“A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den. The king sealed the stone with his own royal seal and the seals of his nobles, so that no one could rescue Daniel. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night.” Daniel 6:17-18
While Daniel slept like a lamb, even though he was being watched over by lions, Darius tossed and turned. He didn’t eat; he couldn’t sleep. He was counting the minutes until sunrise when he would discover Daniel’s fate. He was probably asking himself over and over, why did I agree to play the role of a god for thirty days? What was I thinking? His vanity and weakness will cost him his supper and his sleep. The lions wanted to eat but couldn’t; the king could eat but wouldn’t. It was a unique night in Persia.
The king’s command was carried out and Daniel was thrown to the lions— but not before Darius made this remarkable statement to Daniel: “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” The idea is that the king was saying, “I have tried to save you but have failed. Now your God must save you.” Daniel’s faithfulness to God had made an obvious impression on Darius, giving the king some hope that Daniel’s God might come to his rescue.
Before Daniel was lowered into the pit and the wall lifted up, the King offers a prayer that Daniel’s God would deliver him because Daniel was faithful to serve God continually. The King then had the pit covered and the rock sealed so that everything was done as according to the law. Nobody would dare break the King’s official seal, so that when the pit was opened, everybody would have to confess that God had performed a great miracle. It makes us think of the stone at our Lord’s tomb that was sealed by the Roman Authorities, and yet Jesus came forth alive.