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Daniel in the Lions Den • Based on Daniel 6.
Daniel was so good at what he did that King Darius planned to set him over the whole kingdom. The other leaders tried to find a reason to send him packing, but were unable to do so. Finally they said, “This is hopeless, unless we can think of something to do with the law of his God.”
So they went to King Darius and said: “The king should issue a royal decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.” Darius liked the idea, so he put the decree in writing.
Daniel learned about the new law, but he continued to pray to God three times a day. The men spied on him. They told the king, “Daniel ignores you! He still prays three times a day.” When the king heard this, he wanted to rescue Daniel. But the law was clear: no decree that the king issued could be changed without the consent of the other leaders. Darius could do nothing.
So Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den. The king said to him, “May your God, whom you serve constantly, save you!” A large stone was placed over the mouth of the den, and Darius returned to his palace. He didn’t eat and he could not sleep.
At dawn the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. He called in anguish, “Daniel, has your God rescued you from the lions?”
Daniel answered, “O king, live forever! God sent his angel, and he shut the lions’ mouths. They have not hurt me, because God found me innocent. I have never done any wrong to you, O king.”
The king was thrilled. When Daniel was lifted from the den, he was found unharmed, because he had trusted in God. Darius commanded that the men who had falsely accused Daniel be found and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. Before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overcame them and crushed all their bones.
King Darius sent a message throughout Babylon: “May you greatly prosper! I now decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and honor the God of Daniel. He is the living God forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his reign will never end. He rescues and saves; he performs signs and miracles in the heavens and on earth. He has rescued Daniel from the lions.”