“Get out!” Darius shouted, slapping the fruit tray out of his servant’s trembling fingers. “And take those dancing girls with you!” He was in no mood for wine and women tonight. How could he–ruler of this entire empire–let himself be outsmarted? Why hadn’t he suspected their ulterior motive?
He had handpicked every one of those territorial administrators. He had no idea they would band together and back him into a corner. He should have seen through their conspiracy before it was too late. He should have realized they were out to destroy Daniel. That they would do anything to keep him from becoming prime minister. They weren’t about to let a man of sterling integrity have access to their financial files.
So they duped Darius into signing a law that he was helpless to rescind. Not that he hadn’t tried to think of an out.
All day long, like a trapped animal, Darius twisted and turned for a way to deliver Daniel from the death sentence. When the sun set, he gave up. There was no way out. He must go through with the execution, as the cutthroat conspirators smugly reminded him: “But these men, all ganged together, came and said to the king, ‘You must realize, Your Majesty, that the law of Media and Persia, including every law and edict the king has issued, cannot be changed’” (Daniel 6:15 CEB).
Now his most trusted advisor was locked in a pit with lions. And the only thing he could do was say to Daniel, “‘May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!’” (Daniel 6:16 ESV).
As soon as his distressful, sleepless night passed on to dawn, Darius hurried to the death chamber. There he discovered that Daniel’s God had indeed delivered him.
Darius had been outsmarted but not outsourced:
And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces (Daniel 6:19 ESV).
Are we alert to doing the right thing? It is to our good that we are: “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17 ESV).