Chapter CONTEXT from MHCC: Daniel does not give a continued history of the reigns in which he lived, nor of the state-affairs of the kingdoms of Chaldea and Persia, though he was himself a great man in those affairs; for what are those to us? But he selects such particular passages of story as serve for the confirming of our faith in God and the encouraging of our obedience to him, for the things written aforetime were written for our learning. It is a very observable improvable story that we have in this chapter, how Daniel by faith “stopped the mouths of lions,” and so “obtained a good report,” Heb. 11:33. The three children were cast into the fiery furnace for not committing a known sin, Daniel was cast into the lions’ den for not omitting a known duty, and God’s miraculously delivering both them and him is left upon record for the encouragement of his servants in all ages to be resolute and constant both in their abhorrence of that which is evil and in their adherence to that which is good, whatever it cost them.
In this chapter we have, I. Daniel’s preferment in the court of Darius (v. 1-3). II. The envy and malice of his enemies against him (v. 4, 5). III. The decree they obtained against prayer for thirty days (v. 6-9). IV. Daniel’s continuance and constancy in prayer, notwithstanding that decree (v. 10). V. Information given against him for it, and the casting of him into the den of lions (v. 11-17). VI. His miraculous preservation in the lions’ den, and deliverance out of it (v. 18-23). VII. The casting of his accusers into the den, and their destruction there (v. 24). VIII. The decree which Darius made upon this occasion, in honour of the God of Daniel, and the prosperity of Daniel afterwards (v. 25-28). And this God is our God for ever and ever.
As always context is everything when reading scripture and in our main text for today in order to understand what is going on, we must read the background story v.1-24 and then the context v.25-28 carefully.
A synopsis of v.1-24 would be along the lines of Daniel, a jew is made a chief in the Kings court, and the nobles of the lang get jealous They plot to discredit and destroy (kill) him, but the plan backfires when God (the God Jehovah of Israel) saves Daniel and his two friends from certain death and King Darius repents.
So our main text from the ESV has King Darius making this declaration: He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.” What drove him to make such a declaration? We need to ask a few questions to find out:
Who is the He [who] delivers We are clearly told that it is God that rescues Daniel and his friends, but here we have a foreign King a non-Jew making a declaration in v.26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end.
It is amazing to me that the Bible records this in the 6th Century B.C., a “non-believer” professing the sovereignty of God. You can google, youtube, or whatever today and find hundreds or thousands of so-called “Christians” arguing against God’s sovereignty.
How does he work(s)signs and wonders in heaven and on earth King Darius recognizes and declares that the power he has witnessed is no ordinary everyday occurrence. It is not in other words natural, only a divine sovereign being could have stopped the fire from burning those boys and kept the lions at bay. Darius recognizes that the God Jehovah can use all creation in heaven and earth to accomplish His will. He declares God’s omnipotence.
Why did he [who has saved[ save Daniel from the power of the lions Simple to save Daniel, No? Simply to make a point or a fool of King Darius, no? We need to look at v.28 here to better understand why? So this [man] Daniel prospered and enjoyed success in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. Had Daniel done anything more than be faithful, no? Yet he is richly rewarded for his faithfulness. God did all that King Darius recognized, for one reason, for His [God’s] own Glory.
The MHCC States v.25-28: If we live in the fear of God, [reverence and awe] and walk according to that rule, peace shall be upon us. The kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever, are the Lord’s; but many are employed in making known his wonderful works to others, who themselves remain strangers to his saving grace. May we be doers, as well as believers of his word, least at the last we should be found to have deceived ourselves