8.4.19 - Daniel and the Lions' Den (Daniel Clark)
SCRIPTURE: Daniel 6
The story of “Daniel and the Lions’ Den” makes for high drama and excitement, which undoubtedly explains why it is so frequently retold, especially in the stories Jewish and Christian communities tell their children. But it is also a story of political envy, Machiavellian acts of betrayal, and profound violence. What can we make of such a tale? This week, we want to explore this story as it must have been for the people who first made it famous: the surviving remnants of the nation of Israel living in captivity in Babylon in the 6th century BCE. For them, Daniel’s bravery is an encouragement to cling to their faith in a God greater and more faithful than the gods of their captors. The story of the lions’ den reminds them to cherish their faith above all else, even when God’s love and blessings feel like distant memories. For us, it can have a similar power: Daniel’s life and trials remind us that the world might not always look like God is in control, but we can always trust that he is working, that he hears us, and that his goodness will see us through even the hardest of times.
Who are the “villains” in this story? What motivates them?
Why does the king conclude that Daniel’s accusers were lying?
To stay out of trouble, all Daniel has to do is not pray for 30 straight days. But Daniel’s devotion to his faith (and his discipline) are so great that this is impossible for him. Have you ever been through a season when spiritual disciplines like prayer or studying the Bible were an “unskippable” part of your day? Why do you think that was?
Is that kind of devotion/discipline hard for you in this current season of your life? Why do you think that might be?
What steps might you be able to take to strengthen your devotion/discipline in the future?
On Sunday, we said that the key to spiritual discipline is remembering God’s story. Did that ring true for you? Why? How does the telling and re-telling of a story like this one help us accomplish this?