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A Mouth-Stopping Angel

Daniel in the lions' den by
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Chances are fairly good that you have heard of Daniel in the lions' den, a familiar Bible story. It's not the most well-known, but it ranks right up there.

The bright captive boy from Jerusalem had been educated in the Babylonian palace, and trained for government leadership. He became one of only 3 administrators over 120 satraps (that would be like provincial or state governors). King Darius now had the throne, but he'd learned to really trust and admire Daniel.

This made the other satraps jealous and they sought for a way to undermine Daniel. Finally, these men said, "We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel, unless it has something to do with the law of his God." (Dan. 6:5 NIV).

So they sucked up to King Darius, and persuaded him to pass a new law that everyone should pray only to him for 30 days. The king was flattered at the idea of being a god for a month, so he signed and sealed the law without checking with any good advisor like Daniel. Persian laws could not be annulled.

When Daniel heard of this new law, he went back to his upper apartments, and just like before, kept on praying to his God. His usual spot was by his window open towards Jerusalem. On his knees he thanked God three times a day, and asked for more help with the details of his work.

Spies were in place, and quickly they hustled off to the king to report that his beloved Daniel was praying to his own God still! "Didn't you just pass a law...?!

Kind Darius was sick. He realized he'd been tricked. But his law had to stand.

As Daniel was led away to be thrown into the den of lions, the king's last words were, "May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!"

When the stone was put over the mouth of the den, and sealed with the king's own signet ring, he went back to his palace and spent a restless night, with no food and no entertainment.

At the first streak of dawn, King Darius was back at the den, and as he got closer he started calling out to Daniel, asking if his God had rescued him.

Sure enough Daniel answered, "O king, live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me because I was innocent in His sight."

Was the king ever over-joyed. He had become a believer in the one true God over night, and this confirmed his faith.

He quickly issued new orders and decrees. Daniel was to be lifted out, checked for wounds, and his accusers - with their complete families - were to be thrown into the den.

(The Bible says the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones, so they were hungry!)

When I study a Bible story I ask myself, what lesson can I take away from this?

Most obvious is that if we are faithful to pray to our God, and trust Him, we shall be kept safe no matter who is jealous and tries to undermine our position.

In fact, when it looks like we're lion-lunch, God has the stage set for a miracle. If we continue to pray and trust, we liable to see an angel shutting the mouths of whatever is suppose to eat us up.

We may be surprised at who was cheering for us, and how our experience leads to their conversion when we come through.

Angel Encounters in the Bible, a study of the Bible stories in which people encountered angels; looking for lessons about real angels and practical applications for ourselves. Read these and more at where we clear your "daze" about things heavenly. Ruth Marlene Friesen writes for

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Ruth Marlene Friesen
Angel Encounters
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