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Death in the Den

Do you remember the line from the old Chiffon Margarine ads? “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” they told us. Well, it turns out it’s not nice to fool a king either. Two presidents and one hundred twenty princes did just that to Darius, king of the Medes, when they tricked him into signing into Law a thirty-day ban on worship in order to consign Daniel to the “den of lions” (Daniel 6:7,12,16,19,24) and certain death. 

It’s important to note Daniel, for his godly non-compliance, was NOT thrown into “The Lion’s Den.” For one might happen upon a lion’s den and find that the lions are elsewhere. But when one is cast into a den of lions, it is assumed the lions are there in force. 

We all know the story of how these presidents and princes fooled Darius, using his own Law against him to impose a death sentence upon Daniel. Darius was physically disturbed over this foolery, spent a sleepless night (6:18) in mental anguish over what he got roped into by these men. So he arose “very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions” (6:19). Here was his inquiry: “O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?” (6:20). 

Death was not a foregone conclusion with Darius. Perhaps he was familiar with how the SAME God years earlier had delivered three Hebrews from the fiery furnace under Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel answered: “My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me” (6:22). Darius was “exceeding glad” (6:23) when he heard Daniel’s voice. 

Those men that had falsely accused Daniel AND their wives-kids were ordered thrown into the “den of lions” where they perished. Question: If these men had known beforehand that a failure of their plan and the deliverance of Daniel would have resulted in their deaths AS WELL AS their wives and kids, would they have gone ahead with their plan to fool Darius?  

This provides a very important historical lesson: Those who devise evil against the righteous have NO IDEA of the unintended deadly consequences they bring upon their posterity because of their wickedness. The bottom line of the ‘den of lions’ episode: The LORD God of Daniel got GLORY; the ungodly got DEAD. We could sure use a repeat of this episode in modern-day America!


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