Daniel in the Lion’s Den

When Daniel was a young man, he and all the people from the city of Jerusalem were taken prisoner by King Nebuchadnezzar. They were taken to live in Babylon, a large and powerful city, where the people did not believe in God.

However Daniel chose to stay faithful to God and His commandments.

Many years went past and people noticed that Daniel was a good man. Even the King noticed this! Daniel showed he was honest, kind, fair, loyal and trustworthy, so King Darius (a new king), gave Daniel a huge promotion. He made him greater than all the other governors and advisors in the whole Kingdom. He became their boss.


Even though Daniel had a really important job, he stayed humble and faithful to God. Three times a day, every day, on the balcony just outside his room, Daniel would pray and give thanks to God for all he had.

But there was a group of men who were very, very, jealous of Daniel. They hated this foreigner for having such a special job in the kingdom – and wanted his job for themselves.

These wondered if they could complain and tell the king that Daniel was a terrible man and that he was doing a bad job. But they couldn’t think of anything because Daniel was actually pretty great at his work.

However, one dark, starless night, these evil men got together. For hours they schemed; coming up with different evil plans. But nothing sounded right.

Then one of them spoke up, “I’ve got it!” He shouted with glee. Everyone listened in suspense.

“We’re never going to find anything against this Daniel unless it’s something about his God.”

YES!!! His God!! That was perfect.

The very next morning the men put their plan into action. They approached King Darius and told him, “For the next thirty days no one is to pray to any god or mortal except you, O king. Anyone who disobeys will be thrown into the lion’s den.”

The king liked the idea very much because it appealed to his ego! King Darius did not realise that their real reason was to hurt his friend Daniel.

When Daniel heard the decree, he could have changed his routine and prayed in privacy until the 30 days were finished. But he didn’t. He felt that he was not being faithful to God by hiding in this way so he continued to pray faithfully to God every day, three times a day, on his balcony. In full sight.

He was a brave and faithful man of God.

When the evil advisors saw Daniel praying, they were overjoyed. “Woohoo!” Got him! Now they could throw Daniel into the lion’s den for dinner.

They went straight to the king to ‘dob’ on Daniel, just like little children.

Poor King Darius was very upset and he now realised why these men had come up with the idea in the first place. Why had he been so foolish and gullible? He thought all day about how he could get Daniel out of this dreadful situation, but according to the laws of the time, there was nothing he could do. The decree was signed and unchangeable. Daniel was doomed.

Finally, king Darius sorrowfully ordered Daniel’s arrest and he was sentenced to be thrown into the lion’s den, certain death.

“Daniel,” the king cried. “May your God, to whom you are so loyal, save you!”

That night, the king refused to eat. He could not sleep. Instead, he spent the night fasting for Daniel. Lots of anxious thoughts swirled through his mind. Would Daniel be dead in the morning? Would he only be half alive and really hurt? Or would he be completely well and alive?

The king tossed and turned all night. He was restless and upset.

Little did he know that soon after Daniel had landed hard on the dirt floor of the den that day, he’d gotten straight onto His knees and prayed: “Dear Father, God of Abraham. Protect me in this dungeon and please may your angels take care of me. In your name, amen.”

In the dark, gloomy den, the most beautiful light had zapped through the walls and a brilliant angel of God appeared. The angel shut the mouths of the lions so they no could longer hurt him. They became like sweet, innocent kittens for the whole night!

In the early hours of the morning, King Darius jumped out of bed and dashed to the lion’s den. He ordered the soldiers to roll away the stone. Then he shouted down: “Daniel! Daniel! Servant of the living God! Has your God, whom you serve so loyally, saved you from the lions?”

The king waited impatiently for a response, and suddenly a muffled voice (music to the King’s ear) called out, “O King, live forever! My God has sent His angel, who closed the mouths of the lions so that they would not hurt me.”

King Darius jumped for joy. He immediately ordered Daniel to be pulled out of the den and there wasn’t a single scratch on him! He then proclaimed to all the nation the wonderful news of the God that Daniel served. A God who is able to keep his followers safe from hungry lions.

Oh, and you’re probably wondering what happened to the evil men? Well, the king was so angry with them for their lying and jealousy that they were thrown into the lion’s den the very next day!

Wow what an amazing story! God is so powerful!!

Has there been a time when God protected you? Tell us in the comments below.

(The original illustrations are the copyright of Moody Publishers and these digitally adjusted compilations of them the copyright of FreeBibleimages.)

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