Bible Study Guides – The Gospel Message to Medo-Persia

August 7, 2004 – August 13, 2004

Memory Verse

“Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.” Daniel 6:16.

Suggested Reading: Prophets and Kings, 539–548.


“It may be a difficult matter for men in high positions to pursue the path of undeviating integrity whether they shall receive praise or censure. Yet this is the only safe course. All the rewards which they might gain by selling their honor would be only as the breath from polluted lips, as dross to be consumed in the fire. Those who have moral courage to stand in opposition to the vices and errors of their fellow men—it may be of those whom the world honor— will receive hatred, insult, and abusive falsehood. They may be thrust down from their high position, because they would not be bought or sold, because they could not be induced by bribes or threats to stain their hands with iniquity. Everything on earth may seem to conspire against them; but God has set His seal upon His own work. They may be regarded by their fellow men as weak, unmanly, unfit to hold office; but how differently does the Most High regard them. Those who despise them are the really ignorant. While the storms of calumny and reviling may pursue the man of integrity through life, and beat upon his grave, God has the ‘well done’ prepared for him. Folly and iniquity will at best yield only a life of unrest and discontent, and at its close a thorny dying pillow. And how many, as they view their course of action and its results, are led to end with their own hands their disgraceful career. And beyond all this waits the Judgment, and the final, irrevocable doom, Depart!” The Signs of the Times, February 2, 1882.

1 What responsible position was given Daniel in the Persian empire? Daniel 6:1, 2. What especially commended Daniel? Verse 3.

note: “What an impression was produced upon Darius by the conduct of Daniel! Daniel lived a pure and holy life. God was first with him. Whenever real Christianity reigns in the heart, it will be revealed in the character. All will take knowledge of such, that they have been with Jesus. The undivided affections must be given to God.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 443.

2 According to the testimony of his enemies, how faithful was Daniel? Daniel 6:4.

note: “Let nothing turn the attention away from the great work that is to be done. Let the thoughts, the aptitude, the keen exercise of the brain power, be put to the highest uses in studying the word and will of God. The Lord has a place for the very best ability He has intrusted to men. In the work of building up His kingdom, we may employ every capacity given of God, as faithfully and earnestly as did Daniel in Babylon, when he was found faithful to every duty to man, and loyal to his God.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 305.

3 How did Daniel’s subordinates seek to trap him? Daniel 6:5. What scheme was laid for his destruction? Verses 6–9.

note: “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.” The Youth’s Instructor, November 1, 1900.

4 How was Daniel affected by this proclamation? Daniel 6:10.

note: “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?

“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.” The Youth’s Instructor, November 1, 1900.

5 What motive was clearly revealed by the princes’ conduct before the king? Daniel 6:11–15.

note: “[Daniel’s] adversaries watch him an entire day. Three times he has repaired to his chamber, and three times the voice of earnest intercession has been heard. The next morning the complaint is made to the king that Daniel, one of the captives of Judah, has set at defiance his decree. When the monarch heard these words, his eyes were at once opened to see the snare that had been set.” Review and Herald, February 8, 1881.

“Eagerly [Daniel’s adversaries] 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.” The Youth’s Instructor, November 1, 1900.

6 What reason did Darius state as to why God would protect the aged prophet? Daniel 6:16.

note: “Great light has been given to the people of God. Let our people awake, and go forward to perfection. You will be exposed to the fallacies of Satanic agencies. Fearful waves of fanaticism will come. But God will deliver the people who will earnestly seek the Lord, and consecrate themselves to His service.” Pacific Union Recorder, December 31, 1908.

7 What did the king do? What was implied in the king’s call to Daniel the next morning? Daniel 6:19, 20.

note: “Daniel’s testimony had made a deep impression on his [Darius’] 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.

“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 lion’s 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?’ ” The Youth’s Instructor, November 1, 1900.

8 What reason did Daniel give for God’s protection? Through what agency was Daniel delivered? Daniel 6:21–23.

note: “Angels are sent on missions of mercy to the children of God. To Abraham, with promises of blessing; to the gates of Sodom, to rescue righteous Lot from its fiery doom; to Elijah, as he was about to perish from weariness and hunger in the desert; to Elisha, with chariots and horses of fire surrounding the little town where he was shut in by his foes; to Daniel, while seeking divine wisdom in the court of a heathen king, or abandoned to become the lions’ prey; to Peter, doomed to death in Herod’s dungeon; to the prisoners at Philippi; to Paul and his companions in the night of tempest on the sea; to open the mind of Cornelius to receive the gospel; to dispatch Peter with the message of salvation to the Gentile stranger—thus holy angels have, in all ages, ministered to God’s people.

“A guardian angel is appointed to every follower of Christ. These heavenly watchers shield the righteous from the power of the wicked one. . . . The angels appointed to minister to the children of God have at all times access to His presence.” The Great Controversy, 512, 513.

9 How were the accusers of the prophet punished? Daniel 6:24. Compare Deuteronomy 19:19.

Note: “Jesus, the mighty Commander of the host of heaven, sent his angel to close the mouths of those hungry lions that they should not hurt the praying man of God, and all was peace in that terrible den. The king witnessed his preservation, and brought him out with honors. Satan and his angels were defeated and enraged. The agents Satan had employed were doomed to perish in the terrible manner they had plotted to destroy Daniel. The prayer of faith is the great strength of the Christian, and will assuredly prevail against Satan. This is why he insinuates that we have no need of prayer. The name of Jesus, our advocate, he detests, and when we earnestly come to him for help, Satan’s host is alarmed.” Spiritual Gifts, Book 4b, 85.

10 How did Darius acknowledge God? Daniel 6:25–27.

note: “What an impression was produced upon Darius by the conduct of Daniel! Daniel lived a pure and holy life. God was first with him. Whenever real Christianity reigns in the heart, it will be revealed in the character. All will take knowledge of such, that they have been with Jesus. The undivided affections must be given to God.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 443.

“While Daniel clung to God with unwavering trust, the spirit of prophetic power came upon him. While honored by men with the responsibilities of the court and the secrets of the kingdom, he was honored by God as His ambassador, and taught to read the mysteries of ages to come. Heathen monarchs, through association with Heaven’s representative, were constrained to acknowledge the God of Daniel.” Education, 56.

11 What was Daniel’s condition in the empire? Daniel 6:28.

note: “The wicked opposition to God’s servant was now completely broken. ‘Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.’ [Daniel 6:28.] And through association with him, these heathen monarchs were constrained to acknowledge his God as ‘the living God, and steadfast forever, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.’ [Daniel 6:26.]” Prophets and Kings, 545.

“The experience of Daniel as a statesman in the kingdoms of Babylon and Medo-Persia reveals the truth that a businessman is not necessarily a designing, policy man, but that he may be a man instructed by God at every step. Daniel, the prime minister of the greatest of earthly kingdoms, was at the same time a prophet of God, receiving the light of heavenly inspiration. A man of like passions as ourselves, the pen of inspiration describes him as without fault. His business transactions, when subjected to the closest scrutiny of his enemies, were found to be without one flaw. He was an example of what every businessman may become when his heart is converted and consecrated, and when his motives are right in the sight of God.

“Strict compliance with the requirements of Heaven brings temporal as well as spiritual blessings. Unwavering in his allegiance to God, unyielding in his mastery of self, Daniel, by his noble dignity and unswerving integrity, while yet a young man, won the ‘favor and tender love’ of the heathen officer in whose charge he had been placed. Daniel 1:9. The same characteristics marked his afterlife. He rose speedily to the position of prime minister of the kingdom of Babylon. Through the reign of successive monarchs, the downfall of the nation, and the establishment of another world empire, such were his wisdom and statesmanship, so perfect his tact, his courtesy, his genuine goodness of heart, his fidelity to principle, that even his enemies were forced to the confession that ‘they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful.’ [Daniel 6:4.]” Prophets and Kings, 546.

12 By what means may we enter into a like experience? 11 Chronicles 15:7; 1 Corinthians 15:58.

note: “We may, like Daniel and his fellows, live for that which is true and noble and enduring. And learning in this life the principles of the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, . . . we may be prepared at His coming to enter with Him into its possession.” Conflict and Courage, 254.

“Daniel possessed the grace of genuine meekness. He was true, firm, and noble. He sought to live in peace with all, while he was unbending as the lofty cedar wherever principle was involved. In everything that did not come in collision with his allegiance to God, he was respectful and obedient to those who had authority over him; but he had so high a sense of the claims of God that the requirements of earthly rulers were held subordinate. He would not be induced by any selfish consideration to swerve from his duty.

“The character of Daniel is presented to the world as a striking example of what God’s grace can make of men fallen by nature and corrupted by sin. The record of his noble, self-denying life is an encouragement to our common humanity. From it we may gather strength to nobly resist temptation, and firmly, and in the grace of meekness, stand for the right under the severest trial.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 78, 79.

These lessons are adapted from Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, 1918.