Sunday, July 19, 2015

Reading 25: The Lion's Den

Daniel 6:1-28

Due to the wisdom and gifts of dream interpretation that God had given him, Daniel rose quickly through the ranks and became a top adviser to three Kings. First Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the one who captured Israel in the first place soon placed a lot of trust in one of the people whom he conquered. Babylon was then conquered by Persia and Daniel soon became the top adviser to King Darius and then later to his successor King Cyrus. 

A few other advisers of Darius get jealous over Darius' preference for Daniel. Daniel is just giving Darius wise advice because of his relationship with God. They were jealous of Daniel and so devised a way to get rid of him. Knowing Daniel would never back down from his faith they made it illegal and caught him praying. Darius' hand was forced and he had to throw Daniel into the lions' den.

Darius' relationship with Daniel shows the effect the Daniel's faithfulness to God had on Darius. Darius was depressed that he had to punish David because he really liked him. But the faith Daniel had in God rubbed of on Darius. He had hope that God would save Daniel from the lion's den. He had enough faith to even bother checking the next morning to see if Daniel as still alive. The night Daniel was in the den Darius prayed and fasted to God for Daniel. When he found Daniel safe from the lions he praised God because Daniel's life showed the power of God to Darius causing him to believe.

Daniel's relationship with Darius began the steps towards Israel's freedom from the oppression of Persia. Darius had a reverence for the God of Israel which carried onto Cyrus. The freedom to return to Jerusalem like Isaiah and Ezekiel prophesied was coming into view.

Daniel continued to be an adviser to Cyrus when he took reign over Persia. Cyrus would then issue the decree that the Jews could return to Israel. Daniel's faithfulness to God through the oppression of Nebuchadnezzar became fruitful through the reign of Darius and Cyrus eventually leading to the restoration of God's promise. Israel could return to the land God had given them.

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