Summary: Courage doesn’t mean we’re not afraid. It means we do what we know is the right thing to do even though we’re afraid.
What does “I Dare You!” mean?
Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Whenever someone dares us to do something or be something, it means they want us to do something that’s hard for us to do.
Story of “The Cat and the Mice” by Aesop…
Mice had a problem…
Q: Why was the young mouse’s suggestion a good one?
Q: What was the problem with the mouse’s suggestion?
Q: What did the mice need to get the bell on the cat? (COURAGE)
A king in the Bible, (Darius, in the book of Daniel), gave 120 people important jobs to look after his kingdom. These leaders had three bosses, one of them was?…Daniel.
The other two bosses didn’t like Daniel. Do you know why? Verse 3
They wanted to get Daniel fired but they had a problem. Do you know what the problem was? Verse 4…
Finally they came up with an evil plan (Verses 6/7)…
This was going to be a big problem for Daniel. He prayed to one person – God.
Now, if he prayed to God he was in trouble. Why?
Q: Did it really matter if Daniel decided not to pray to God for a while?
Daniel needed the same thing the mice needed which is COURAGE.
You know what these bad men were really saying to Daniel? They were saying, “I dare you to pray to your God now!”
Q: What do you think Daniel did after he heard this new law?
Verse 10 has the answer
Daniel went right ahead and prayed anyway. But we need to know that Daniel was probably very afraid, just like we would be.
Courage doesn’t mean we’re not afraid. It means we do what we know is the right thing to do even though we’re afraid.
Remember the story, “The Cat and the Mice” by Aesop? Someone needed COURAGE to put the bell on the cat right? It was a dangerous assignment because what could happen to the mouse that volunteered to do that?
Daniel was like that little mouse only Daniel was about to face a giant cat called the Lion! It took COURAGE to face up to the “I dare you!” and do it. This was a dare though that Daniel had to take.
It’s hard to stand up for God isn’t it? It’s easier to do things or say things like other people because we want people to laugh at us or think we’re losers or we’re strange. It’s hard because we don’t know how people will treat us if we decide to be different. Daniel didn’t know either.
Well, Daniel prayed to God as he always did and the evil men caught him and they brought Daniel before the king. Now look what happens (Verses 12-14)
Now comes the part that makes me very scared – are you scared? Would you be scared if someone was going to take you to the zoo and put you in a cage with the wild lions? Verse 16
(Play roaring lions sound effect for picture of Daniel in Lion’s den)
Well, Daniel was the king’s friend. These bad people tricked the king into making a law that even he, the king, couldn’t change. So, while Daniel was in the den of lions the king walked the floor all night and couldn’t sleep.
Finally, “At the first light of dawn…verses 19-23
Daniel didn’t know God was going to save him from the lions. He knew God could save him but didn’t know if that was what God wanted or was the best thing. But Daniel still prayed to God openly because Daniel’s love for God was more important to him than pretending he didn’t care about God. Daniel thought it was better to die than to pretend. Daniel didn’t know everything so he decided to be brave and do the right thing.