It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. (Daniel 6:1-2)
Darius (representing the saved soul) began to take control of the kingdom (our entire being] in an orderly way. Daniel (the Holy Spirit) was given control over a portion of it. That’s what happens with us as well when we accept Jesus as our savior. We begin to trust the Holy Spirit with part of our lives –a significant part– but it takes time for us to learn how trustworthy He is.
Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. (Daniel 6:3-4)
As Daniel proved himself to be trustworthy, the king wanted to give him more control. But the other two administrators, as well as the 120 satraps, became jealous. There it is –that flesh of ours– not wanting to completely trust God to be in control of our lives. No matter how faithful we see God is in the various aspects of life, we still have doubts.
Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.” So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: “O King Darius, live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. (Daniel 6:5-7)
This pitting of the king against Daniel is so much like the war between our flesh and the spirit. The arguments at first seem plausible, but inevitably every battle that we go through is about the flesh not submitting to the Holy Spirit. So we test Him over and over. As bad as that seems, it’s part of God’s plan.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God– this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)
Our going through trials is God’s way of making us test Him so that we will realize that He is faithful. It builds our trust –faith– in Him. One of the old hymns refers to this as “proving Him over and over.” All relationships are based on trust and grow over time –by experiencing how trustworthy the other person is.
Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered– in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree in writing. Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. (Daniel 6:8-9)
Daniel wasn’t swayed by what people did; he continued doing what was right and true. Similarly, the Holy Spirit in us continues to witness to God’s unfailing desire to lead us in paths of righteousness. The Holy Spirit relentlessly intercedes on our behalf to our Father in heaven. The picture here was of Daniel kneeling and seeing through the circumstances to Jerusalem.
Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or man except to you, O king, would be thrown into the lions’ den?” The king answered, “The decree stands– in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” (Daniel 6:10-12)
The spiritual battle begins!
Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him. (Daniel 6:13-14)
It had become apparent that the king had been duped by those he had trusted. Every one of us puts some trust in the things of this world: people, money, things, position, etc. At some point we become disappointed by them and realize how foolish we were to trust anyone but God.
Then the men went as a group to the king and said to him, “Remember, O king, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.” So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” (Daniel 6:15-16)
As the battle wages on in our minds (that’s where every spiritual battle takes place), we cry out for God to win over the things we have poised against Him. We put ourselves right in the center of most of our worst circumstances and then beg Him to get us out. Again, it’s part of His glorious plan so that we learn to depend on His perfect love to take care of us each minute of our lives.
A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep. (Daniel 6:17-18)
Daniel was in the lion’s den and the stone sealed it shut. It’s a parallel of the Holy Spirit battling Satan.
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.” (Daniel 6:19-22)
What a statement the Holy Spirit has announced to us: “Live forever Child of God! You are so important to God that He has sent His mighty angels to protect you!”
The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones. (Daniel 6:23-24)
Nothing can defeat us; even in death we are victorious because Jesus died for us and we effectively died with Him so that we live eternally with Him!
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. (Romans 6:8-12)
Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language throughout the land: “May you prosper greatly! “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian. (Daniel 6:25-28)
King Darius at last was able put Daniel in control. And eventually we submit to control of the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t mean that we always do what He shows to be best though.