Imagine waking up at midnight and eating lunch, going to school, and playing with your friends. Nocturnal animals do this. These are animals that are awake and do most of their hunting at night, including bats, raccoons, pangolins, leopards, and owls. But why?
Lions will rest up to 21 hours per day and come out at night for a number of reasons. First, as predators, lions can sleep longer and harder because they do not have to constantly be on watch for predators. Second, they need to conserve their energy and stay out of the hot sun because of how few sweat glands they have. Third, they have excellent night vision and can successfully get closer to prey.
Lions are known for their beauty, strength, and fearlessness. In the ancient Near East, lion hunting was often a sport of kings to show their power. (Sad, I know). They would keep the lions in pits or cisterns. They may have used these for sport or to punish their enemies.
Daniel was thrown into the pit of lions and left there throughout the night because he refused to stop prying to God despite a decree that was put forth. Knowing what we know about lions and their nocturnal instinct to hunt and the fact that these carnivores (meat-eaters) were probably lacking their normal nutrition (being that they were in captivity and unable to hunt freely), these lions were more than likely ready for lunch. It was a sure death for anyone tossed inside.
Yet, God showed His power over even the mightiest creatures that roam the Earth. He shut their mouths and saved Daniel. God saw Him as innocent, and God was glorified because His power was shown. God continued to save His people, even when all seemed lost, and He will continue to do so until His rescue story is complete.
“Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed…”
SEE GOD AROUND YOU
Nocturnal animal senses are fantastic for them to be able to find their prey in the dark. Go outside with a blind fold on, a friend, and an adult. Have your friend stay on one side of the yard and make a noise. Try to follow the sounds without peeking and use your sense of hearing. Were you able to get close?
Think about Daniel’s impossible situation and how God used His power to save him. Think about all we have learned about God’s story so far. Will God win in the end? If so, how does that make you respond today? Can you rest in knowing God will take care of you?