Fortunately the story of Daniel in the lions' den does not end here. In the end God is extolled by King Darius. All are commanded to fear and reverence the God of Daniel and in this way we are reminded of the importance of living for him. As a result of his encounter with God, Darius speaks of him as the living God who endures forever. His kingdom will not be destroyed and his dominion will never end. He rescues and saves. He performs signs and wonders in heaven and on earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.
This is the testimony of a pagan monarch. It reveals the degree to which a human being can know God. As with Nebuchadnezzar there is no evidence that Darius knew God in a saving way, but what he says about God is true nonetheless, maybe more true than he knew. It also reminds us that God is gracious and does not leave himself without a witness. He is not removed from the world of men but he interacts with it and his interactions leave men without excuse (cf. Romans 1:18-32).
The chapter ends with a reference to Daniel prospering during "the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian," or as some believe it should be translated, "the reign of Darius, that is the reign of Cyrus." Whatever the textual questions Daniel is portrayed as a "blessed man" along the lines of Psalm 1. And so he prospers even in a foreign land far from his homeland. God was with him and in the end that makes all the difference.