The Youth’s Instructor


November 1, 1900

God's Care for His Children


Under the reign of Darius, Daniel was exalted to a position of great honor, because the king saw in him an “excellent spirit.” But when the leading men of the kingdom saw Daniel thus favored, they became jealous of him, and soon envied and hated him. His course of unbending integrity was in marked contrast to their own lives. The more upright and righteous he was, the more they hated him. Long they sought to find something whereby he might be condemned. It angered them to think that they could lay nothing to his charge. But he was prime minister of the kingdom, and they knew they would have to prove any charge they brought against him. YI November 1, 1900, par. 1

Daniel's position was not an enviable one. He stood at the head of a dishonest, prevaricating, godless cabinet, whose members watched him with keen, jealous eyes, to find some flaw in his conduct. They kept spies on his track, to see if they could not in this way find something against him. Satan suggested to these men a plan whereby they might get rid of Daniel. Use his religion as a means of condemning him, the enemy said. YI November 1, 1900, par. 2

Daniel was a man of prayer. Three times a day he knelt before the Lord; and Satan told his enemies that his destruction must be compassed on this ground. YI November 1, 1900, par. 3

A large number of the princes and nobles were in the secret, but the king was kept in ignorance of their purpose, they went to him, and asked him, in honor of his kingly dignity, to pass a decree commanding that for thirty days no one in the kingdom should ask anything of any god save Darius. YI November 1, 1900, par. 4

“All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counselors, and the captains have consulted together,” they said, “to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any god or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.” YI November 1, 1900, par. 5

The king's vanity was flattered. Not for a moment did he think that Daniel, his beloved and honored servant, would in any way be affected by the law. He signed the decree, and with it in their possession, the presidents and princes went forth from his presence, evil triumph depicted on their countenances. They deemed that the man they hated was now in their power. YI November 1, 1900, par. 6

Daniel heard of what had been done, but he made no protest. He could see the design of his enemies. He knew that they would watch closely his going out and his coming in, but he calmly attended to his duties, and at the hour of prayer he went to his chamber, and kneeling by the open window, with his face toward Jerusalem, he prayed to his God. From his youth he had been taught that in prayer his face should be turned toward the temple, where by faith he saw the revelation of Jehovah's glory. YI November 1, 1900, par. 7

Daniel prayed more fervently than was his wont, that He who understands the secret working of Satan and his agents would not leave his servant, but would care for him. He prayed for strength to endure the trial. YI November 1, 1900, par. 8

Some may ask, Why did not Daniel lift his soul to God in secret prayer? Would not the Lord, knowing the situation, have excused his servant from kneeling openly before him? Or why did he not kneel before God in some secret place, where his enemies could not see him? YI November 1, 1900, par. 9

Daniel knew that the God of Israel must be honored before the Babylonian nation. He knew that neither kings nor nobles had any right to come between him and his duty to his God. He must bravely maintain his religious principles before all men; for he was God's witness. Therefore he prayed as was his wont, as if no decree had been made. YI November 1, 1900, par. 10

“Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.” YI November 1, 1900, par. 11

Eagerly they hastened to Darius, concealing their cruel joy under a cloak of regret that they were obliged to inform against Daniel. But they declared that by Daniel's act the king's position as sovereign of the land was endangered, and his authority despised. “That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.” YI November 1, 1900, par. 12

“Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself.” YI November 1, 1900, par. 13

Too late he understood the snare that had been laid for the destruction of his favorite servant. Sorely troubled, he tried in every way to rescue Daniel. Till the going down of the sun he labored to deliver him. But Daniel's accusers had managed the matter so well that there was no way of escape. “Know, O king,” they said, “that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.” YI November 1, 1900, par. 14

Daniel was brought before the king and his princes to answer the accusation brought against him. He had opportunity to speak for himself, and he boldly acknowledged his belief in the living God, the maker of heaven and earth. He made a noble confession of faith, relating his experience from his first connection with the kingdom. YI November 1, 1900, par. 15

In his perplexity and distress, Darius said to Daniel, I have done all I can to save you. I can do no more. “Thy God, whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee,” he added, as he bade him a sorrowful farewell. YI November 1, 1900, par. 16

Daniel was cast into the den of lions. “And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords, that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.” Full of satanic exultation, Daniel's enemies returned to their homes. They drank freely of wine, and congratulated themselves on their success in putting out of the way one whom they could not bribe to forsake the path of integrity. YI November 1, 1900, par. 17

Not so did Darius pass the night. Daniel's testimony had made a deep impression on his mind. He had some knowledge of the dealing of God with the people of Israel, and Daniel's conduct sent home to his heart the conviction, that the God of the Hebrews was the true God. He was filled with remorse for having signed the decree brought to him. His conscience was awakened, and he passed a sleepless and troubled night. The chamber of royalty was one of sorrow and prayer. All music was hushed. All amusements were laid aside. No comforters were admitted. YI November 1, 1900, par. 18

During that sleepless night the king thought as he had never thought before. Early the next morning, hoping and yet despairing, condemning himself, and praying to him whom he began to recognize as the true God, Darius went to the lions’ den, and cried aloud: “O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?” YI November 1, 1900, par. 19

With intense anxiety he waited for an answer, and unspeakable thankfulness filled his heart as a voice came up from below: “O king, live forever. 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. YI November 1, 1900, par. 20

“Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.” And we read of him, “Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.” YI November 1, 1900, par. 21

Thus the Lord cared for his faithful servant, and thus will he care for all who put their trust in him. “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” YI November 1, 1900, par. 22

Mrs. E. G. White