Currently I’m in a class in IHOPU called “Book of Daniel” taught by Allen Hood. In the class we’re going through the book of Daniel chapter by chapter, reading a commentary and writing outlines and summaries of each chapter. Today I sat down to read Daniel 6 and do my assignment on that chapter, and the Lord began to speak to me.
Daniel 6 tells the famous story of Daniel being thrown into the lions’ den as punishment for disobeying the king’s decree. Throughout the book of Daniel, we see Daniel’s faithfulness to the Lord, no matter what the consequence. This lifestyle remains true in chapter six. Throughout Daniel’s life, kings recognized him as a man of wisdom and diligence with an excellent spirit. As he remained faithful to God, his righteous and faithful character was recognized by pagan kings, and time and time again they acknowledged the God of Daniel, Yahweh, as the Most High God, far above any idols they worshiped.
On multiple occasions, Daniel was promoted because of his quality of character and faithfulness to the Lord. This promotion caused the governors and satraps to be highly jealous of him. They were so jealous that in Daniel chapter six, they devised a plot against him so that he would be removed from his place of honor and they would receive the place of honor they felt they had been robbed of. Their plan was simple – manipulate King Darius into signing a decree which stated that he alone was to be worshiped for 30 days, and anyone who disobeyed would be cast into a den of lions. These shrewd men knew that no decree set in place would cause Daniel to waiver in his faithfulness to Yahweh, which meant that Daniel would be given over to the starved lions where he would surely be devoured in but a moment.
Sure enough, Daniel prayed and worshiped Yahweh despite the decree which had been sent out. Upon hearing the news, King Darius was “greatly displeased with himself.” He realized that he had been manipulated into sentencing a man whom he was pleased with to death. Daniel 6:14 says that the king actually labored until the setting of the sun to deliver Daniel. Ultimately there was nothing he could do to reverse the decree, so Daniel was cast into the lions’ den.
Darius, full of pain and remorse, returned to his palace and spent the night fasting, unable to sleep. He was left alone in his misery, hoping and praying that the God of Daniel would save him. The next morning, Darius anxiously arose and went “in haste” to the lion’s den. He cried out to Daniel, asking if his God had delivered him. To the king’s great joy (and probably surprise) Daniel responded, declaring that the Lord had sent His angel to shut the mouths of the lions. Immediately the king commanded that Daniel be lifted out of the pit.
After Daniel had been freed from the lions’ den, Darius commanded that the men who had manipulated him and accused Daniel of disobeying the king’s decree be cast into the den of lions, along with their wives and children. Darius also sent out a new decree which commanded that all men must “tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,” and Daniel prospered.
So, why am I sharing this story? Well, the Lord highlighted two things to me, so I’m gonna share them with you. First, our faithfulness to the Lord has a HUGE impact. Being diligent and faithful in the little things may not seem like a big deal to us, but people notice it. When we confess faith in God, everything we do points back to Him, whether it’s a good witness or not. It is crucial that every thing we do honors, pleases, and obeys Him.
Second, there’s always gonna be people who don’t like you! Haters gonna hate, people! But, just as Daniel stayed the course when he was under persecution, we are to do the same. The Lord is faithful to deliver us as we surrender to Him. Deliverance may not always look the way we would like it to (I’m sure Daniel would’ve much rather escaped being thrown into the lions’ den altogether. But the Lord allowed him to remain there through the night and come up completely unharmed as witness of the power of Yahweh.), but we must trust that His leadership is perfect, and He knows what He’s doing. And not only that, as we prove ourselves faithful to Him, He is faithful to reward us. Daniel and his friends received promotion multiple times as they remained true to their God.
I’ll leave you with that. Think about everything you do. You’ll reap the consequences (whether positive or negative) of everything you do for all of eternity. Know that God sees and men see. What kind of witness do you want to give?