“I think it teaches me that God is going to fix all of my problems, even the ones that I think will ‘eat me up’!” says Hillary, age 10. “Still, I know that, like Daniel, I must remain faithful to the Lord.”
Problems do have a way of eating our lunch, especially when we try to handle them with our own strength. In this case, Daniel was supposed to be lunch for the lions, but God had other plans.
“The lesson is to keep your mouth shut and to trust in God in every way and every day,” says Elizabeth, 11.
Is this the lesson from the lions’ perspective?
Even though Daniel was one of three governors in the Medo-Persian Empire, he didn’t protest against the law that prohibited him from praying to God for 30 days. He quietly went about his routine of praying three times a day on his knees with his windows open toward Jerusalem.
Andrew, 8, says we should “always pray to God, even if you will be punished.”
According to the book by his name, Daniel “prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days,” (Daniel 6:10). No wonder Daniel distinguished himself as a young man.
“Sometimes, God will not answer your prayers, but that does not mean he does not love you,” says Adriane, 9. “He just does not think it is time to do what you ask sometimes.”
God always answers the prayers of a righteous person, but not always in the way we expect. Would God be any less powerful or compassionate if he had not shut the mouths of the lions?
Many Christians were eaten alive by lions in the Roman Colosseum. Their testimony in death chipped away at the resistance of those who watched.
Jenny, 7, says, “The king learned that he needs to learn a big lesson and a good one.”
King Darius signed a law that said he was the only god anyone could petition for 30 days. After realizing it was a plot to get rid of Daniel, he couldn’t change the law because this would violate a custom of the Medes and Persians. Immediately before casting Daniel to the lions, he said, “Your God, whom you serve continually, he will deliver you.”
Judging from the king’s ensuing decree after Daniel’s deliverance, it appears he did learn a big lesson. Darius decreed that all the people on earth should “tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God.”
Taylor, 6, best summarizes the lesson of Daniel and the lions: “To pray always and to forgive people.”
Daniel could have easily become bitter over the humiliation of being offered as lion lunchmeat. When the king inquired about his safety the next morning, Daniel would be justified by most standards to speak sarcastically to the king.
But Daniel didn’t live by most standards. He lived in fellowship with the living God. When Darius asked Daniel whether God had delivered him from the lions, Daniel’s first words were, “O king, live forever.”
Think about this: When we face problems, we can blame others or trust God to work everything out for his purpose.
Memorize this truth: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience,” (James 1:2-3).
Ask this question: If God is living and we know Him, shouldn’t we follow Daniel’s example by living before Him with courage and confidence?
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Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT 2006 CAREY KINSOLVING