Two Lessons

“And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives.”—Daniel 6:24 (ESV)

We see the tragic end of the men who had deceived Darius into signing the law that was supposed to determine Daniel’s death. Having been exposed, they are sent to face the very punishment they had prepared for Daniel. They’re to be thrown into the den of lions. Only this time, they aren’t going in alone. Their wives and children are to be cast in along with them!

Now, there’s no getting around how horrific this was. It seems awfully unjust that innocent people should have to suffer for the guilt of others like this. It is unjust by our understanding of God’s heart. But keep in mind, this was how the Medo-Persian Empire dealt out justice; highlighting how very far from the Lord’s standard their society was.

But there’s also a spiritual principle being illustrated here if we look a little closer. We see innocent people suffering as a result of the sins committed others. Sin always creates collateral damage; nobody ever sins in a vacuum. There are always aftershocks that effect those who are near a sinner’s epicenter. Family, friends, colleagues, and classmates can all be impacted to a certain extent when someone they’re close to chooses to sin. What a sobering reality to remember when we’re tempted! But there’s one more spiritual lesson to consider in this account: “And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces” Daniel 6:24 (ESV).

There’s an undeniable finality to the fate of Daniel’s accusers here. They had their time to conspire and accuse God’s man. In fact, that’s what they did for most of this chapter. But as this chapter draws to an end, so does their season of opposition. Judgment finally comes at the end, just as it will for our accuser, Satan.

We live in a chapter where our adversary is still active in opposing that which is of God, including us. It may seem like this chapter will never end. But one day it will! The Lord’s judgment cannot be escaped, and this is never truer than for the enemy of our souls! “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone . . .”—Revelation 20:10 (NKJV)

DIG: What sobering consequence of sin do we see depicted in this passage?

DISCOVER: What effect should that have on us when we’re tempted to sin?

DO: What encouragement can you derive from this passage when it comes to God’s judgment?