We all know the story of Daniel in the lions den, and how awesome Daniel was but I'm here today to say that King Darius was pretty great in some ways too.
He was rather tricked into making that whole decree that landed Daniel in the lions den in the first place and so "he labored til the going down of the sun to deliver him (Daniel)."
And when those efforts proved to be unsuccessful, he encouraged Daniel and said (by faith) "Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you." (awesome!)
Darius couldn't sleep that night while Daniel was in the den (for obvious reasons) and he "arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions." His lamenting question (probably due to his part in all this) was "Daniel, servant of the Living God, has your God, whom you serve continually been able to deliver you from the lions?"
-Notice how he always describes Daniel as someone who 'serves his God continually.' I think that is awesome! May those around us testify that we do the same! Amen?
"Now the king was exceedingly glad for him (Daniel)." (here's where it gets a little graphic -blah!)
"The king gave command and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives, and the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den."
Then he makes a better decree:
"I decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble in fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the Living God and steadfast forever. His kingdom is one which shall not be destroyed and his dominion shall endure to the end. He delivers and rescues, (Amen!) and He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth." (yes, He does)
He can turn a den of death into a platform of praise from a heathen king!