Daniel’s co-workers are jealous of him and can’t find anything that could get him fired. They resort to manipulation to try to get rid of him.
Daniel 6: 5 Finally, they said to one another, “We will never be able to bring any charge against Daniel, unless it has to do with his religion.” 6 They all went to the king and said: Your Majesty, we hope you live forever! 7 All of your officials, leaders, advisors, and governors agree that you should make a law forbidding anyone to pray to any god or human except you for the next thirty days. Everyone who disobeys this law must be thrown into a pit of lions. 8 Order this to be written and then sign it, so it cannot be changed, just as no written law of the Medes and Persians can be changed.”
9 So King Darius made the law and had it written down. 10 Daniel heard about the law, but when he returned home, he went upstairs and prayed in front of the window that faced Jerusalem. In the same way that he had always done, he knelt down in prayer three times a day, giving thanks to God.
Daniel’s enemies devise a trap so they can get rid of Daniel. They appeal to the king’s ego to do it. It was commonplace for the kings of the day to be considered a deity. The king was only too happy to oblige them. I’m sure Daniel recognized the actions as a trap. The decree was only for a limited time. He has a decision to make. Should he just put a pause on his prayers? I think even if Daniel had done that, his accusers would have manufactured some other reason to get rid of Daniel. Then Daniel would not only have been guilty of betraying his God but would have lost his life anyway. There would have been no advance to hiding his prayers and he would have lost the opportunity for God to show Himself faithful.
Daniel was probably in his 80’s at this time. God had gotten him and his friends through death threats before, Daniel continues to trust God in this situation. Years later Jesus would say in Matt. 10: 28 Don’t be afraid of people. They can kill you, but they cannot harm your soul. Instead, you should fear God who can destroy both your body and your soul in hell. This is still good advice for us. God has made us for eternity and this life on earth is short in comparison. No matter how our enemies may manipulate to attack us, we will always be with God.
To hear more about the story of Daniel, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/daniel-a-man-of-character/daniel-in-the-lions-den