King Darius is tricked by his own administrators into signing an edict forbidding anyone to petition any other king or any god for 30 days. The person who disobeys this edict is to be thrown into the lions’ den.
The king’s administrators are determined to do away with Daniel, but they are unable “to find any charge or corruption, for he is trustworthy.” (Daniel 6:4, HCSB) They decide to “find something against him concerning the law of his God.” (Daniel 6:5) This is the reason they persuade King Darius to establish the edict essentially forbidding prayer.
King Darius doesn’t catch the impending trap. He signs the ordinance.
As soon as Daniel becomes aware of the edict, he disobeys it. He faces Jerusalem and prays three times that very day, “just as he has done before.” (Daniel 6:10)
As a group, the administrators approach Darius and report Daniel’s behavior. They insist that the law be honored. Although Darius is displeased and “sets his mind on rescuing Daniel and makes every effort until sundown to deliver him,” eventually he must place Daniel in the lions’ den overnight. He even seals the den with a stone and multiple royal and noble signets. (Daniel 6:14) He seems, at this point, to believe he is not above man’s law; also he does not fully understand God is.
Through the night, King Darius fasts and prays for Daniel’s deliverance. In the morning, he asks through the stone, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you serve continually been able to rescue you from the lions?” (Daniel 6:20)
And Daniel says, “Absolutely!” Overnight, God sends His angel to shut the mouths of the lions so they do not harm Daniel.
King Darius then has the malicious administrators, their wives, their children all thrown into the den where the lions “overpower them and crush all their bones.” (Daniel 6:24) He no longer cares about the edict he signed for God is above the law.
Father God, protect us from the malice of others for there are persons who plot wickedness against those who are loved by You. Help us not to be afraid of these persons, knowing that You work all things together for good to those called according to Your purposes. Thank You that malicious people are infrequently present in our lives; that most people only take advantage of situations to the detriment of others; most people do not plot against others. Help us to always put You in the first place in our hearts, minds, lives. In Jesus’ Name, amen.