The story of Daniel in the lions den is one of the most familiar stories in the Bible. It showcases a dependence on God while fascinating children of all ages. It also provides to all who read it a glimpse of God’s grace and justice.
Then the king gave orders to arrest the men who had maliciously accused Daniel. He had them thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. The lions leaped on them and tore them apart before they even hit the floor of the den. Daniel 6:24
King Darius chose Daniel along with two others to oversee the leaders of the provinces in his kingdom. Daniel, however, quickly excelled in that position.
Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire. Daniel 6:3
When the other leaders heard of the king’s plans, their jealousy got the best of them. So they devised a way to stroke the king’s ego and get Daniel out of the way.
We are all in agreement—we administrators, officials, high officers, advisers, and governors—that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Daniel 6:7
Before we look at the end of that verse, did you notice how they viewed their strength? They approached the king as “all in agreement.” Then they continued.
Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions. Daniel 6:7
King Darius Signed an Irrevocable Law
So king Darius signed their suggestion into law, an irrevocable law.
When Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. Daniel 6:10
These officials knew Daniel’s schedule and went to his house to catch him in the act. Then they wasted no time reporting this to the king while reminding him of his new law.
Hearing this, the king was deeply troubled, and he tried to think of a way to save Daniel. He spent the rest of the day looking for a way to get Daniel out of this predicament. Daniel 6:14
The king tried hard to find a way to help Daniel. But those who were instrumental in getting the king to sign this irrevocable law reminded him of his duty.
In the evening the men went together to the king and said, “Your Majesty, you know that according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, no law that the king signs can be changed.” Daniel 6:15
So the king regrettably threw Daniel into the lions’ den.
At last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, “May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.” Daniel 6:16
The Story Continues with Daniel in the Lions Den
We don’t exactly know what happened in the lions’ den that night. Did Daniel sit in the corner all night watching every movement the lions made?
Or knowing God was with him, did he find a place to lay down and go to sleep? Maybe to stay warm he cuddled up with one of those furry beasts and slept like a baby.
What we do know is, that the next morning King Darius hurried to the lions’ den. You see, he had prayed during the night for the man he condemned to die, to live.
When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel 6:20
Much to the king’s relief, God did deliver Daniel from the mouths of the lions.
Those who urged the king to sign this irrevocable law thought their strength was in their numbers. God wanted Daniel to live. It didn’t matter what the majority thought.
That’s something we must take to heart as well. The Lord isn’t swayed at all by popular opinion. Think about Noah when he built the ark. Popular opinion said he was nuts.
Yet the whole world died except for Noah and his family. They were saved. Let’s continue to the end of the story of Daniel and the lions’ den.
If you are entertaining the notion that the lions may not have been hungry, think again.
When the king had all the trouble makers and their families thrown to the lions . . .
The lions leaped on them and tore them apart before they even hit the floor of the den. Daniel 6:24
How the Story of Daniel and the Lions Applies to Us
So, how can the story of Daniel in the Lions’ den apply to us? First, if you find yourself in a situation with no way out, trust God. Daniel was literally stuck with no escape.
The relationship he built with the Lord gave him the faith he needed. Therefore, whether the lions ate him or if he walked away, he still trusted the Lord.
Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God. Daniel 6:23
The second application seen in this story pivoted on how Daniel responded to king Darius.
Daniel answered, “Long live the king! My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.” Daniel 6:21-22
Because of Daniel’s response to the king, Darius turned his life to the Lord. He also influenced his kingdom towards God.
The King’s Decree
I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel.
- For he is the living God, and he will endure forever.
- His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end.
- He rescues and saves his people;
- He performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth.
- For He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:26-27
Lord, increase our faith in you, no matter what we face in our lives. Help us when challenged by difficult situations to respond in a way that draws others to you. Instead of reacting negatively.
Check out these other “stories” I have written about.
- The Shepherds’ Story Was Remarkably Astonishing
- The Story Of Lazarus Resulted In An Unusual Plot
- The Story Of Gideon And The Angel
- The Story Of Hannah In The Bible
- The King David And Absalom Story
Check out these other posts from the book of Daniel.
Read the entire story in Daniel 6.
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