and mean, coniviving to destroy those who stand in their way. All that is noble in man is lost when satan influences their aims and purposes.

No sooner did they see Daniel kneel in his usual place of prayer and hear his voice raised in supplication to the God of heaven, when they raced off to report him to the king.

Now these were scheming men. Before reporting on Daniel they wanted a confirmation from the king that any law signed and stamped with the king's seal was UNCHANGABLE. The king verified that the decree was unalterable. Hiding their smug looks under a coat of pretended horror that anyone would defy the king, they state: "That Daniel which is one of those captives from Judah"....

They don't say "the prime minister" -- they give no recognition to Daniel's high position over them. Thier wording puts Daniel at the lowest level they could think of -- "a rebellious captive" concept.

When the crises hits, we can't expect our opponents to give any good references about us. They will present God's faithful before the authorities in the lowest description, as vile offenders.

A decree signed with the kings' seal was unalterable in the kingdom of the Medes and Persians, yet the king spent the entire day pleading with those in high authority, and searching for some way to save Daniel. But with satanic smiles those princes met every argument with the words, "Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians can not be changed."

They caught their prey, and in no way were they going to let him escape. All their former flattery as to the greatness of the king seemed a mockery as they now held the "law of the Medes and Persians' over his head, till at last the king agreed that Daniel must go into the lion's den.

6:19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
6:20 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?
6:21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.
6:22 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.
6:23 Then was the king exceeding 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 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." (CC255)

In the time of the end, God will not prevent evil men from demonstrating their evil intentions and ambitions. A great time of trouble will fall upon the world. But once again God will deliver his faithful people in a glorious eternal rescue mission. His faithful will live with Christ forever in Paradise, while the wicked will be no more.

6:24 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.
6:25 Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
6:26 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.

The princes were caught in their own snare. The trap they planted to eliminate Daniel sprang shut upon themselves. That is how sin works. Sin is self destructive, even if the results are not seen immediately. But why the wives and children?

Could this also be a lesson to parents and families, that their course of action have direct effects on their families? How many children will grow up and be lost for eternity because of the influence of the parents? On the other hand, the influence of a godly father and a godly mother will see many a child in the courts of heaven. They pointed them to Christ, and in times of temptation and trail they will find their anchor, surety and strength in the Lord.

From the story of Daniel's deliverance we may learn that when trouble and difficult times come upon God's children they should be just like they were when things were going good. Daniel, while in the lions' den was the same Daniel worked in the palace as the chief among the ministers of state, or when he communed with God and wrote out visions as prophet of the Most High.

"A man whose heart is stayed upon God will be the same in the hour of his greatest trial as he is in prosperity, when the light and favor of God and of man beam upon him. Faith reaches to the unseen, and grasps eternal realities. Heaven is very near those who suffer for righteousness' sake. Christ identifies His interests with the interests of His faithful people; He suffers in the person of His saints, and whoever touches His chosen ones touches Him. The power that is near to deliver from physical harm or distress is also near to save from the greater evil, making it possible for the servant of God to maintain his integrity under all circumstances, and to triumph through divine grace." PK 546

Daniel's faithfulness brought glory to God.
The king published the news far and wide. Thus many were given the opportunity to know that there is a true, and powerful God. A God Who takes personal interest in His people. A living God!

More studies in the book of Daniel