Darius 1, also called Darius the Great, was the third king of the Persian Empire.
The rebuilding of the temple by the returning exiles was frustrated… and even halted… during the final years of Cyrus’ reign. The Darius became ruler. See Ezra 4:24; 5:1.
Haggai 1:1-5; Zechariah 1:1-6.
The foundation for the temple had been laid, but the work had been stopped… for about 16yrs. That’s when 2 prophets, Haggai & Zechariah, were called to encourage the people to finish the job.
The decree of Darius.
I. A Hostile Plan (Dan. 6:1-9)
Though King Darius of Persia was the most powerful man on earth during his lifetime, even he was forced to recognize that God is sovereign over all things. And that we are all dependent on Him.
Darius was a wise and powerful king… but it seems he was a little gullible when it came to the crafty schemes of a few Jewish officials. They were jealous of the power and prestige of Daniel the prophet, because he had been promoted to 2nd-in-command of the Persian Empire. Daniel’s only “flaw” seemed to have been his complete devotion to God, to whom he prayed 3 times a day. So, the officials were able to talk Darius into passing a decree that required everyone to pray only to the king for 1 month. He had no idea what that would mean for his friend, Daniel…
II. A Holy Man (Dan. 6:10-15)
Daniel, of course, continued to pray to God… and was promptly arrested. When Darius realized Daniel would be thrown into a den of lions for his “crime”, he was distraught. But, even he could not undo anything he had signed into law.
III. A Heavenly Ban (Dan. 6:16-28)
So, all Darius could do was pray… that God Himself would save Daniel. And God DID save Daniel! And Darius rejoiced!!
Darius made a new law… declaring that everyone should have an awesome reverence for the God of Daniel.
You’ll want to read the story of Daniel in the lions’ den, in Dan. 6. It will remind you of Daniel’s faithfulness… and the impact that had on the most powerful person on the planet!
You can read Darius’ story in Ezra 4-6; Haggai 1; Zechariah 1; & Daniel 6.