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Celebrate the Week

Daniel in the Lions’ Den is one of my forever favorite stories. When I was little, the lions captivated my attention. When I grew older, I found strength in Daniel’s faithfulness, choosing to keep God’s law no matter the consequences. And now, I am comforted knowing that the law of the Medes and the Persians is subject to Daniel’s God whom I serve.

It is so recorded in
the Book of Daniel–

It pleased Darius, the Mede,
King of Babylon, to set Daniel,
a man of exceptional qualities,
over the kingdom.

But it didn’t please Daniel’s peers.
They search for grounds to make
charges against him, but they can find
no error, no fault, no corruption in him.
They can make no charge against him.

So they plot to entrap him, create
a snare concerning the law of his God.
Their plan is heinous, and they
are certain it will work.

So, they throng before the king,
“King Darius, live forever!
We’ve all consulted together to
establish a royal statute, to make
a firm decree that whoever petitions
any god or man for thirty days, except
you, O king, shall be cast into
the den of lions.”

So, they give the decree to the king,
“Now O King, establish it. Sign the
writing. And it cannot be changed.”
This is the law of the Medes and Persians
which does not alter.

Darius, the Mede,
signs the decree.

Daniel knows, but as is his custom,
in an upper room of his home, he
opens a window toward Jerusalem,
there he kneels, three times a day,
there he prays and gives thanks
before his God whose authority exceeds
the law of the Medes and Persians
which does not alter.

There these men find Daniel
praying. Their plot is working.

So, they go before the King,
ask him if he’s signed the high
decree. The king answers: The
decree is true, signed according to
the law of the Medes and Persians,
which does not alter.

So, they report on Daniel.
Say he is a captive from Judah,
Say he doesn’t show respect for the king,
Say he doesn’t respect the king’s decree,
Say he’s been found making petitions
to his God.

Greatly displeased with himself, Darius
sets his heart to deliver Daniel, but by day’s
end nothing is different. These men
remind the king that no decree set
by a king may be changed. This is
the law of the Medes and Persians
which does not alter.

Sadly, the king commands Daniel
be brought from his home,
be cast into the den of lions.
There the king speaks to Daniel,
“Your God whom you serve continually,
He will deliver you.”

A stone is laid on the mouth of the den,
sealed with the king’s signet ring,
sealed with the signets of his lords.
The judgment concerning Daniel
could not be changed.

All night, in his palace,
the king fasts. He
sends his musicians away.
He cannot sleep.

Very early in the morning Darius
goes in haste to the den of lions.
With a lamenting voice, he cries,
“Daniel, servant of the living God,
has your God, whom you serve continually,
been able to deliver you from the lions?”

Daniel thunders back, “O king,
live forever. My God sent His angel
and shut the lions’ mouths, so they
have not hurt me, because I was found
innocent before Him; and also, O king,
I have done no wrong before you.”

The king is exceedingly glad. He
commands that Daniel be brought up
from the lions’ den, that he be checked for
injury, but there is none because he
believes God whose power exceeds
the law of the Medes and Persians
which does not alter.

Then the king commands
that those men, Daniel’s accusers,
be brought before him,
that they be cast,
with their children,
with their wives,
into the den of lions.

And so they are, and
the lions overpower them,
breaking all their bones
before they reach
the bottom of the den.

Then King Darius writes:
“To all peoples, nations, and
languages that dwell in all the earth:
Peace be multiplied to you. I make
a decree that in every dominion of
my kingdom men must tremble
and fear before the God of Daniel.
For He is the living God, and
steadfast forever; His kingdom is
the one which shall not be destroyed,
And His dominion shall endure
to the end. He delivers and rescues,
And He works signs and wonders
In heaven and on earth,
Who has delivered Daniel
from the power of the lions.”

In the Book of Daniel
it is so recorded.

— Daniel 6


A print of this painting hung in my dad’s study when I was a child.



Celebrate this Week
with Ruth Ayres,
Thank you, Ruth!