BOOK NAME: DANIEL AND THE LIONS
AUTHOR: HEATHER AMERY
DESIGNED BY: MARIA WHEATLEY
ILLUSTRATOR: NORMAN YOUNG
PUBLISHER: USBORNE BIBLE TALES
“May King Darius live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree in writing.
Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?”The king answered, “The decree stands in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”
Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.
Daniel 6: 7-13
The story of Daniel in the lion’s den teaches us about the promises and faithfulness of God, even if we feel like everything has been lost. This is a summary of the Biblical account of Daniel’s refusal to bow to man and how God used Daniel to save a nation.
King Darius was ruler over Babylon and had appointed several men to help him govern and lead. Daniel, the leader of the advisors, was a man who believed in God and followed the Lord’s commands. The other men did not like Daniel and did not want him in charge, so they devised a way to get rid of Daniel.
These men knew that Daniel served the God of Israel. They told King Darius to make a new law in which people could worship and pray to only the king and if they worshipped or prayed to other gods they would be thrown into the den of the lions.
Daniel knew about the new law but committed in his heart to remain steadfast in his prayer and praise to the Lord. Daniel prayed three times a day with his windows open. When the men saw Daniel and brought accusations against him to King Darius, the king was devastated because he favoured Daniel. The king knew he could not change the law and Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den.
But God was gracious to Daniel and he saved him from the wicked men. The wicked men were thrown into the hungry lions and they became their prey.
So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.
At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.
Daniel 6: 16-24
WHAT DOES DANIEL’S STORY TEACH US?
Daniel’s story is a story of courage, bravery, and true faithfulness. Daniel was so concerned about prayer and he would not stop praying, even though his life was threatened. When we bow our knees to him and decide that no matter what comes along, we will not abandon our God. We become very useful to him and can be a real blessing and help to the people around us, just like Daniel became an invaluable adviser to the kings of Babylon.
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