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!

  1. On Top

    1. 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.)

      1. 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.)

      2. Why do you think that Daniel keeps holding positions
        of great importance?

    2. Read Daniel 6:4. What motivates these satraps and
      administrators? Why don’t they want Daniel as their boss?
      (The Bible does not say.)

      1. 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.)

      2. Read Ecclesiastes 4:4. Is envy good? Do you think
        envy is the motivation behind their quest to find
        charges against Daniel?

      3. 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?

    3. 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.)

  2. The Plot

    1. Read Daniel 6:6-7. Do you think all agreed? (Obviously
      Daniel did not.)

      1. Notice that this decree is to apply to everyone. Why
        is that? (It hides the real goal of this measure – to
        kill Daniel.)

      2. Dying from a lion attack would be terrible. How much
        do these leaders hate Daniel? (Their hatred is
        obviously demonic.)

      3. Do you see that level of hatred against Christians

        1. 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.)

          1. Do they think that Daniel will suspend his
            worship of God for 30 days?

    2. Read Daniel 6:8-9. Why do you think the administrators
      wanted Darius to put this in writing? (We will discuss
      this later.)

      1. Why do you think Darius agreed?

      2. If the administrators know about Daniel’s religious
        beliefs, would you expect Darius would know about

    3. Read Daniel 6:10. Do the windows need to be opened? Would
      it be a problem to close them for the next 30 days?

      1. 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.)

      2. 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?

      3. 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?

      4. 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.)

    4. 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.)

      1. 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.)

    5. Read Daniel 6:11. Why did they go as a group? (They were
      afraid. They needed confirmation for their charges.)

      1. What is Daniel’s prayer to God? (He was asking for
        help, no doubt about this situation.)

      2. 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

      3. How would you pray in this situation? Would you ask
        God for directions as to the position of your

    6. Read Daniel 6:12-13. How does this reflect on the group
      bringing the charges against Daniel?

      1. 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.)

      2. Why did they fail to mention that he was a top

    7. Read Daniel 6:14. How do you think Darius viewed the
      reporting group? (He realizes that he has been manipulated
      by them.)

    8. 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.)

  3. The Rescue

    1. 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.)

    2. Read Daniel 6:17. Do you think sealing the door to the
      lions’ den was Darius’ idea?

    3. 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.)

    4. 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
      the king.)

      1. Is this a just result? Do you think Daniel
        recommended it? Would Jesus have recommended it?

      2. Consider the relative outcome of Daniel and his
        accusers. What goal did they have in accusing Daniel?
        How did that turn out?

      3. Compare the results of envy and evil with the results
        of trusting God?

    5. 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!)

      1. If you are faithful, if your highest goal is to bring
        glory to God, can something like this happen through

    6. Read Daniel 6:28. How does the goal of bringing glory to
      God work out for Daniel?

    7. 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?

  4. Next week: From the Stormy Sea to the Clouds of Heaven.