Narrator: Advisor 1, Advisor 2, Daniel, King Darius
Narrator: King Darius, king of the mighty Medes and Persians, needed someone to be the chief advisor in Babylon. He chose Daniel, whom he knew to be brave, wise, and honest. The other advisors were angry. They couldn’t believe that a foreigner had been chose over them! Daniel was an old man now and many of them didn’t know of the high position Daniel had held with the other kings. So they worked out a trap to catch Daniel.
Advisor 1: What are we going to do? We can’t let Daniel get such an important job.
Advisor 2: We’ll just have to get rid of him then! Let’s go to King Darius and get him to make a law that will make Daniel do something wrong.
Advisor 1: Yes, but what sort of law should we suggest……I know, something to do with Daniel’s religion and his God.
Advisor 2: Yes! That is a great idea! But how do we get King Darius to agree. Hmmmm.
Advisor 1: I know! The King has a lot of power. And he enjoys it. Lets’ suggest that all people have to worship him for 30 days. He thinks he is so great he won’t realize it’s a trap for Daniel.
Advisor 2: Yes that just might work. Let’s go!
Narrator: The Medes and Persians worshipped many gods, but Daniel worshipped only the God of Israel, the one true God. The jealous rulers knew that Daniel prayed often to his God. So, with fast-beating hearts, the rulers went to the king.
Advisor 1 & 2: O King, live forever!
Advisor 1: All the rulers have agreed you should make a law saying that for thirty days no one should pray to any god or man except you, because you are such a great king.
Advisor 2: And if anyone disobeys the law, they should be thrown to the lions.
King Darius: Oh, what a nice thing to suggest. My advisors must surely think I am a great king if they want this law. Of course, I am a pretty good king. Yes, I like that idea.
Advisor 1: This law should be written down immediately!
King Darius: (Nodding head) Very well, I will write it down.
Narrator: Happily the rulers watched King Darius write down the law. They knew that once a law of the Medes and Persians was written down, it could never be changed. The law was then told to everyone in the land. As soon as Daniel heard it, he knew it was a trap set for him. He must either give up his daily prayers to God, or be thrown to the lions.
Daniel: What am I going to do? I can save my life by not praying to God for thirty days…I could save my life by praying secretly in my head…. I know I could find a hiding place and pray there! But that would not be honouring to God whom I love and serve. Oh God, you know this situation. I will continue to pray to you as I always have. I commit my life to your care.
Narrator: So Daniel went into his house. Upstairs he went, to the front room where he always prayed. He opened the window which faced towards Jerusalem, his own country far away. Then he got down on his knees as he always did and prayed to God to help him with this problem. Daniel did not try and hide his prayer, but prayed just like he had always done before the new law was made.
Advisor 1: Look! Daniel is there in the window. He appears to be praying, just like usual.
Advisor 2: Yes, our plan has worked! Quick, let’s go and tell the King.
Advisor 1: King Darius, live forever. Did you not make a law saying that anyone who prayed to any god or man except you for the next thirty days should be thrown to the lions?
King Darius: Yes, I did. You were the ones who suggested that I make such a law.
Advisor 2: Well, Daniel, who is one of the Jews captured and brought to Babylon years ago, takes no notice of your law. He still is praying to his God three times a day!
King Darius: (putting his head in his hand) How did this happen! I have been tricked. I must find some way to change the law. Daniel is one of my favorite leaders! I must put an end to this law.
Narrator: All day King Darius tried to find a way to help Daniel, but it was no use. King Darius himself had written the law down, and it could not be changed.
Advisor 1: King, it is now evening and you must decide what to do about Daniel. You must carry out the law as you wrote it.
Advisor 2: Yes, Daniel must be punished to show others he has broken your law. He must be taken to the lions’ den.
King Darius: I have no choice. Daniel is to be brought to the lions’ den.
Narrator: So Daniel was brought to the edge of the lions’ den. The hungry lions paced backwards and forwards, roaring. Bravely, Daniel waited. Then the men threw him in.
King Darius: Daniel, may the God to whom you are so faithful save you!
Narrator: Then, hardly able to watch, Darius had the huge stone rolled into place over the entrance to the den. Then King Darius had to seal the stone with his own ring, so that everyone would know if the stone had been moved in a rescue attempt. Then King Darius went back to the palace.
King Darius: I cannot sleep or eat. I am so worried about Daniel. What have I done!
Narrator: All night the king paced his room and at the first sign of morning, he hurried back to the lions’ den.
But he stopped just before he got there. What would he see? Had his friend been torn to pieces? Fearfully, he called out….
King Darius: Daniel! Has your God saved you?
Daniel: O King, live forever! I am safe. God sent an angel to shut the lion’s mouths and they have not harmed me.
King Darius: (Speaking to the rulers) I order you to get Daniel out!
Advisor 1: What! He isn’t dead?
Advisor 2: How can this be?
Narrator: The men who had thrown Daniel into the den now lifted him out. Sure enough, he was completely untouched by the lions. After a joyful greeting, King Darius issued another order….
King Darius: You rulers there! You have accused Daniel and now I accuse you. You tried to kill an honest and great man by trickery. You shall be thrown into the lions’ den!
Advisors 1 & 2: No……
Narrator: And so the rulers who had tried to trick Daniel and the King were themselves thrown into the lions’ den. Even before they touched the floor of the den, the lions sprang on them and tore them to pieces.
King Darius: Tell all the people in my kingdom I have a new law. I command that everyone should respect Daniel’s God. For this God is truly great, and will last forever.
Lesson: In all circumstances we should continue to give God honour if we are Christians. Let God deal with the problem, and continue to trust Him.