Darius, king of Babylon, made Daniel—a Hebrew—a ruler over his whole kingdom because of the “excellent spirit … in him” (Dan. 6:3).
The king’s other princes and presidents envied Daniel and wanted to find fault with him. They knew that Daniel was faithful to the laws of God, so they talked King Darius into ordering that anyone who would “ask a petition of any God or man”—except of King Darius himself—would be cast into a den of lions. (See Dan 6:7.)
Daniel knew that Darius had made this law, but he continued to go to his room three times each day to pray.
The other leaders spied on Daniel and found him praying. They went to the king and reminded him of the new law that he had made. They told him that Daniel was disobeying this law.
Darius was then sorry that he had made the law. He wanted to save Daniel—but the law could not be changed, and Daniel was thrown into the den of lions. The king told him, “Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee” (Dan. 6:16).
King Darius spent the night fasting for Daniel. Early in the morning he hurried to the den of lions and called out to Daniel. Daniel answered, “My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me” (Dan. 6:22).
The king then decreed that all the people of his kingdom should worship the God of Daniel.