Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Daniel and the lion's den (Daniel chapter 6)

During his exile in Babylon, Daniel's life has been marked by the reign of several kings.
Darius the Mede is first mentioned in the Book of Daniel, chapter 5 after Hashem's prophecy on Belshazzar is being accomplished.
Daniel distinguishes himself through his intelligence and wisdom. The king wants to honor him and set him over his kingdom when jealousy comes into play.

The high officials and satraps' ambush

Daniel has the same kind of attitude as Joseph. Daniel does not compromise with his moral standards, there is no corruption to be found in the man, which makes it difficult for the king's satraps to set a trap against him. Their strategy is to maneuver against Daniel using his obedience to the Torah.

"Then these men said, "We shall not find any ground of complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God." Daniel 5:6
These wicked bunch of people are pushing the king to establish and enforce an ordinance that would make any man who makes a petition to a man or a god for thirty days-except the king- guilty.

Daniel's opponents know that he is praying three times a day, so he would automatically break the Royal decree. They also want to make sure he loses his life, so they are insisting that the person breaking this precise rule should be sent to the lion's den.

Daniel being found guilty of "making petition to his God"

As soon as Daniel hears about the decree, he addresses to Hashem. Daniel the prophet is a righteous man. His unconditional faith in the God of Israel seems to lead him to a promised death, as the officials surprise him while praying.

The king, who heard about Daniel making a petition to his God wanted to find a way to deliver Daniel from the sanction, but before his enemies' insistance and knowing that he could not revoke his own ordinance, he sent Daniel to the lion's den.

"Then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him. Then these men came in agreement to the king and said to the king: "Know, O king, that this is a law of the Medes and Persians that no instruction or ordinance that the king established can be changed." Daniel 6:14-15
Darius seems attached to Daniel and he gives him words of encouragement:

"The king declared to Daniel: "may your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!"

Daniel at the lion's den

The situation seems desperate.

However Hashem sends his angel to shut the lions' mouth, because Daniel was found blameless before Him. The God of Israel has the power to deliver the righteous man.

The king rushes to come to the den to see if Daniel is still alive.
After witnessing the miracle, the persons wishing death upon Daniel will know their fate.

King Darius gives glory to Hashem and recognizes Him as the true God:

A new decree is made  that people shall tremble before the God of Daniel.

"For He is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed and his dominion shall be to the end." Daniel 6:26

We know from the biblical report of the Book of Daniel that the prophet prospered under Darius' reign.

No matter who our accusators might be, Hashem has the power to deliver us against our enemies when we walk in integrity before His face.

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

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