This reading is Daniel 6.
This passage is the famous story of Daniel in the lion’s den. This is one of those stories that seem to be told mostly to kids, so much so that you might start to think it is an allegory. But it was real. Read it carefully.
I couldn’t resist putting a couple lion photos in from my post-mission trip safaris in Kenya the last two summers. I think the one lion is yawning, but you can pretend he is roaring if you like. As Daniel’s friends found out in v. 24, you do not want to be in a den full of these things.
Daniel continues to prove his excellence as a leader and administrator under King Darius. He was even asked to be over the whole kingdom. This made his peers quite jealous, so they conspire to have him killed.
Daniel had such integrity that his enemies 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.”
In the Medo-Persian empire, once a law was made even the king could not change it (also see Esther 8:8 for an example of this). Darius’ pride led him to approve the law the government officials proposed.
We are instructed to obey our governments, except when the law of God conflicts with the law of man. In this case, Daniel would not stop praying.
Darius regretted his decision to ban prayer but couldn’t change it. The king made every effort to save Daniel and didn’t eat or sleep that night. He knew enough about Daniel’s God to realize his power. I like Daniel 6:16:
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!”
Those who tried to have Daniel killed were then killed themselves, and King Darius exalts the one true God. When we live as Christians outside the world’s system, especially when under trials or temptations, people will notice the difference.
Not everyone who stands up for God like Daniel did will prosper in this lifetime. But we can rest assured that God will judge and reward perfectly.
The next reading is Daniel 7.