Daniel 6:11-28 / The Lion’s Den (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on November 17, 2012


This is the thirteenth in a series of  expositions of the book of Daniel. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of November 11, 2012. This message deals with the duty to peacefully resist laws which hinder our service to Christ, and the resulting consequences which we must accept. This contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

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Study Outline:

Dan 6_11-28 outline


Daniel 6:11-28 / The Lion’s Den


It didn’t take the accusers long.

People can definitely work together quickly to do evil.

God’s people have always been falsely accused, persecuted and unjustly killed.

2 Timothy 3:12-14

God’s people should be more concerned that they deserve the persecution than that they be delivered from it, because deserving it would be evidence of their faithfulness to the Lord.

If you were judged, would there be enough evidence to convict you of being faithful to God? Would you be found guilty of being a Christian, or would you be acquitted because there just isn’t enough evidence?

The king knew he’d been deceived.

He desperately wanted to let Daniel go, but he was clearly guilty and the law couldn’t be changed. (see verse 15)

These men who had deceived the king, clearly had him over a barrel, their legal manipulation had worked.

To the displeasure of the king, the order was given, Daniel was arrested and thrown into the lions’ den.

Apparently, the king had noticed the way that God was continually working in Daniel’s life, and he expressed confidence in the ability of Daniel’s God.

A stone was rolled over the mouth of the den.

The king sealed it with his personal seal, to assure that it could not be tampered with. (Much like the stone at Jesus’ tomb)

The lions were not fed very often. They were kept hungry to ensure that they did their jobs as executioners.

The king, worried about Daniel, spent a very restless night, and can’t wait to return to the den the next morning.

The king admitted that Daniel served a living God, not a dead idol, but his faith still wavered, he still expressed some doubt.

Even after all of this, Daniel remained respectful to the king. How many of us could say the same thing?

God could have shut the lion’s mouths simply by saying the word, but He chose to send an angel to Daniel, someone to minister to him.

God will not always deliver us from trials, but He will always provide us comfort through them.

Daniel may have been declared guilty before men, but he was declared innocent before God.

This tells us that the king’s law about prayer was rejected in Heaven, and Daniel was right in disobeying it.Some

We are seeing many such laws enacted today. When we encounter a law that hinders our service or worship of God, we must peacefully and respectfully disobey it.

However; when we do so, we need to be prepared to accept the consequences.

Not every servant of God is delivered from trial or death in some miraculous way.

Daniel’s night in the den of lions ended in a morning of deliverance and glory.

God could have prevented Daniel from going into the lions’ den, but by allowing him to go in, and bringing him out unhurt, God received greater glory.

Daniel accepted the consequences, and suffered joyfully, as is the example throughout Scripture.

We are to suffer Joyfully, and offer a sacrifice of Praise: rejoice or rejoicing occurs 287 times.

Colossians 1:11

James 1:2

Philippians 4:4

Hebrews 13:15

Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS, and offer a sacrifice of praise. Its not a sacrifice to praise God when everything is going right!

Consider the example of Paul and Silas.

Acts 16:22-25

The accusers and their families were thrown into the lions’ den, they were not spared.

The plan to accuse and eliminate Daniel backfired, and it was in fact the accusers who got eliminated.

The curious, and to many people, disturbing part of this narrative is the fact the the families of the accusers were killed as well.

There are some things to keep in mind. First, Darius was not following God’s law, but Persian law.

Jewish law prohibited punishing the children for the sins of the father.

Deuteronomy 24:16

Ezekiel 18:20

The punishment of an entire family in this way was in keeping with Persian law.

They didn’t want any remaining member of the traitor’s family to conspire to kill the ruler who ordered the father’s execution.

The narrative itself offers no moral comment, but the underlying message is clear enough: to obstruct the progress of the kingdom of God is to risk all in the venture.

We must also remember that sin spreads. We always affect more than just ourselves.

Those who oppose God will ultimately be broken in pieces.

Here again the narrative makes contact with the principles of Proverbs 26:27

In another side note, this bit of the narrative would preclude any critic from saying that the lions were either toothless or not hungry. They were obviously neither.

Darius, who by his decree was being revered for a month as god (v. 7), now made a proclamation that all subjects of his nation must fear and revere Daniel’s God. This was an amazing turnaround on Darius’ part!

The reason for this, Darius wrote, is that Daniel’s God lives (v.20), whereas the gods of the Medes and Persians were dead idols. That He is eternal, His kingdom is indestructible (7:14), and He intervenes in people’s affairs and delivers those who trust Him.

We must never forget that we serve a living God, and that He is always active in our lives.

Such a God is truly to be reverenced and worshiped, in spite of what anyone else says!

Whether in the face of the fiery furnace, or the roaring lion, we are in the Lord’s care, and He will work out His divine purpose for His glory.

1 Peter 5:7

How will you handle your trials?

Will you dare to obey?