Online Bible Commentary
He Believed in His God
Daniel 6:18 Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no musicians were brought before him. Also his sleep went from him. 19 Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?" 21 Then Daniel said to the king, "O king, live forever! 22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you." 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God. (NKJV)
The time is 536 B.C. The Medo-Persian Empire captured Babylon three years ago. Darius the Mede is the new King. Daniel has chosen to stay in Babylon, even though the Jews were released two years earlier. Daniel is now about 84 years old. Back in Jerusalem reconstruction of the temple is beginning, after being torched by Babylon during the third invasion of 586 B.C.
Daniel had found favor with the new king. Darius had thoughts of making Daniel second in charge, behind himself. The other officials got wind of this and were envious of Daniel’s favor. They tricked the king into signing into law a decree that all subjects could only pray to the king for thirty days. The officials lied to the king, telling him that Daniel supported the decree. The punishment for breaking this new law was to be cast into the lions den.
Meanwhile, Daniel remained faithful to God and continued his thrice daily prayers. The officials informed the king that Daniel was breaking the law. The king worked hard to have Daniel pardoned but finally had to administer justice in accordance with the law. Daniel was cast into the lions den, which is where we pick up the story.
King Darius, saddened by this turn of events, has returned to the palace after Daniel was cast into the lions den at sunset. He was in no mood for his nightly feast and entertainment by the musicians. Instead he fasted all night, in silence, unable to sleep (v. 18).
The king was up and out of the palace the next morning, as he rushed to check on the condition of Daniel (v. 19). Upon arriving at the den, the king cried out in sorrow "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?" (v. 20).
To the king’s great relief, Daniel answered him. Daniel was not mad at the king. Instead, he honored him (v. 21). Daniel explained that God had sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that he was not hurt (v.22a). He explained that he was innocent before God and also before the king (v. 22b).
“The king was exceedingly glad for him” (v. 23a). He commanded that Daniel be released from the den. There was no injury to Daniel “because he believed in his God” (v. 23b).
Daniel was delivered through this trial because he believed in his God. He trusted God. We too face trials in our lives. Some of us have faced severe trials, like Daniel. In the midst of trials we can have one of two reactions. We can pull away from God in anger, or we can draw nearer to God in trust.
Daniel chose to draw nearer to God. Daniel believed in his God. He trusted that God would deliver him, and God did. And he will do the same for us. We just need the right reaction.
When we draw nearer to God, He draws nearer to us. He helps us through the trial. We need to believe in our God.