When the Medes and Persians defeated the Babylonian king and took over the kingdom, Daniel retained a high position within the government. He became one of three governors within the whole empire appointed to oversee 120 satraps. Their chief responsibility was to collect taxes for the king. Daniel distinguished himself so above the other governors that the king thought to give him the number one position.
Because Daniel was Jewish in a Gentile environment, the other governors and officials became jealous of his reputation and position and sought a way to diminish his influence. Because he was so faithful in his duties, they decided to entrap him concerning his faith.
The officials devised a scheme that tricked the king into signing a law that would force everyone to petition only the king for thirty days. In essence they banned prayer to any deity in the kingdom for thirty days. Anyone who disobeyed would face the death penalty. At this point in time Daniel was about 80 years old and continued to bow down in prayer three times each day in his upper room as was his custom, even though he knew the decree was signed.
Well, Daniel was observed praying to God and brought before the king. And though the king attempted to deliver Daniel, he could not do so. Once a law was enacted, it could not be changed -not even by the king. Most of you know the rest of the story. He was thrown into the lion’s den and God sent His angel and shut the mouth’s of the lions.
God had given Daniel an excellent spirit. In His sovereignty He protected Daniel and enabled him to prosper in a heathen society. And Daniel was faithful as well. He did all he could do for the king and the position he held, however he refused to compromise his faith.
When the high priest confronted Peter and the other apostles concerning their preaching in the name of Jesus, they responded, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) And that is what Daniel did. He could have chose to cease praying for a month. It would have been the easiest way out. But he was faithful and placed his relationship with the Lord above everything else. In the end the lion’s den was not as perilous as the den of lions inhabited by the governmental officials. What a lesson for us!