Azalea

Azalea

There are a number of examples of the Azalea shrub in the Midstocket Community Garden.

Although the plant is not directly associated with and Biblical practices or stories, when spelled AZELIA it means (in different translations) "Spared by Jehovah" or "Helped by God". It is the female form of "Azariah" which was the Hebrew name for Abednego, - a friend of Daniel, a well-known biblical figure.

Daniel was a humble, hardworking man from Israel who had a very strong faith in God.

He was captured when Jerusalem was defeated by the Babylonians, but Darius, the King of Persia, recognised Daniel’s outstanding qualities as an administrator and made Daniel a leader in his kingdom. Unfortunately the other leaders were unhappy that Daniel was in a prominent position because he wasn't a Persian - he was a captive from Israel.

They tried to show that Daniel sometimes disobeyed the law, so that the King would have to get rid of him. Unfortunately, Daniel was a law-abiding citizen. So they persuaded the King to pass a law that stated that ‘everyone had to pray to King Darius and no other god’ - or they would be thrown into the lion’s den as a punishment.

Daniel continued to pray to God every day. He was eventually caught by the authorities, and as a punishment ,was thrown into the den of lions. The Bible reveals that God sent an angel to protect Daniel from the lions. The following day, Daniel was found alive in the lions' den. The message to the people was that they should not be afraid to call on God for help when they are in trouble.