Introduction: Last week the Babylonian empire was defeated just as
Daniel was reinstated to a very high position – number three in the
empire. The Medo-Persian empire took over and Daniel faced real
turmoil in his life. He might be concerned that his life would be
taken by the new conquerors. We know that God has Daniel’s life in
His hands. Let’s turn to our Bibles to see how Daniel does and to
follow him through yet another adventure!
- On Top
- Read Daniel 6:1-3. New King Darius has an organizational
plan. Where does Daniel fit into this new plan? (Daniel
does very well in the changeover of empires. First, he is
one of three top administrators. Darius plans to place
Daniel in charge of his entire kingdom.)
- Is this kingdom the former Babylon empire or the
present Medo-Persian empire? (It is not clear.
However the “kingdom” is defined, Daniel has an
extremely important job.)
- Why do you think that Daniel keeps holding positions
of great importance?
- Read Daniel 6:4. What motivates these satraps and
administrators? Why don’t they want Daniel as their boss?
(The Bible does not say.)
- Would you like a boss who is honest, trustworthy, and
diligent? (The problem seems to be that he will be
the boss, not that he will be a bad boss.)
- Read Ecclesiastes 4:4. Is envy good? Do you think
envy is the motivation behind their quest to find
charges against Daniel?
- If these three administrators sit together to make
decisions, what kind of problems do you think Daniel
has been facing? Do you think problems of this nature
motivated Darius to decide to place Daniel in charge?
- Read Daniel 6:5. How do these leaders know about Daniel’s
God? What does this say about Daniel? (What a wonderful
thing to have said about you! You are honest, hardworking,
and competent. The only grounds for bringing charges
against you would be your faithfulness to your God.)
- The Plot
- Read Daniel 6:6-7. Do you think all agreed? (Obviously
Daniel did not.)
- Notice that this decree is to apply to everyone. Why
is that? (It hides the real goal of this measure – to
- Dying from a lion attack would be terrible. How much
do these leaders hate Daniel? (Their hatred is
- Do you see that level of hatred against Christians
- Why does the decree last for only 30 days? (My
guess is that these advisors have their own
gods that they want to worship. This should be
long enough to catch Daniel.)
- Do they think that Daniel will suspend his
worship of God for 30 days?
- Read Daniel 6:8-9. Why do you think the administrators
wanted Darius to put this in writing? (We will discuss
- Why do you think Darius agreed?
- If the administrators know about Daniel’s religious
beliefs, would you expect Darius would know about
- Read Daniel 6:10. Do the windows need to be opened? Would
it be a problem to close them for the next 30 days?
- What arguments do you have favoring Daniel’s
decision? What arguments do you have that are
contrary to his decision? (There are reasonable
arguments on both sides. Let’s look next at some
advice in the New Testament.)
- Read Matthew 6:6. This tells us that we have a reward
from God even when we pray in secret. Would it have
been a sin for Daniel to close his windows?
- Read Matthew 17:27. Jesus advises a course of action
that avoids giving offense to those who do not share
our religious beliefs. Would Jesus disagree with
Daniel’s decision regarding his windows?
- Read Romans 14:22. This chapter deals with
“disputable matters” ( Romans 14:1). The moral issue
is the prayer and not the position of the windows,
right? We have been debating whether the windows
needed to be closed. Does that mean that Daniel
should have closed his windows? (If the windows are a
debatable issue, then Daniel would be able to choose
according to this text. I’m sure I would be inclined
towards the “lion free” choice.)
- Look again at Daniel 6:10. Notice the phrase “just as he
had done before.” Why does Daniel add this point? (He is
changing nothing because of this decree.)
- What attitude does this reflect? (A perfect trust in
God. His God is in charge of his life, and nothing
that these envious little subordinates can plot
changes his attitude.)
- Read Daniel 6:11. Why did they go as a group? (They were
afraid. They needed confirmation for their charges.)
- What is Daniel’s prayer to God? (He was asking for
help, no doubt about this situation.)
- Have you ever heard the saying, “God helps those who
help themselves?” Is that true? Daniel is not helping
himself in terms of concealing his violation of the
- How would you pray in this situation? Would you ask
God for directions as to the position of your
- Read Daniel 6:12-13. How does this reflect on the group
bringing the charges against Daniel?
- Notice how they describe Daniel – one of the slaves!
(We have seen over our past studies that this is an
on-going insult to Daniel.)
- Why did they fail to mention that he was a top
- Read Daniel 6:14. How do you think Darius viewed the
reporting group? (He realizes that he has been manipulated
- Read Daniel 6:15. What does this teach us about relying on
humans as opposed to relying on God? (Not even the most
powerful man in the empire could save Daniel.)
- The Rescue
- Read Daniel 6:16. Compare the attitude of Darius to
Nebuchadnezzar? (Nebuchadnezzar said that the true God
could not rescue Daniel’s friends from him. Darius says
that the true God could rescue Daniel.)
- Read Daniel 6:17. Do you think sealing the door to the
lions’ den was Darius’ idea?
- Read Daniel 6:18-22. Let’s revisit a question that we
spent a long time discussing earlier. Would it have been
better to close the windows to Daniel’s home? (The goal of
keeping the windows closed was to keep Daniel safe.
Daniel is safe, but look at how Darius has received a
lesson that brings glory to God! Keeping the windows open
is the best way to bring glory to God! Notice that Darius
says that Daniel serves God “continually.” No 30-day
suspension of worship for Daniel.)
- Read Daniel 6:23-24. The text says that the men had
“falsely accused Daniel.” Is that true? (What was false,
was the effort to kill Daniel. What was false was the
suggestion that Daniel was engaged in wrongdoing towards
- Is this a just result? Do you think Daniel
recommended it? Would Jesus have recommended it?
- Consider the relative outcome of Daniel and his
accusers. What goal did they have in accusing Daniel?
How did that turn out?
- Compare the results of envy and evil with the results
of trusting God?
- Read Daniel 6:25-27. Compare Daniel 4:1-3. Who is God’s
agent in creating these empire-wide proclamations?
(Daniel! Imagine his influence for good!)
- If you are faithful, if your highest goal is to bring
glory to God, can something like this happen through
- Read Daniel 6:28. How does the goal of bringing glory to
God work out for Daniel?
- Friend, faithfulness, and not scheming, is the path to
being a blessing and being blessed. Will you commit today,
by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be faithful?
- Next week: From the Stormy Sea to the Clouds of Heaven.