Dan 6:14 And the king, when he heard these words, was greatly displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him.
Talk about drama! King Darius decreed that every man who petitioned god or man, except for him, for thirty days would be tossed to the lions. Shortly after, Daniel was ushered before the king a guilty man.
The decree was brought about by newly appointed governors and satraps vying for power in the newly acquired kingdom. They couldn't stand it that Daniel, because of his excellence was being considered for the top position over all of them.
They knew they couldn't trip Daniel up on anything except where his God was concerned. They knew he was faithful. Thus they requested the decree of king Darius.
What gets me is that the king must have been oblivious to the evil plotting of the politicians because he was quite concerned for Daniel's life. Why did he permit the decree in the first place? Once declared it couldn't be withdrawn so one would think it wouldn't have been issued carelessly! I'm convinced the politicians went to the king praising, flattering and groveling... fanning his pride to the point of blindness of their true intent.
Poor king Darius spent the entire night awake, fasting and worrying. Once morning finally arrived the king ran to the lions den and found Daniel alive. God had shut the mouths of the lions. What a relief!
Lord, how often does the evil one whisper flattery into my ear about some self serving situation? How often do I consent before fully considering a matter? Forgive me of my pride. Keep me from deception and give me discernment!
Photo is: Daniel in the Lion's Den (google re-use)