Chapter 6: The Sovereign God who Delivers (from Men and Beasts)
What: Public Demonstration Story
When and Where:
Darius rules over Babylon as part of the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians (1, 3, 8 )
- Darius the king can appoint officials (1) but is bound by the Medo-Persian law (8, 9)
- The commissioners and satraps (4) who pass the law so that the king may sign it (8, 9)
- Certain of the conspirators of this group were killed (24) with families
- Daniel who distinguished himself (3) and was subsequently thrown to the lions according to the Medo-Persian law (16)
- God the Living God (26)
Darius versus the Law and Law of God versus the Law of Man
Darius appoints 120 satraps over the kingdom (1) and 3 commissioners over them (2) of which Daniel was one of them and was doing better than them in the King planned to make him president (3)
The commissioners and the satraps try to get dirt on Daniel but he?s not that type of person (4) and they knew it (5)
They came up with a plan and presented it to the king (6 ? 9)
- Flowery speech (6)
- A law and injunction barring anyone from praying to any God but the king for 30 days (7)
- The king is to sign it so that it?s not revoked (8) and he does (9)
Daniel knows the document is signed and goes home, like normal to pray (10)
The enemies found him praying (11) approached the king with the law (12) to which he agreed of its veracity and then pointed out how Daniel is the one who did broke the law (13)
The king realizes the dilemma and works all day to try to get the law changed (14)
The ringleaders know what he?s doing and remind him that it?s a law and he can?t change it (15)
King gave orders for Daniel to be thrown to the lions (16-18)
- Told Daniel that ?may your God deliver you? (16)
- Got the stone over the den and sealed it with his ring (17)
- Went home and spent the night fasting and sleepless (18)
King got up at dawn to run to the lion?s den (19 ? 22)
- Cried out asking if Daniel?s God was able to deliver (20)
- Daniel answered the king (21) then explained the protection of an angel stating that he was found innocent before God (22)
Results: Position, Precept and Praise
The king was pleased and had Daniel pulled out of the lion?s den, unscathed (23)
King gave orders to throw accusers and their families to the lions and the lions crushed their bones (24)
Darius wrote a decree to all the people (25 ? 27)
- Fear and tremble before the God of Daniel (26)
- Daniel?s God is the Living God who endures forever
- Daniel?s God?s Kingdom will endure forever
- He delivers and performs signs and rescued Daniel from the lions (27)
Daniel enjoyed success in the reign of Darius and Cyrus (28)
Firstly we see the pride of man that he would dare set up a system where no one is allowed to pray to any other but himself. The man puts himself in the place of God and does it as if it is nothing small, just needs a signature and the thing shall be. He may have done it without thinking out the repercussions of his action, but he did it nevertheless and God overturned his (and the conspirators?) decision.
Secondly, we may notice that the plan that the conspirators set was not some devious machination which would require a smear campaign or planting evidence. Daniel had nothing in his record which would even make such things plausible and it frustrated those who were trying to set the trap. Instead, they set a trap about those things which Daniel held most dear, the law of his God. Daniel then stands as a determined runner heading in one straight direction and the conspirators noticed that they couldn?t stop him, so they put the bar of man?s law across his path so that he would run into it, knowing he would do as much.
Thirdly we may note how God stops the mouth of hungry lions by sending an angel to shut their mouths. The natural desire of the lions was repelled in God?s sovereign and righteous ruling that Daniel was not guilty.
Fourthly, we might notice the king?s love for Daniel. He appointed Daniel as one of the highest commissioners of the land and was considering making him second in command?his vice president, if you will. When he realized his folly of signing the law and sealing it he did everything in his power until dusk to try to rescue Daniel. He lost a night of sleep tossing and turning as Daniel sat in the lion?s den. He ran early the next morning to, hope beyond hope, see what had transpired and upon seeing that Daniel was alive and well, he had the conspirators killed with their families.
Fifthly we might see the amount of praise that Darius showers unto Daniel?s God. He calls Him the Living God and that all peoples should tremble before Him. He points out how His kingdom endures forever, never to be destroyed. He illustrates that God can deliver and rescue and perform signs in heaven and earth by pointing at Daniel?s tremendous rescue here on earth from the God in heaven.
Interestingly, we may notice some interesting comparisons and contrasts with chapter 3. Nebuchadnezzar thought no god could save people out of his hand and Darius vainly thought he could save, but the law was too tight and now hoped that Daniel?s God could save. The 3 men were persecuted for disobeying a law and this 1 man (Daniel) was persecuted for adhering to his law. Nebuchadnezzar was in a blind rage and saw the very Son of God and Darius was in tears but saw the very hand of God which delivered Daniel. Both stories deal with religion mixing with politics with some key differences. In chapter 3 a new system of worship was being set up without denying all others, simply elevating the new system. In chapter 6 all systems of prayer are cut off and only one is found acceptable. In chapter 3, the worship was to an image, in chapter 6 the prayer was to a man. In chapter 3 the Rescued were given prestige and God was praised, in chapter 6 the Rescued was given position and God was praised with a precept.