Daniel in the Lions' Den

Geoffrey Cox

READ : Daniel 6:16-28

“Has your God been able . . . ?” “My God has . . . “ (vv. 20, 22, niv)

Daniel has been faithful to God. Now it is God’s faithfulness that is highlighted, both to Daniel, whom he protects, and to King Darius, whom he teaches a clearer faith.

Darius starts with a real concern for Daniel. He is distressed when Daniel falls victim to the jealous conspiracy of which the king himself was an unwitting part. Darius tries—and fails—to release him, stymied by his own command and the inflexible “laws of the Medes and Persians” (6:8, 12, 15). He then offers a half-prayer, half good wish to Daniel (v. 16), and seals the lions’ den himself—perhaps to stop others from making it even worse for Daniel. Darius fasts, another sign of his sincerity in praying for Daniel. There follows a sleepless night, an early, anxious visit to the lions’ den, and what a greeting!

“Daniel, servant of the living God!” exclaims the king. Darius’ trust in God is growing fast and this is a worthy acclamation, followed by a serious question. “Has your God been able to rescue you?” Amazingly, the answer is yes! God has shut the lions’ mouths. Darius is overjoyed, and his justice upon Daniel’s enemies is swift (v. 24).

Through Daniel’s obedience and trust, Darius has come to trust in the one true God as well. The obedience will follow in due course.


Lord, help me trust in your protection, however things look.