Introduction: Remember last week that Daniel was promoted to the
number three position in the Babylonian empire just minutes before it
all collapsed before the military onslaught of the Persians? “Number
two” (Belshazzar) was immediately killed by the Persians. Imagine
being Daniel. No wonder he told Belshazzar he could keep his
promotion! How do things turn out for Daniel? Is God still looking
out for him? Let’s jump into Daniel 6 and find out!

  1. Bouncing Back

    1. Read Daniel 6:1-2. Daniel survives the Persians! Why did
      Darius reorganize the kingdom?

      1. Has your company been purchased by another company?
        How did you feel when a reorganization was announced?

      2. How does Daniel end up in the new reorganization? (He
        loses some “rank” (from number three), but he
        certainly has a very powerful position.)

    2. Read Daniel 6:3-4. Why would the king plan to promote
      Daniel while his fellow administrators and subordinates
      plot against him? (Their interests were just the opposite.
      The king wanted the best person in the position and the
      others wanted to personally be in charge.)

      1. Read Ecclesiastes 4:4. Adam Smith, a very famous
        free-market economist, argued that when people are
        left free to promote their own best interests, they
        end up benefitting everyone. Would Solomon agree?

        1. Is there good envy and bad envy? (If you work
          hard because you want to keep up with your
          neighbor, that seems to be the positive use of
          envy. If you plot to harm your successful
          neighbor, as is happening to Daniel, that is an
          example of bad envy.)

      2. Notice that the king set up three administrators, one
        of whom is Daniel. The other two administrators plot
        against Daniel. Has anything like this ever happened
        to you at work?

      3. How is work going for Daniel when the administrators
        vote on what to do? (The vote would be two to one
        against Daniel’s ideas I would guess. Perhaps the
        king has noticed this problem and that is his motive
        for promoting Daniel.)

    3. Would your fellow workers be able to say the same of you
      as was said of Daniel “he was trustworthy and neither
      corrupt nor negligent?”

      1. Does what Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:4 apply to
        Daniel? (Read Ephesians 6:5-8. The world may work
        hard and produce goods out of envy. However, God’s
        people work hard and produce goods out of their
        allegiance to God.)

    4. Read Daniel 6:5. How did the other leaders know about
      Daniel’s God?

      1. Do you think Daniel’s race had anything to do with
        this plotting?

  2. The Trap

    1. Read Daniel 6:6-7. Is this “all agreed” a true statement?
      (Obviously not! Daniel is one of the administrators and
      he surely did not agree to this.)

    2. Read Daniel 6:8-9. If the administrators knew about
      Daniel’s religious beliefs, do you think that King Darius
      knew about them? (Since he planned to make Daniel his
      number one assistant, I would be shocked to hear that he
      did not know about Daniel’s religious beliefs.)

      1. If Darius knew about Daniel, why would he issue such
        a decree? (Review Daniel 6:7. Do you see the evil
        track of the minds of these other administrators?
        They attack Daniel based purely on his religious
        beliefs. They persuade the king to enter this decree
        by appealing to the king’s ego.)

      2. Should the king have remembered the problem this
        would create for Daniel? (Our lesson, Monday, points
        out that King Darius might have been focused on the
        Babylonian priests who acted as mediators for their
        gods, thus the reference to worshiping “man” in verse
        7. This may have been presented to him as a plan to
        encourage “religious patriotism” in the newly
        conquered people. Thus, the king may not have thought
        of the impact on Daniel at all.)

  3. Daniel’s Response

    1. Read Daniel 6:10-11. Now read Matthew 6:6. If the New
      Testament had been written, would Daniel have acted

      1. Read Matthew 17:27. Jesus advises a course which
        avoids giving offense to those who do not share our
        religious beliefs.

      2. Read Romans 14:22. When it comes to debatable matters
        of food and drink, Paul tells you to keep your views
        “between yourself and God.”

      3. The point of Daniel’s prayer was the prayer and not
        the position of the shutters. Should Daniel have
        prayed with his shutters open?

        1. If being thrown in the lions’ den was on your
          mind, how would you have decided this debatable
          religious issue?

        2. What argument can you make for Daniel’s

        3. What argument can you make against Daniel’s

      4. Notice in Daniel 6:10 the phrase “just as he had done
        before.” What point is being made by Daniel in
        writing this? (Daniel was not going to change his
        worship routine because of this new law.)

        1. Would it have been “sin” for Daniel to have
          changed his routine and closed his shutters
          before praying?

  4. The Charges

    1. Read Daniel 6:11-12. Why did the men go “as a group” to
      watch Daniel pray?

      1. Did they need witnesses? Would Daniel deny what he
        was doing?

      2. Why ask the king to confirm the text of the law
        before reporting Daniel’s violation? (These verses
        give us a window into the jealous and cowardly
        thinking of Daniel’s enemies. They are afraid to
        individually stand up against Daniel. They must
        think that the king would favor Daniel, that is why
        they “trap” the king by first having him affirm the
        text of the new law.)

    2. Read Daniel 6:13-14. How is Daniel described? (He is one
      of the Jews who was formerly a slave. Daniel cannot shake
      this “smear.” Remember last week Belshazzar started his
      conversation with Daniel with this same insult. (Daniel

      1. Why would Daniel’s enemies start out with this
        particular insult? (Again, we have a window into
        their minds. They are annoyed Daniel, their boss, is
        Jewish, and not from their county. They want to
        highlight the fact that he is “different.” It is
        professional jealousy, and religious and racial

      2. Had the king thought of Daniel when he issued his
        decree? (This is something we discussed earlier. This
        makes clear that the king had not considered the
        impact on Daniel.)

      3. Compare the attitude of King Darius with King
        Nebuchadnezzar? (Darius’ heart was with Daniel. He
        was not offended by the law violation or the offense
        to his own stature as “a god.” Nebuchadnezzar, as
        revealed in Daniel 3:13-15, is personally insulted
        that the Hebrews would not worship his god.)

  5. The Conflict Between Good and Evil

    1. Read Daniel 6:15-16. When you face trouble, to whom do
      you first turn? (Daniel has tremendous personal authority.
      He has the king, the most powerful person in the empire,
      behind him. All the power and authority of the world
      cannot save Daniel. The same is true for you.)

      1. Did King Darius do the right thing by ordering Daniel
        to be thrown to the lions, and leaving it in God’s

      2. Did King Darius violate his own decree? Is the last
        part of verse 16 a prayer to God?

      3. What parallel do you see between King Darius and God?
        (There is no lasting freedom without the “rule of
        law.” Darius “gave up” Daniel to great danger because
        he upheld the law over his personal preferences. God
        the Father “gave up” Jesus, because He upheld the law
        over His personal preference not to have Jesus suffer

    2. Read Daniel 6:17-18. Is this how it was for God the Father
      while Jesus was here on earth? (The answer is beyond me.
      God is not like Darius in that God knows the future. In
      Genesis 22:12 we find God stating that He did not know how
      Abraham would choose. I have two theories. First, I think
      that our lives are like a chess game. God knows every
      possible “move” that you and I can take and He knows the
      consequences of those moves. That allows Him to know the
      future without knowing how we will choose. Second, I
      believe that God can move around in time, and therefore,
      He can know how choices will be made if He chooses. The
      real answer is a mystery to me and these are only my

    3. Read Daniel 6:19-22. Why was Daniel saved from the lions?
      Do you agree with Daniel’s statement of the reasons why he
      was saved?

    4. Read Daniel 6:23. What reason is given here for Daniel
      being saved from the lions? How does it compare with the
      reasons stated in verse 22? (In verse 23 it says trust in
      God saved Daniel. In verse 22 it says Daniel’s innocence
      (his works) saved Daniel.)

      1. Can both be right?

    5. Read Daniel 6:24. How were the accusations against Daniel

      1. Recall that these men worked in a group for safety.
        How did that group safety idea work out?

    6. Read Daniel 6:25-28. Who wins? (God, again. So does

      1. How does God win? (Through partnership with the
        faithful Daniel.)

      2. Would it have been better for Daniel to have closed
        his shutters?

    7. Friend, Daniel’s personal authority could not save him.
      Having the king as his ally could not save him. Only God
      in heaven could save Daniel. Will you keep that in mind
      the next time you are in trouble? (I trust the next time
      you are in trouble you can say, like Daniel, “I am
      completely innocent as the source of my trouble!”)

  6. Next week: Daniel’s History Lesson.