Author's Notes: here's a new chapter...
Summary: The Jesus Storybook Bible tells the story beneath all the stories in the Bible. It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And in the story Jesus is at the center of it all.
Disclaimer: I don't own "The Jesus Storybook Bible" or anything, all the credit goes to Sally Lloyd-Jones. This is to help others understand the Bible easily for free.
Daniel and the scary sleepover
Daniel and the lions' den, from Daniel 6
THINGS WERE NOT looking good for God's people. As God said if they stopped listening to what he had to say bad things would occur. They had been captured and taken far from home – and now they were slaves again to the King of Babylon. But God had not left his people. He was with them and he was looking after them.
Daniel loved God and obeyed him. Now God made Daniel able to understand lots of difficult things, so it wasn't long before the king of Babylon noticed him. King Darius liked how clever Daniel was. So he made Daniel his most important helper of all, and put him in charge of lots of other helpers.
But the other helpers didn't like this. They wanted the king to like them best. They wanted to get rid of Daniel.
So they spied on Daniel. They tried to find things wrong with Daniel, things they could tell the king, things they could… but there weren't any. None. They couldn't find anything at all.
Except there was just one thing: every day, three times a day – without fail, no matter what – Daniel went to his room, closed the door, and prayed.
They smiled to themselves. "Let's get the king to make a law – no one is allowed to pray to anyone EXCEPT TO THE KING! Daniel won't obey this law and he will be punished!"
They were pleased with themselves for being so clever and hurried off to tell the king. The king liked their idea. He didn't know they were tricking him. So he made it into law: "Everyone must pray – only to ME! If you don't, the lions will have you for their dinner!"
Daniel heard this. He knew it was wrong to pray to anyone except God. He had to do what God said – whatever it cost him, even if it meant he would die. So Daniel went to his room. Closed the door, and prayed.
That's just what the bad men knew Daniel would do. They skipped straight off to tell the king. "Oh, Your Most Glittering Highness, your law says, does it not, that everyone must pray to you alone, Sire?"
"Yes," said the king.
"Oh, Majesterial Brightness, then correct us if we're wrong but … it would seem that Daniel is praying to God – NOT TO YOU!"
The king was sad. He had been tricked! He didn't want to hurt Daniel, but he couldn't change his law. And so he let the soldiers throw Daniel to the lions. "May your God, who you love so much, rescue you!" the king said.
The king went back to his palace, but he didn't sleep that night. Not a wink. He tossed and turned until finally, at the first glimmer of dawn, he leaped out of bed and ran straight to the den. "Daniel?" he cried. "Has your God rescued you?"
"YES!" Daniel shouted.
"God sent an angel to close the lion's mouths!"
And there, resting his head on Daniel's lap, was the biggest lion, purring like a little kitten.
The king brought Daniel out of the den. "Look!" he said. "Daniel doesn't even have a scratch!"
The king made a new law: "Daniel's God is the true God. The God who Rescues! Pray to him instead!"
God would keep on rescuing his people. And the time was coming when God would send another brave Hero, like Daniel, who would love God and do what God said – whatever it cost him, even if it meant he would die.
And together they would pull off the Greatest Rescue the world has ever known.
Jonah and the big fish, from Jonah 1-4; Hebrews 1:1-2