Text: Daniel 6:4-27
Prop: a poster of Daniel in the Lions Den
Summary: Daniel was a great man of faith and prayer. When he had to choose between praying to God or facing death for his beliefs, he was faithful to God. He was protected all night by an angel when he was thrown in a den of lions. We have his example to be faithful and stand up for God.
Have you ever been to the zoo? Did you ever see lions in a den? Did the zoo keepers let you go in with the lions and pet them? [no] Of course, not. The lions are fierce and might hurt you. Today I want to tell you about a story in the Bible about a man named Daniel. One time he had to spend a whole night in the lions den!
Daniel was given a top job in the kingdom of Darius because he was a faithful hard worker. This made the other princes jealous of Daniel. The only way they could find him at fault was to make a law that was against his religious beliefs. The princes tricked the king and got him to pass a law that said no one could ask a petition of God or man, except to the king for thirty days.
Daniel was a man of prayer. He had a habit to pray to God three times a day. Daniel knew of the law, but he continued to pray each day as he always did. King Darius liked Daniel, but when the princes told him that Daniel had broken the law, the king had to punish Daniel. He realized too late that the princes had tricked him into passing such a law.
The king ordered that Daniel be cast into a den of lions. The king hoped that Daniel’s God would deliver him, saying, Thy God who thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. A large stone was placed over the den of lions and was sealed. The king was so worried about Daniel that he couldn’t sleep that night. The first thing the next morning, the king went to see if Daniel had been killed. He cried out to see if Daniel was alive and Daniel answered him, My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me.
The king was overjoyed and had Daniel pulled out of the lions den. He then brought the men who had accused Daniel and threw them in the den of lions. The lions tore them to pieces before they could even hit the ground.
Do you ever have moments when you must stand up for what you believe in? Here in America, we are blessed to have great religious freedom. We are free to pray privately to God at any time and any place without breaking a law. Many people in the world still don’t have this basic freedom. We can thank Jesus that we have this privilege. We can look to Daniel as an example to stand up for our religious freedom, and to be faithful to Jesus at all costs.
©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.