Ye Are My Witnesses - Part 2

by Joseph Hunting


The book of Daniel is a veritable treasure-house of prophetic truths that span the centuries and accurately pinpoint many of the great events in the world's history.

Daniel commenced his amazing career as confidant of king Nebuchadnezzar when he interpreted the vision that had so distressed the king. "Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon." (Daniel 2:48)

Daniel's rise to a position of power and authority was meteoric, and during his life time four monarchs held sway over the mighty kingdom of Babylon. It was on the fateful night that Belshazzar saw the mysterious handwriting on the wall that he was slain and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom. "It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give account unto them, and the king should have no damage. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm." (Daniel 6:1-3)


It is not hard to imagine that Daniel would have enemies, especially when it is remembered that he was one of the despised Hebrew captives settled in the land by Nebuchadnezzar. So it is not surprising we read that: "the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion or fault, neither was there any error or fault in him. Then said these men, we shall not find any occasion against Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God."

The plot to bring about Daniel's downfall was a subtle one, and its effectiveness depended upon Daniel's unswerving faithfulness to his God.

Aided by flattery the princes persuaded the king to issue a decree that would bring swift and terrible destruction to Daniel. "Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any god or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions." (Daniel 6:6-7)

At this point it is interesting to observe their deceit when placing the petition before the king. ALL the presidents were not consulted in the matter. The very man who should have presented the petition was not even aware of it until the decree had become law. One of the peculiar laws of the time was that when the king signed a decree it could not be altered "according to the law of the Medes and Persians WHICH ALTERETH NOT."

As soon as Daniel knew that the king had signed the decree he deliberately "went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber towards Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day and prayed, and gave thanks before His God, as he did before time." (Daniel 6:10)

The trap set for Daniel was sprung. His enemies immediately reported to the king: "Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any god or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians which altereth not." (Daniel 6:12)

The king did everything within his power to save Daniel from the awful fate awaiting him but the princes reminded him: "that the law of the Medes and Persians is, that no decree or statute that the king establisheth may be changed." (Daniel 6:15)


Nothing could be done to save Daniel and he was cast into the lion's den. But was it a flash of faith in the mighty power of Israel's God that prompted the king's farewell message to Daniel? "Thy God Whom thou servest continually, He will deliver thee." Certainly Darius was familiar with Daniel's faithful witness to the almighty power of Israel's God, and now this would be put to the test.

In order to appreciate fully the impact of the miracle of Daniel's preservation made upon the king we must remember that, apart from the witness of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the then-known world and the great Babylonian civilization was wholly given over to idol-worship and the occult. Jerusalem was in ruins and the Temple of God had been destroyed years previously and the people of Israel were either dispersed or serving as slaves and captives in Assyria or Babylon.

Daniel's first-hand record of the events that follow are so graphic that the passage is quoted in full. "Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep went from him. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.

"And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said unto Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

"Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live forever. My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before Him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found on him, because he believed in his God.

"And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den.


"Then king Darius wrote unto all people nations and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, that in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for He is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and He worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, Who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions." (Daniel 6:18-27)

Daniel lived on through the reigns of Darius and Cyrus. His strength of character and courage combined with godliness had a profound effect upon all four monarchs whom he served. The great angelic being who spoke with him addressed him as: "O Daniel, a man greatly beloved." Daniel's great prophecies of the end time are like the beam of a great searchlight highlighting the milestones in the world's history to the consummation of the ages and the coming of Messiah.