He cried with a lamentable voice - His heart, full of grief, affected his speech.
Servant of the living God - The king was convinced that, unless his God saved him, his destruction was inevitable.
He cried with a lamentable voice - A voice full of anxious solicitude. Literally, “a voice of grief.” Such a cry would be natural on such an occasion.
O Daniel, servant of the living God - The God who has life; who imparts life; and who can preserve life. This was the appellation, probably, which he had heard Daniel use in regard to God, and it is one which he would naturally employ on such an occasion as this; feeling that the question of life was entirely in his hands.
Whom thou servest continually - At all times, and in all circumstances: as a captive in a distant land; in places of honor and power; when surrounded by the great who worship other gods; and when threatened with death for your devotion to the service of God. This had been the character of Daniel, and it was natural to refer to it now.
But did Daniel cease to pray because this decree was to go into force? No, that was just the time when he needed to pray.... Daniel did not seek to hide his loyalty to God. He did not pray in his heart, but with his voice, aloud, with his window open toward Jerusalem, he offered up his petition to heaven. Then his enemies made their complaint to the king, and Daniel was thrown into the den of lions. But the Son of God was there.... When the king came in the morning, and called, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me.” Daniel 6:20-22.... OHC 357.3Read in context »
Daniel's history is a remarkable one. He carried out his faith and principles against great opposition. He was condemned to death because he would not abate one jot of his allegiance to God even in the face of the king's decree. It might, at this day, be called overrighteousness to go, as was his wont, three times a day and kneel before the open window for prayer while he knew that prying eyes were observing him and that his enemies were ready to accuse him of disloyalty to the king; but Daniel would allow no earthly power to come in between him and his God, even with the prospect of death in the den of lions. Although God did not prevent Daniel from being cast into a den of lions, an angel went in with him and closed their mouths, so that no harm befell him; and in the morning, when the king called him, he responded: “My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before Him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” He was a noble, steadfast servant of God. 5T 527.1
Nothing is gained by cowardice or by fearing to let it be known that we are God's commandment-keeping people. Hiding our light, as if ashamed of our faith, will result only in disaster. God will leave us to our own weakness. May the Lord forbid that we should refuse to let our light shine forth in any place to which He may call us. If we venture to go forth of ourselves, following our own ideas, our own plans, and leave Jesus behind, we need not expect to gain fortitude, courage, or spiritual strength. God has had moral heroes, and He has them now,—those who are not ashamed of being His peculiar people. Their wills and plans are all subordinate to the law of God. The love of Jesus has led them not to count their lives dear unto themselves. Their work has been to catch the light from the word of God and to let it shine forth in clear, steady rays to the world. “Fidelity to God” is their motto. 5T 527.2Read in context »
“The wrath of man shall praise Thee,” says the psalmist; “the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain.” God means that testing truth shall be brought to the front and become a subject of examination and discussion, even if it is through the contempt placed upon it. The minds of the people must be agitated. Every controversy, every reproach, every slander, will be God's means of provoking inquiry and awakening minds that otherwise would slumber. 5T 453.1
Thus it has been in the past history of God's people. For refusing to worship the great golden image which Nebuchadnezzar had set up, the three Hebrews were cast into the fiery furnace. But God preserved His servants in the midst of the flames, and the attempt to enforce idolatry resulted in bringing the knowledge of the true God before the assembled princes and great men of the vast kingdom of Babylon. 5T 453.2
So when the decree went forth forbidding prayer to any God save the king. As Daniel, according to his custom, made his supplications three times a day to the God of heaven, the attention of the princes and rulers was called to his case. He had an opportunity to speak for himself, to show who is the true God, and to present the reason why He alone should receive worship, and the duty of rendering Him praise and homage. And the deliverance of Daniel from the den of lions was another evidence that the Being whom he worshiped was the true and living God. 5T 453.3Read in context »
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28. OHC 357.1
Daniel is an example to believers as to what it means to confess Christ. He held the responsible position of prime minister in the kingdom of Babylon, and there were those who were envious of Daniel among the great men of the court, and they wanted to find something against him that they might bring an accusation against him to the king. But he was a faithful statesman, and they could find no flaw in his character or life.... So they agreed together to ask the king to make a decree that no one should ask any petition of any God or man for thirty days save of the king, and if any disobeyed this decree, he was to be cast into the den of lions. OHC 357.2Read in context »