“God first” means “safety first.”
That which believers do faithfully in conscience toward God may often be represented as done with obstinate motives by men,
but God knows the heart, and whatever the test, will give peace and deliverance, and will clear the integrity of His trusting child.
1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;
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.
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.
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.
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 Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.
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.
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.
9 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
10 ¶ Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
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.
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.
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.
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.
16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.
18 ¶ Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.
19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
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?
21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.
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.
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.
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.
25 ¶ Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
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.
27 He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
Daniel 6 Intro – J. Vernon McGee
Daniel 6:1-3 – J. Vernon McGee
Daniel 6:4-5 – J. Vernon McGee
Daniel 6:6-9 – J. Vernon McGee
Daniel 6:10-15 – J. Vernon McGee
Daniel 6:16-28 – J. Vernon McGee
Daniel 6:1-15 – Fidelity in Worship.
Though he was the most distinguished man of his day, and full of public business, Daniel managed to find time for prayer, in the evening, morning, and at noon, according to the Hebrew custom (Psalm 55:17). He was outwardly a great magnate of the Persian court, but inwardly he was as true as ever to the city of his fathers and to the Temple now in ruins (v. 10). What a marvelous tribute was afforded to his saintly character by his foes, when they could find no fault in him except as concerned his religious life! Time spent in prayer is not lost time to the suppliant. Luther used to say: “I have so much to do today that I cannot get through with less than three hours of prayer.” It was customary for the Jews to turn the face toward the Holy City, which for so long had been the center of their great religious system, 1 Kings 8:44; Jonah 2:4. With us, the upturned face and the references we make to the great High Priest, are significant of a posture of soul analagous and yet superior to the open window. See to it that your windows are always open towards the New Jerusalem, of which you are a citizen, but from which for a little while you are exiled.
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7 All the ____________________ of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have __________________ together to establish a royal ______________, and to make a firm ____________, that whosoever shall ask a ________________ of any God or man for ____________ days, save of thee, O king, he shall be ________ into the den of __________.
8 Now, O king, __________________ the decree, and sign the ______________, that it be not ______________, according to the law of the __________ and ________________, which altereth not.
9 Wherefore king Darius ____________ the writing and the decree.
Daniel 6:10 – Constantine the Great was one day looking at some statues of noted persons, who were represented standing. “I shall have mine taken kneeling,” said he; “for that is how I have risen to eminence.” Thus it is with the Christian: if he would obtain any real eminence in the Christian life, he must be often kneeling in prayer to God. (Moody)
Daniel 6:16-28 – “Persecuted for Righteousness’ Sake.”
The plot was an atrocious one, but it hurt its perpetrators more than the victim of their vindictive hatred (v. 24). They dug a pit into which they fell themselves. They thought to flatter the king, and secure Daniel’s fall; but their stratagems were like the mines laid at the mouth of a harbor, which are more perilous to those who set them than to others. Still God sends his angels to shut the lions’ mouths, that they may not hurt his people, strongly conscious of uprightness before God and man. It is not necessary to suppose that Daniel saw the angel any more than we behold the horses and chariots in the mountains around us. Dare to believe that the ministering angels, though unseen, engirdle you and intercept the blows and plots of your adversaries. Walk before God in righteousness and peace, and be sure that you are immortal till your work is done. That a heathen king should publish such a proclamation is a glimpse into the divine wisdom that can make his mighty power known by the strangest circumstances.
Daniel 6:23—No manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.
By faith they shut the mouths of lions. The lions’ den is not an old-world experience merely. God’s saints still dwell among lions, and fight with wild beasts at Ephesus. Like David, God’s people have abundant cause to cry, “They have compassed us in our steps: they set their eyes to out us down to the earth. He is like a lion that is greedy of his prey, and, as it were, a young lion, lurking in secret places.” But still God sends his angel to shut the lions’ mouths; still faith surrounds us with his unseen protection. Or, if the lion seems to triumph, it is only in appearance. Was not the martyr Ignatius more than a conqueror when he said:
“I bid all men know that of my own free will I die for God, unless ye should hinder me. I exhort you, be ye not an unseasonable kindness to me. Let me be given to the wild beasts, for through them I can attain unto God. I am God’s wheat, and I am ground by the teeth of wild beasts that I may be found pure bread of Christ. Rather entice the wild beasts that they may become my sepulchre, and may leave no part of my body behind; so that I may not, when I am fallen asleep, be burdensome to any one…. Now I am beginning to be a disciple. May naught of things visible and things invisible impede me, that I may attain unto Jesus Christ. Come fire, and iron, and grapplings with wild beasts, cuttings, and manglings, crashings of my whole body—only be it mine to attain unto Jesus Christ.”
Whether faith closes the mouth of the lion, or gives the soul such an entire deliverance from all fear, it is the same in essence and operation, and shows its heavenly temper with the ease with which it overcomes the world. —Our Daily Homily