The book of Daniel was written to encourage the people of God when they were oppressed and exploited. The first six chapters tell six stories of the faithful young Daniel. He and others faced repeated persecutions. Each time God rescued them. Chapters 7-12 tell four stories to address more contemporary persecutions that the people suffered under the Greek imperial occupation of their land. Antiochus IV Epiphanes was a brutal ruler intent on turning Jerusalem from a holy place for the people of God into a monument to the Greek gods.
Daniel was the most excellent among King Darius’s administrators. King Darius planned to give him the highest position and the other administrators tried to use Daniel’s faithfulness against him. They came to Darius proposing a new ordinance that no one should pray – except to Darius – for 30 days. They said that all his administrators were in favor. They were lying, of course, since David knew nothing of this. No doubt flattered, Darius signed the ordinance. Daniel didn’t comply because of his faithfulness to God. The conspirators wanted Daniel thrown to the lions. Darius was powerless to rescue Daniel, even though Darius himself put the ordinance into effect. That didn’t matter because God was faithful to Daniel and protected him in the lions’ den.
Daniel’s faithfulness was used against him. God was faithful to Daniel and protected him. Acting on his faith was Daniel’s witness to Darius, who saw the power of God to save. The power of kings is finally subject to the power of God.