Daniel was one of King Darius’ most trusted administrators in the ancient city of Babylon. Come from Israel, Daniel was an honest and hardworking man, devoted to God. The king liked him so much he wanted to make him in charge of all state affairs.
But the two other advisors were irritated and jealous to see Daniel do everything so well and be favoured by the king. They couldn’t find any way to fault with his work because he always did his best.
“Why should Daniel be more important than us, he isn’t even from here,” they muttered.
So they made a crooked plot to destroy him. Approaching the king with a new law they had contrived, they said, “Dear King, you are so mighty and wonderful, we should proclaim a law that for thirty days the population must worship only you. It should be forbidden to praise any other man or god and anyone who dares to disobey will be thrown into the lions’ den.”
Somehow the king was fooled into agreeing with them and the new rule was decreed across the land. For thirty days everyone worshipped the king – except for Daniel. He continued to kneel down every morning in his home by the window and pray to God of the heavens. He loved God so much he was not afraid. He was determined to do what was right no matter what.
The ministers knew Daniel would stay faithful in this way. They sniggered as they went to the king and reported their news.
“Daniel is breaking the law by still praying to his God of Israel. He must be punished!” they said.
The king was heartbroken. He cared so much for Daniel and tried to find ways to save him. Alas, in the end he was forced to order Daniel be thrown into the cave.
It was a deep den. Inside, lions prowled and snarled about, licking their lips at the smell of food. Soldiers lowered Daniel into the hole and then covered the entrance with a huge rock.
“May the God you serve so faithfully protect you Daniel,” called out the king.
Blocked in, Daniel sat in the dark, circled by hungry lions. He was not afraid and only remembered his Lord. Then a pure light shone brightly as a beautiful angel appeared. Divine and extraordinary, the angel pacified the lions completely.
Meanwhile in the palace, the king was so distressed he couldn’t eat or sleep. He tossed and turned until morning when he rushed out and ordered the den be opened.
“Did your God save you dear Daniel?” he cried out.
To his delight, the king heard Daniel’s voice call back, “Oh King, yes, God sent an angel that shut the mouths of the lions. I am saved.”
The happy king had Daniel lifted out of the den. In celebration, he restored Daniel to honour and leadership. He also ordained a new law that everyone in the land should worship God.