4.2.6 Deliverance from the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6)
Daniel 6 recounts the episode of Daniel being unjustly cast into the den of lions. As with the men cast into the fiery furnace, Daniel’s piety is punished as a capital crime. King Darius expresses hope that Daniel’s God will deliver him (6:17, ET 16), but the stone is sealed over Daniel’s sure death (6:18, ET 17). God reverses the unjust judgment, however, and the king comes in the morning asking Daniel whether his God has indeed been able to deliver him (6:21, ET 20). Daniel announces that God has shut the mouths of the lions; Daniel has not been harmed at all (6:23–24, ET 22–23). When the stone is rolled away, it is almost as though Daniel has been raised from the dead. The wicked schemers are judged as their plans are foiled, Daniel is saved through God’s rejection of their plan, and then the wicked are cast into the den of lions and devoured (6:25, ET 24). In response, Darius announces the everlasting kingdom and dominion of Daniel’s God, heralding his wondrous deliverance of Daniel (6:26–28, ET 25–27). God is glorified as Daniel is saved through judgment.
Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and Darius the Mede both confess the everlasting kingdom of Yahweh. Both these kings are led to this confession through Yahweh’s judgment against them. Salvation comes through judgment to the glory of God.
James M. Hamilton Jr., God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010), 329–330.