Online Bible Commentary
Always Consider the Source
Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. 11Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 12 And they went before the king, and spoke concerning the king's decree: "Have you not signed a decree that every man who petitions any god or man within thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?" The king answered and said, "The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter." 13 So they answered and said before the king, "That Daniel, who is one of the captives from Judah, does not show due regard for you, O king, or for the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day." 14 And the king, when he heard these words, was greatly displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him. 15 Then these men approached the king, and said to the king, "Know, O king, that it is the law of the Medes and Persians that no decree or statute which the king establishes may be changed." 16 So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, "Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you." 17 Then a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signets of his lords, that the purpose concerning Daniel might not be changed. (NKJV)
Babylon has been overthrown by the Persians and Darius has been made king of the former Babylon. King Darius has found favor with Daniel and has thoughts of making him head over all the government officials. The officials are envious of Daniel’s favor with the king and plot to destroy Daniel. They resort to the politics of personal destruction.
The officials lie to the king and tell him that all the officials, including Daniel, have decided that prayers should only be offered to the king, and no other god, for a period of thirty days. The officials draft a decree and the king signs it into law. The officials know that Daniel will remain faithful to God and, by doing so, will break the law.
Daniel learned of the new law, but continued his habit of praying to God three times a day (v. 10). As Daniel prayed, “with his windows open towards Jerusalem”, the officials heard and approached the king (vv. 11-12). They told the king of Daniel’s prayers, describing him as “one of the captives from Judah” who does not “show due regard” for the king (v. 13).
When the king heard the charges of the officials he “was greatly displeased with himself” (v. 14a). He knew at that moment that he had been tricked by the officials. He remembered how faithful Daniel was to his God, and that he would never agree to the decree, as the officials had said that he did. He was mad at himself for believing the officials and not checking with Daniel before signing the decree into law.
The king then worked to have Daniel absolved from the charges (v. 14b). He worked all day, to no avail (v. 14b). Come sunset, the officials approached the king again citing that, according to the “the law of the Medes and Persians”, “no decree or statute which the king establishes may be changed” (v. 15).
So the king had no choice but to give the command to cast Daniel “into the den of lions” (v. 16a). Before doing so, the king told Daniel "Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you" (v. 16b). Through Daniel’s witness, the king had come to believe in the power of Daniel’s God. He had seen God’s power at work in Daniel.
Daniel was placed in the lion’s den and a stone was rolled over the mouth of the opening (v. 17a). Then “the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signets of his lords”, to attest that justice had been delivered (v. 17b).
So the officials resorted to the politics of personal destruction to destroy Daniel. They used a lie to accomplish their evil plan. They lied to the king that all the officials, including Daniel, had approved of the decree in order to induce the king to sign it into law.
Sound familiar? Politics is no different today. The politics of personal destruction is alive and well in America. Politicians, and special interests groups, lie about their rivals. Some in the media lie about those they disagree with in order to induce voters to vote against them. Lies have become commonplace. As they are repeated over and over again, they are believed as fact. There are so many lies being broadcast that the voters no longer know who to trust.
This is the state of our country today. The voters are more confused than ever before. They are more distrustful of the system than ever before, and rightly so. It is important to inform ourselves about the candidates. But some in the media have proven that they cannot be trusted.
The king did not listen directly to Daniel. He listened to the words of others about Daniel, and, consequently, he made a bad decision. The king was mad at himself for believing their lie. He should have considered the source.
This is a lesson for all of us. Do not believe the media, special interests groups, or rival politicians. Listen directly to the words of the candidates. Always consider the source.