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Daniel in the Den

“My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me” (Daniel 6:22).

Who does not know the story of Daniel in the lions’ den? Yet there are precious thoughts here not always noticed. In this story, Daniel typifies our blessed Lord and Savior in several ways. Daniel’s enemies “could find none occasion nor fault … in him” (v. 4). Pilate said the very same thing three times about Jesus: “I find no fault in Him” (John 18:38; 19:4,6).

The opponents of Daniel succeeded in having a law passed saying that the king alone was to be prayed to. This law condemned Daniel. The eternal God passed a law, too, ordering all men to honor Him and to worship Him alone. As a result, all men fell under the sentence of death, for no one ever fully obeyed that command. Though innocent, our blessed Lord was condemned by God’s law when He took our place.

Darius labored to find some way to deliver Daniel from his fate. Didn’t our God, too, seek for some way to avoid Christ’s terrible suffering and death? Didn’t our blessed Lord, as it were, look for a way out when He prayed three times in Gethsemane, “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me” (Matthew 26:39-44)? Of course He knew that this was not possible (He must die if our sins are to be forgiven), but He prayed these solemn words so that we might know there is no way except the Cross.

Daniel was cast into the den of lions. Our Savior, too, was cast to the lion, as He prays in Psalm 22:21, “Save Me from the lion’s mouth.” Animals (or enemies) in Daniel’s case; Satan in the Lord’s case.

A stone was brought and laid upon the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet (v. 17). There was also a stone rolled to the mouth of the tomb where our Savior lay, and it was sealed as well (Matthew 27:66). Neither stone succeeded in keeping the guarded one there. Daniel came forth unharmed, and our Lord arose triumphantly!

—Condensed from Daniel: The Man and The Message by August Van Ryn.