Daniel in the Lion’s den

This month we learned the Book of Daniel and the chap6, Daniel in the Lion’s den was the last episode we learned.

In this episode Daniel served to the Persian King Darius. The king set a law that anyone in his kingdom must worship other than him, but Daniel kept worshiping God he had believed.
Thus as its penalty Daniel was thrown in a hole or a cave, where lions were kept. But an Angel prevented him from being eaten by the beasts.

One in the classe told his opinion frankly: “I don’t believe the whole of this Book, because Daniel and his friends were too lucky. They were not punished by God despite they served to a king under a different god. On the other hand they were at last promoted to good positions under the King, who had captured them!”

Then our pastor told him: “Do you think they were lucky? I don’t think so…but I think their promotion would be even a heavy stress on them.”

I felt the same as the pastor. It was because of the announcement of Daniel, as he was brought with no damage out of among the lions with. Then he told: “I was found blameless before him (= God)”
This words of his give me an impression that he had felt guilty towards his God until then, that he had lived in a different cultural and religious environment.
At the time of Darius, Daniel should have been much aged. I suppose he had been a man in sorrow of a captive all the time since he was taken to Babylon, however kindly he may have been treated.
This is how I imagine he looked, not enjoying his high position at all:

But God sent an angel to guard him. What did the angel look like?
Well, angels described in the Book of Isaiah and Ezekiel are not human-figured, but more beast-like and horrific.
So I imagine the lions in the den might have been so terrified by the angel, that they forgot a prey was near to them.

Was his heart saved because he was justified by God in this way?
Unfortunately I don’t think so.
Because in chapter 7 and more, he saw visions to tell the future of the world, which would be disastrous.
I think his salvation came at last through the words of the angel, written at the very end of the Book – “But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”

Through the Bible class Daniel has become one of my favorite person in the Bible. It is not because he was wise or overcame many difficulties, but he had walked along the long way in the gab between belief and life.


The Furnace

Last week we learned the third chapter of the Book of Daniel.

I found this chapter was so famous among the countries which have lots of christians.

Three colleagues of Daniel, who had been taken to Babylon from Judea, was demanded to worship the golden image built by the babylonian king.
As they refused it, the angry king threw them to a big and very hot furnace. But the three Jews were saved by the Angel. The king was so moved by the power of the God whom the Jews had worshipped through the difficulty and from then on he treated them with much respect.

The textbook which we used suggested we should not take it from the story, that God saved the three Jews as the reward of their faith.
Nor it encouraged us to throw our lives away to keep our faith. It only recommended us to imagine what the three Jews selected what they did not.

Someone told in the class, “They need not to choose the way to the furnace. The most important thing we should do for the glory of God is to show love to others, which they could do even falling before the golden image.”

My Idea on their decision was – “The three Jews were enough wise to know, they would be easily killed by the tyrant anytime, regardless to whether they worship king’s image or not. So they clang to God, who was the last hope.”

I am also much interested in this king, Nebuchadnezzar II.
He was not mere an antagonist. He was inspired many times by God, and gradually opened his eyes to Him.
God makes people move, so that they as a whole proceed the history.

So what I’d like to draw is not the three protagonists, who had already been drawn in beautiful pictures, but the king being surprised at the miracle.

This scene in the Bible was described with a lot of fun.
As soon as he made the three thrown in the furnace, the king jumped on his feet and asked his men, whether or not it had been the three that they threw in the fire.
“Yes it was,” they answered.
The king said, “But I can see the FOUR men walking in the fire without any damage, and the forth looks like the Son of God!”

Imagine what was beyond his eyes.

Cut out by No Human

I’m afraid I recently take more and more time to write this blog, precisely, the picture for it. Before I was just interested in one or two person in the Bible, but now a certain size of the world out of the Scripture attracts me. So I have to draw a group of people, or a wide background. I draw every picture little by little every other day.

So today. In the Bible class we are now learning the Book of Daniel, which I found much interesting.
Daniel was a Jew who lived in the era of Babylonian Capture, where he had been taken away. He was given by his God so great a wisdom, that he served to the king of Babylon.

This Book, rather short, and at a glance with the story rather fantastic and heroic, implies indeed so many things to discuss to think about our lives as Christiens.

Today’s picture and the discussion for it might be just out of my curiosity, I’m afraid…

It was inspired by the chapter 2, in which the king of Babylon had the same strange dream for many nights. Daniel made the meaning of his dream clear.

In the dream the king saw a large statue, the head of which was made of gold, the upper body was of silver, and other parts were of bronze, iron, and clay.
Then a stone, which was cut out of a mountain by no human hands, struck the statue and crushed every material into dusts.

Daniel explained the golden part of the statue meant Babylon, and bound every other part with different material to a different country. And he told the stone cut out by no human meant the kingdom of the Highest Existence, Who would destroy all human empires.

The lands shown by such materials were, for example, Babylonia, Medea, Persia, Macedonia…I could not get, however, imagine how were such lands at that era.

Now instead, I’ll try to explain the statue along with our modern world, which dominate the world but would be at last replaced by the Kingdom of God.

Gold – the most active way of prosperity, namely, money trading!
Silver – rather substancial trading, namely, merchandizing real products.
Bronze – this might night be a straight explanation, but – how about a electricity, enabled by copper?
Iron – sorry to tell it, but it must be armed forces.
Clay – it might be challenging, too – but how about ceramics, which eventually would mean semiconductor?

So I don’t have to draw the statue so that it stands in a particular city, but in a typical modern environment!

Please don’t tell that it’s like an Anpan-man!

But there is a high mountain at his back, from which a large piece of stone was cut out and fell down straight!

How do you imagine this stone was formed? My idea is quite in a regular form with sharp edges. For this cutting-out process will suffer no human errors!

Such a perfect piece of stone is now close to the head of the modern statue….

Now keep awake and watch it out.