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Summary: Do you feel like you’ve spent a night with the lions - how do you cope?

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Daniel – Chapter 6b

Chapter 6 Outline

I. A Dawn of Devotion

II. A Morning of Deception (6:1-9)

a. Daniel’s Appraisal (6:1-3)

b. Delegation’s Anger (6:4-8)

c. Darius’ Agreement (6:9)

III. A Noon of Decision (6:10-13)

a. The Commitment (6:10-11)

b. The Conspiracy (6:12-13)

IV. An Evening of Disappointment (6:14-17)

a. The King’s Labour (6:14)

b. The Medo-Persian Law (6:15)

c. The Den of Lions (5:16-17)

V. A Night of Deliverance (6:18-23)

a. The Misery of the King (6:18-20)

b. The Miracle of God (6:21-22)

c. The Morale of Daniel (6:23)

VI. A Morning of Destruction (6:24)

VII. A Future of Decisions (6:25-28)

a. The Potentate’s Cry (6:25)

b. The People’s Choice (6:26-27)

c. The Prophet’s Completion (6:28)

Message

IV. An Evening of Disappointment (6:14-17)

a. The King’s Labour (6:14)

The king was sore displeased with himself – this literally means loathsome / stink. In other words the king hated himself for what he had done. Daniel was the king’s friend and his greatest help in the kingdom, the last thing Darius wanted to do was to sign Daniel’s death warrant.

I think Darius was also “displeased” because of the way he had acted. His pride got the best of him. He believed what his leaders were saying and it went straight to his head and he signed up for this new law. If only he had taken the time to consult with his most trusted advisor Daniel.

For an entire day the king ignored all the other matters concerning the kingdom and concentrated on freeing Daniel, but his attempts all failed. Of course, Daniel’s enemies were on hand to remind the king that he had to enforce the law whether he liked it or not.

b. The Medo-Persian Law (6:15)

The rigidity of the Medo-Persian law was not always a bad thing. Later in the days of Ezra, the adversaries of Judah wrote letters to Ahasuerus, the Persian king, hounding him to sign a decree that would prevent the Jews from their reconstruction work in Jerusalem. They succeeded (Ezra 4:1-24)

Later the decree of Cyrus was found, the original document that led to the Jews returning to their home and that changed the entire picture, the original decree had to stand.

But there was to be no loophole found for Daniel. The king toiled all day to find some way around this foolish decree that he had signed. His lords were right, there was no way around it, and the law could not be changed.

c. The Den of Lions (5:16-17)

Verse 16

The lions den was a large pit divided by a wall that could be pulled up to allow the lions to go from one side to the other. The keeper would put food in the empty side and lift up the wall so the lions would cross over and eat. Then he would lower the wall and clean the safe side of the den.

The lions were not fed that often, neither were they fed large amounts of food. Their appetites were kept keen just in case there was an execution. Living at the gnawing edge of hunger did not make these lions too tame..

Grieving deeply over his foolishness, Darius has Daniel cast into this den that would surely mean death. The king prays that Daniel’s God would deliver him because Daniel was so faithful to serve Him continually.

Verse 17

The king then had the pit covered and the rock sealed so that everything was done according to the law. Nobody in their right mind would dare to break the king’s official seal.

It reminds us of another stone that was sealed by the Roman authorities, used to seal a tomb that contained the body of our Lord, and yet Jesus came forth alive.

V. A Night of Deliverance (6:18-23)

a. The Misery of the King (6:18-20)

Verse 18a

The king had a bad night. The palace knew that something was wrong with him when he chose to fast rather than feast. It probably made the court feel uneasy to see the king like this… What would help him?

Entertainment? That’s it!! Bring in the band…Verse 18b The musicians and dancing girls were dismissed in haste. I know… Bed, let him sleep it off, things are usually better after a good nights sleep Verse 18c..

When you are out of God’s will, “things” do not help, you cannot find comfort in the things of the world……

How could the king sleep – terrible pictures came to his mind of his friend and trusted advisor trying to flee from a hunting lioness, being toyed with before being torn to shreds by these starving ravenous lions, …. Of course he couldn’t sleep – what had he done???

Verse 19

The king arose – this doesn’t mean arose from bed where he had slept, I don’t believe the king had any sleep that night. He was waiting for that sun to come up over the horizon. Arose – arise (out of inaction). The morning was here, now the king could act.

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