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The Empire of the Meads Learns of the Power of God (Daniel Chapter 6) :


  In about 535 B.C. the powerful empire of Babylon was defeated by a military alliance of the Persians and the Meads.  Darius the Mead eventually assumed the kingship over former Babylon, and he apointed 120 administrators, and placed Daniel the captive Jewish prophet over them all.  Daniel was of excellent reputation in that sort of capacity.  The other wise men were jealous of Daniel, and wanted to get him into trouble with Darius, but the scriptures say that even Daniel's enemies agreed that Daniel worked so conscientiously for Darius as to be almost without flaw.  (That's a pretty good testimony for you if even your enemies have trouble faulting you.)  But they knew Daniel was faithful to God, and they made a plan in secret to use this against him. 

              They went to Darius, and suggested to him that it would be right to set a 30 day period during which no man could legally pray to anyone except Darius.  Because they all urged him to do it, and perhaps because his pride liked the idea, Darius assented, signing it into irrevocable law. 

              Daniel continued praying to his God three times a day, as he was used to doing, in his home.  But the men who planned the trap went to Darius and accused Daniel of breaking the law, and that required Darius to act with severity towards Daniel's disobedience of the kingly command.  The king, Darius, secretly wanted no part of punishing Daniel - he valued him - but among the Medes the law of the king was irrevocable - even by the king who signed the law, apparently.  So, with a heavy heart, Darius had Daniel cast into a pit filled with lions, and a stone was placed over the hole.  A clay seal marked with Darius's royal signet ring assured it would not be opened. 

              Darius's words of encouragement to Daniel as he did this were that 'Your God whom you constantly serve will free you!'  Darius went to his room and fasted until daybreak, unable to sleep.  In the morning he hurried to the pit and called out to Daniel 'Daniel, servant of the Most High God, has your God been able to save you?'

              To his joy, Daniel replied, saying that God had sent an angel to shut the lions mouths because he, Daniel, was guilty of wrong doing.  Daniel was brought out untouched.  Darius decided to have Daniel's clever accusers and their families thrown into the pit, and the lions were on them, and eating them, even as they landed. 

              Darius then declared that the people of his lands were to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel because He was a living God that endured forever, His kingdom would never be destroyed, and His dominion would be forever.  He delivers and rescues, and performs signs on Earth and in Heaven.  And so the Meads had now learned first hand about the Hebrews they had inherited as slaves in the land of Babylon, and about the God of those Hebrews - the mighty Ancient of Days.   

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