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Into the lions' den (Daniel 6 v 11-24)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

We’ve seen the plot set by the jealous officials. Now, as we reach the part of Daniel that virtually everyone has heard of, they spring their trap.

Forcing the king’s hand
Read Daniel 6:11

• How do the officials bring their charge against Daniel (v 12-13)?
• How do they back the king into a corner (v 15)?

The officials describe Daniel as one of the exiles, rather than the king’s most trusted administrator! And they scorn his loyalty to the king: he “pays no attention to you” (v 13).
The king clearly likes Daniel and has no desire to put him to death—but there’s nothing he can do. He delays, he prays for Daniel’s rescue, he doesn’t eat and can’t sleep… but he still “threw him into the lions' den” (v 16).

Closing the mouth of lions
Read Daniel 6:19

• What is significant in what King Darius says in calling to Daniel (v 20)?

Darius prayed in v 16 that Daniel’s God, who he served continually, might rescue him. Now he uses the same phrase, and
calls Daniel a servant of this God. He’s recognising Daniel’s loyal service to his God—which is why he’s in this mess!

• What is significant in what Daniel says back?

Daniel shouts back with the wonderful news of his rescue, and says it was because he was innocent in God’s sight, as well before the king. What a wonderful thing to be able to say before God!

Lifted up, thrown down
Read Daniel 6:23

• Look at the comparisons in these two verses.

Daniel is lifted out and is without a scratch (like his friends in chapter 3).

• Why (end of v 23)?

This is almost certainly what Hebrews is referring to when we read of men “who through faith … shut the mouths of lions” (Hebrews 11 v 33).
On the other hand, those who accused Daniel find themselves cast into the lions’ den—and there is no protection for them. Those who oppose God’s people are opposing God: and His judgment will come.

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APPLY
• What most encourages you from this passage?
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PRAY THRU
Choose one aspect of God's character that you've been struck by from this whole episode, and spend a few minutes thanking God for it.
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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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Originally published February 23, 2012.

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