Daniel's Jealous Enemies

Daniel 6  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 5
The princes and presidents of the great city of Babylon long ago were working on a scheme. The scheme was this: How can we get Daniel into trouble?
There were a hundred and twenty of those men, and every one of them was jealous because the king had chosen Daniel as chief president, right over their heads. But there was something special about Daniel which made them hate him more than anything else. Daniel lived in obedience to the God of heaven. This was the real reason for their hatred and the target of their scheme. This is what they said: “We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”
And so they put their heads together and came up with this scheme. They knew the king would like this idea because it would make him like a god. They suggested the king make a law that, for thirty days, no one must ask a petition of any god or man except of the king. This, they told him, was agreed upon by all the presidents, governors, princes, counselors and captains. This sounds like a powerful list of important people, but really it was not true. We know the chief president, Daniel, did not agree.
This great law could not become valid until the king signed it, but there was no problem there. They wrote it up, and the king signed it right away. It seems that he did not give it any serious thought. Not very many business people today would be so careless. But beware! Satan has his wicked schemes today too, and his greatest purpose is to keep you from turning to God for the salvation of your soul. Are you going to let him win?
Daniel knew what had happened, but he didn’t fight it. He would trust God and prove the truth of Psalm 18:2: “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust.” He simply kneeled as he had done before, three times a day with his windows open toward Jerusalem, and prayed and gave thanks to God. There was no secret about it. His enemies found him praying as usual. Their plan worked. Daniel had broken the new law and now he was in trouble. The punishment for breaking that law was to be thrown into the den of lions. They would soon be rid of him for good.
It did not take them long to report this matter to the king. Great as he was, the king could not back down on his own law. He liked Daniel very much, and he was very upset with himself for signing such a law.
It was too late for the king to change the law. But listen! It is not too late for you to turn to the Lord Jesus and change your “No” to “Yes.” God is still ready and willing to save you. It is wrong and foolish to refuse Him, but although He can never change His promises or break His laws, He can let you change your mind - now!
But what could the poor king do about Daniel, his chief president? This was a problem too great for him to handle. The law said the punishment must be the den of lions, and he could not change it because he had signed it. He struggled to find a solution all day, but there was no answer. The afternoon went by, the day was almost over, and the king’s problem was unsolved. He kept thinking, How can I save Daniel? How can I save Daniel? It was impossible.
Can you think of a way? Well, there might have been one. The king himself could have taken Daniel’s punishment. But it is not surprising that he never thought of that. And yet God -the God who created all things -had a great desire in His loving heart to save sinners from the punishment for their sins. God could not change His holy nature in order to save sinners like you and me, as if sin did not really matter very much. Sin must be punished, and there was no way to save sinners from that punishment- no way but one, and only God could think of such a plan and carry it through.
God sent His only Son to die for sinners. And the Lord Jesus came willingly to the world of wicked men and bore the punishment for anyone who will accept Him as Savior. You may claim Him as your very own Savior and say, “He took my punishment and died in my place.”
But the king never thought of such a thing. He struggled all day till the sun went down, and he couldn’t think of a way to save Daniel. No wonder. It is only God who could think of the only possible way to save sinners like us.
The jealous men came to remind the king that he must keep his promise, and so that’s what he had to do. Just before they put Daniel in the den, the king told him his God would save him. The king had no solution, but he hoped Daniel’s God did. At the king’s command, Daniel was thrown into the den of lions. Then a stone was brought and laid over the top of the opening of the den, and the king sealed it with his own seal and the seal of his lords. That made it official and could not be changed.
There Daniel was, down in the den with hungry lions. What do you think happened next?
Read the next story and see!