Darius I, byname Darius the Great, (born 550 bc—died 486), king of Persia in 522–486 bc, one of the greatest rulers of the Achaemenid dynasty, who was noted for his administrative genius and for his great building projects. Darius I assumed the throne of Persia at age 28. He ruled for over 30 years and was admired for his organizational skills that were instrumental in building a more powerful Persian kingdom.
In his rule, The people of Israel were taken into captivity and Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were appointed to the king as individuals markedly unique in their skills and abilities.
The Bible tells us that the prophet Daniel and King David both prayed three times per day. What do you do?
Daniel would pray to his Creator, opponents of his knowing his pattern of praying advised king Darius to write a decree that forbade any citizen from praying to anything other than he. Why does Daniel get down on his knees to pray three times a day with his windows opened toward Jerusalem (Dan 6:10)? The reason is that prayerful bodies matter in the book of Daniel. Though supposedly serving in the Persian king Darius’s government, in this tale Daniel disobeys the king’s law to worship him. Instead, Daniel follows his own religious law, developing habitual practices that involve his body. His posture of kneeling is unique in the book and offers a strong contrast to pagan religious practice in the Babylonian and Persian Empires, as well as the Greek Seleucid Empire, which threatened the Jerusalem temple at the time of the book’s composition. In Greek religion, praying individuals stood with hands outstretched, palms facing upward. Prayers were recited aloud in public accompanied by a sacrifice. In contrast, Daniel prays in isolation in an upper room, kneeling down in “service.” Daniel’s prayer signals his resistance to empire and his radically alternative allegiance. Rather than offer honor and praise to King Darius in a public space, he seeks mercy by confessing sin, praying, and praising his own God.
Afrer attemting to undo the decree, he was bound to have Daniel thrown to the lions. The king worried all night and at dawn ran to the lions den. The next morning, King Darius got up just as it was getting light and ran to the lions’ den. He was very worried. When he got to the lions’ den, he called to Daniel. He said, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God been able to save you from the lions? You always serve your God.” Daniel answered, “King, live forever! My God sent his angel to save me. The angel closed the lions’ mouths. The lions have not hurt me because my God knows I am innocent. I never did anything wrong to you, King.” King Darius was very happy. He told his servants to lift Daniel out of the lions’ den. And when Daniel was lifted out of the den, they did not find any injury on his body. The lions did not hurt Daniel because he trusted in his God. Then the king gave a command to bring the men who had accused Daniel to the lions’ den. The men and their wives and children were thrown into the lions’ den. The lions grabbed them before they hit the floor. The lions ate their bodies and then chewed on their bones. Then King Darius wrote this letter to all the people from other nations and language groups all around the world: Greetings: I am making a new law. This law is for people in every part of my kingdom. All of you must fear and respect the God of Daniel. Daniel’s God is the living God; he lives forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed. His rule will never end. God helps and saves people. He does amazing miracles in heaven and on earth. He saved Daniel from the lions. So Daniel was successful during the time Darius was king and when Cyrus the Persian was king. Daniel 6:19-28
“God rescues and He saves; He performs signs and wonders in the Heavens and on the Earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”