Daniel in the Den of Lions

Scripture Passage: 
Daniel 6:1-28
Attached audio files: 

INTRODUCTION: Every child in church soon learns the story of Daniel in the den of lions. It is a riveting tale of courage and supernatural deliverance. Central to the story is the faithfulness of Daniel. His only weakness was that his faithfulness was so strong that it could be used to trap him. But, as we all know, God rewards faithfulness and Daniel was delivered from the mouth of the lions.

  1. DANIEL’S PROMOTION (Daniel 6:1-3)
    1. The Selection of Princes (Daniel 6:1)
      1. Darius determined to set princes over the kingdom.
      2. He selected 120 princes.
    2. The Selection of Presidents (Daniel 6:2; Psalm 75:6-7)
      1. Darius selected three presidents to supervise the princes.
      2. The princes had to give accounts to the presidents.
      3. Daniel was the first president.
    3. The Preference of Daniel (Daniel 6:3)
      1. The man of Darius’ preference - Daniel
      2. The foundation of Darius’ preference
        1. Daniel’s excellent spirit
        2. Darius’ desire to set Daniel over the whole realm
  2. THE ENEMIES’ PLOTTING (Daniel 6:4-9)
    1. They Looked for Fault (Daniel 6:4; 1 Peter 2:12-15, 19-20; 1 Peter 4:12-16).
      1. The focus of their plotting - Daniel
      2. The area of attack – They tried to find something Daniel was doing wrong in the kingdom.
      3. The failure to find fault
        1. They could find none occasion nor fault.
        2. Daniel was faithful to the kingdom.
    2. They Attacked His Faith (Daniel 6:5; Acts 4:18-20).
      1. They knew they could find no fault against him in the kingdom.
      2. They knew they could only find fault in the fact that he faithfully adhered to the law of God.
    3. They Fooled the King (Daniel 6:6-9).
      1. They baited him to their side (Daniel 6:6-7).
        1. With flattery (Daniel 6:6-7)
          1. “King Darius, live for ever” (Daniel 6:6).
          2. No man should ask a petition of any God or man, save of thee (Daniel 6:7).
        2. By suggesting the crowd was united (Daniel 6:7)
          1. The presidents; Note: This would include Daniel.
          2. The governors
          3. The princes
          4. The counsellers
          5. The captains
      2. They suggested a decree (Daniel 6:7).
        1. The contents of the decree – None “shall ask a petition of any God or man . . . save of thee.”
        2. The time of the decree – “for thirty days”
        3. The punishment for failure to heed the decree – “he shall be cast into the den of lions.”
      3. They convinced Darius to sign (Daniel 6:8-9).
        1. They encouraged him to put in place an unalterable decree (Daniel 6:8).
        2. Darius signed the writing and the decree (Daniel 6:9).
  3. DANIEL’S PRAYER (Daniel 6:10)
    1. His Perception (see Luke 14:28-30)
      1. He knew the content of the decree.
      2. He knew the punishment for failure to comply.
      3. He knew the king approved of the decree.
    2. His Place
      1. He went into his house.
      2. He went into his chamber. A chamber is a room within the house, perhaps a bedroom.
      3. His windows were open toward Jerusalem. Note: Some have suggested Daniel specifically opened his window at this point, but the scripture seems to indicate the window was already open.
    3. His Position
      1. He kneeled upon his knees.
      2. Position is largely a matter of preference or practicality.
        1. Lower positions are usually associated with repentance and pleading.
        2. Upright positions tend more to conversational prayer.
    4. His Pattern
      1. He knelt in prayer three times a day.
      2. These times are identified as evening, morning, and noon (Psalm 55:17); Jews start their calendar day with evening (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).
    5. His Praise
      1. He gave thanks before his God.
      2. This was something he had done “aforetime.”
  4. DANIEL’S PROSECUTION (Daniel 6:11-15)
    1. The Sight of Daniel Praying (Daniel 6:11)
      1. The men assembled and found Daniel praying.
      2. In order to do so, they would have needed to enter into his chamber or spy on him from without.
    2. The Accusation of Daniel (Daniel 6:12-13)
      1. The leaders reminded Darius of the decree (Daniel 6:12).
      2. The leaders informed the king of Daniel’s rebellion (Daniel 6:13).
    3. The Pressure on the King (Daniel 6:14-15)
      1. The king’s frustration (Daniel 6:14)
        1. He was sore displeased with himself.
        2. He was upset that his decree affected Daniel.
        3. He set his heart on Daniel to deliver him.
      2. The leaders’ resolve (Daniel 6:15)
  5. DANIEL’S PERSECUTION (Daniel 6:16-18)
    1. The Den of Lions (Daniel 6:16); its fierceness
      1. The punishment instituted – Daniel was cast into the den of lions.
      2. The king’s faith – He knew Daniel’s God would deliver him.
    2. The Sealed Door (Daniel 6:17); its finality
      1. A stone was brought to the mouth of the den.
      2. The stone was sealed with the signet of the king and his lords.
    3. The Long Night (Daniel 6:18); its duration
      1. The king spent the night in fasting.
      2. The king brought in no instruments of musick.
      3. The king’s sleep went from him.
  6. GOD’S PROVISION (Daniel 6:19-22)
    1. The King’s Concern (Daniel 6:19-20)
      1. He rose up early and went in haste unto the den (Daniel 6:19).
      2. He cried out to Daniel to see if God delivered him (Daniel 6:20).
    2. Daniel’s Answer (Daniel 6:21-22)
      1. He praised God’s deliverance (Daniel 6:22).
      2. He spoke of his own innocence (Daniel 6:22).
  7. DANIEL’S PROSPERITY (Daniel 6:23-28)
    1. His Release (Daniel 6:23)
    2. His Enemies Destroyed (Daniel 6:24)
      1. At the king’s commandment
      2. Their families were also cast into the den of lions.
      3. The lions had the mastery of them.
    3. His Faith Honoured (Daniel 6:25-27)
      1. Darius made another decree – this time in favour of God (Daniel 6:25-26).
      2. Darius praised the God of Daniel (Daniel 6:27).
    4. His Life Rewarded (Daniel 6:28)
      1. He prospered in the reign of Darius.
      2. He prospered in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

CONCLUSION: God wants us to be faithful as was Daniel. We need to learn to be faithful in the spiritual practices of love and obedience to the Lord. We need especially to be faithful in our time of prayer with the Lord.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 4:10

Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.