Daniel in the lions’ den is perhaps one of the most beloved Bible stories of all time, especially by children. I’ve taught it a number of times through the years, and Daniel’s great courage and the miracle of the lions’ closed mouths never fails to thrill.
But another aspect of Daniel’s life came to mind today when I was considering what to highlight in the life of this faithful man.
In Daniel 6, Darius the king formed a group of one hundred twenty princes, and over those, three presidents, of whom Daniel was chief. Daniel was so revered by Darius that the other leaders grew jealous of him and concocted a plan to get rid of him.
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.
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. – Daniel 6:4, 5
Daniel was a man of such integrity that his only apparent “weakness” was his faith.
So, the princes and presidents tricked Darius into signing a law requiring everyone in the kingdom to pray only to the king for thirty days.
Those who petitioned “any God or man” (Daniel 6:7) would be lion fodder.
Plot a graph of Daniel’s deeds throughout his life, and you’ll find a straight line connecting each point. Though his life was punctuated with the miraculous and the dramatic, Daniel himself was a steady, straightforward sort, solid as a rock in his faith. He never showed fear, never seemed to consider any alternative other than the right one, even when facing death.
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. – Daniel 6:10
Daniel just kept doing the same thing he had always done.
He had always prayed three times each day in front of his open window, and he continued to do so immediately following the new decree. His habits and character were so reliable that the men who plotted his demise were certain of their success.
And they were right. As we know, Daniel was caught, convicted, and cast among lions. But God saved his life, and his adversaries were tossed to the lions in his stead.
I will certainly strive, as Daniel did, to maintain godly habits, come what may. Sometimes, the habits of prayer, Bible reading, church attendance, Christian fellowship, and even blogging are what will keep us heading onward and upward in the valleys of our Christian lives.
What inspires you about Daniel’s story? What other Bible character would you like me to feature in future? I welcome your comments and suggestions.