Lions Den

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Lion's Den
When Babylon fell at the hands of Cyrus, Darius the new king gave Daniel a very important position. He had noticed that he had an "excellent spirit". That meant Daniel was a faithful and very wise government official under Nebuchadnezzar yet he was not proud. He never bragged about his service to the kings of Babylon. He continued to be humble. He never tried to get the highest job and the most honor. Daniel had prophesied about the Meds and Persians taking over Babylon and these leaders knew about it. 

  Three presidents were placed in charge of 120 princes in the government organization of the new world kingdom. Daniel was given the job of president over the new the new kingdom. This made others jealous who thought they should have the job. After all, Daniel was just a captive of Babylon. They looked for some mistake or lack of faithfulness. They could not find one job that he did sloppy. He was faithful in even the little jobs. Daniel was not lazy. He was about 89 or 90 years old at the time of this story yet still very intelligent.

In order to get rid of Daniel the other princes made up a trap. They had noticed that Daniel prayed three times a day. I don't think these men realized that they were helping Satan when they had jealous thoughts. God had placed Daniel in this high position for a reason and the Devil was looking for someone to help him get rid of Daniel. You see, Daniel had a powerful influence on kings. He helped Nebuchadnezzar desire to worship the true God. Now he was in danger of helping Darius worship God. Since Darius ruled the world, this could make the world interested in God because their leader was. Satan was in a hurry to find someone to kill Daniel. He found these men that loved power. They figured out if they could get a law to kill Daniel, they could have his job.

There was a decree made that no one could worship any god by the king for a total of 30 days. They were sure Daniel would insist on praying during at least some of that time for he always prayed morning, noon and night. The punishment for praying to other gods was to be thrown into the lions den. They got the lions ready by not feeding them so they would be really hungry.

Then they had spies watch the window where Daniel always prayed. Sure enough, there he was praying in spite of the new law! Daniel knew about the law. He never missed a thing happening in the kingdom. Everyone passing in the street could see him as he faced Jerusalem to pray. He could have chosen to pray in his closet but he was making a statement that God was more important than any king on this earth.

The princes watched all day. They reported to the king that they found someone breaking the law. It had been broken morning, noon, and night. The surprised king saw their scheme to get rid of Daniel. He was really upset that he had been so blind to their death plot on Daniel. He loved Daniel.

The king waited all day trying to find some way to save Daniel. The law of the Meds and Persians  could not be changed. He waited till the last part of the day to finally have Daniel put in the lions den. The stone was rolled over the opening and the king sealed the stone with his own signet ring to make sure no one tried to move Daniel somewhere else in the night. The lions were very hungry. Remember Daniel was an old man of about 90 years of age. Passing the night in a cold cave with lions would not be a very comfortable place for an old man.
The king could not sleep. All night he paced the floor and listened at his window for roaring lions. Oh, why had he been so foolish and not seen this death plot on Daniel? How he wished he could do over what he had done. He knew Daniel was very important for the success of his kingdom.
The Bible does not say what Daniel did that night in the den with lions. It does say what the angels did. They shut the mouths of the hungry lions. As soon as morning brought light, the king rushed to the lions den and had the stone rolled off. He called into the dark hole. "Oh Daniel, was your God strong enough to protect you?" As he waited for an answer, he strained to see his dear old friend.

  Daniel was still alive. The king was thrilled. Daniel was not angry or rude to the king when he spoke to him. He respectfully said, "Oh, king, live forever." Then he reminded the king that he had not done anything wrong. I am sure the king was in a hurry to get his friend out of the dark cave of lions.

  The men who made the trap were there to see the final wipe out of Daniel.  Maybe one of them made the comment that the lions just were not hungry. Maybe if they had not been making comments, their lives would have been spared as the "wise men" of Babylon were when the king stopped their death decree in chapter 2.

Maybe the king heard them saying the lions were not hungry. He must have said, "Let's test them and see whether you are right. The king commanded that the trouble makers with their wives and children be tossed in with the lions. The lions were hungry. They ate them before they landed at the bottom of the cave. 

It never pays to make fun of God or one of His missionaries, His teachers, His pastors or your parents. God is watching and hears all that is said.

God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. (Ezekiel 33:11) They would have been so much happier if they they would have turned to God, loved, obeyed and lived.

Daniel's faith impressed the king. The power of God to calm hungry lions was a surprise to the king. He commanded his world kingdom to worship this living powerful God. Again like King Nebuchadnezzar, he did not realize that force is not God's way. Yet his declaration brought to the attention of the world that God of the Universe is the most powerful God and should have their worship.

Again David's statement came true, even the wrath of men will praise God and what is left over, God will restrain. God allowed those wicked men to only go so far and then He stopped their death plot on Daniel.

 Psalms 76:10 "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain."

Remember my friend, never make fun of God's missionaries, His pastors, His teachers or your parents. God is very unhappy with this behavior.

When you decide you want to be friends with God like Daniel and pray and read your Bible morning, noon, and night, expect to have trouble like Daniel. Yet, remember the same God of Daniel is just as strong for you as He was for Daniel. If people make fun of you, God will take care of it. Let Him handle it. Just keep praying like Daniel.

1. What job did Daniel get in the new world kingdom set up by Darius?

2. How many presidents were appointed over the princes?

3. How many princes were there?

4. How old was Daniel at the time of this story?

5. How many days was the decree set up for only praying to the king?

6. Where did Daniel pray daily? Did this change when the new law was passed?

7. What did the king do that night Daniel was in the lions den?

8. What did the angels do that night?

9. What happened to those who made fun of God's faithful old prophet?

10. Is God pleased and happy to have bad people killed? Where is the text to prove this?

For the next lesson on Daniel click here: Daniels Animal Dream