Daniel - Lesson 8
Background Information for the Teacher
- The student can tell the story of Daniel and the lion's den.
- The student can apply lessons from this story to his/her own life.
- Have a chalkboard, marker board, or PowerPoint ready. You may download PowerPoint to make overhead transparencies.
- Have copies of the Review Quiz ready for the beginning of class.
- Have copies of the worksheet ready to hand out at the beginning of the class.
- Be sure all students have Bibles and pens/pencils.
- Have cards ready to distribute with all the passages you want someone to read aloud during the lesson.
The Persians, having defeated Babylon, are now in charge. Daniel is again given a high position in the dominant world empire. Out of jealousy, others plot against Daniel through his regular practice of prayer but God delivers him.
Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class
Introduction: (about 10 minutes)
- Call or check the roll. Make necessary class announcements. If you like to start with songs, sing "Be Still and Know," "God Will Make a Way," "Anywhere with Jesus," "Be With Me Lord." Have a prayer.
- Go through the Review Quiz and let the students give the answers. All should check their papers as you go. Encourage all to be ready for the Review Quiz over today's lesson to be given next week by using the worksheet.
- Review the objectives for today's lesson.
Learning Experiences: (about 20 minutes)
The date is now about 538 BC and the Medes and Persians are now in control with Babylon as their capitol city. Q: How old is Daniel? A: At least 83 and maybe a little older.
- The Background. Open your Bible to Daniel 6 and answer questions from that chapter. Q: What position is Daniel given? A: One of three administrators of the king over 120 satraps. This means that Daniel served in one of the top positions during the time of two world empires-the Babylonians and the Medes and Persians. Q: To what position is the king planning to promote Daniel and why? A: To be over the whole kingdom because he has so distinguished himself by his excellent qualities. Q: How do some of the other leaders respond to this? A:They do not want to see Daniel put in a higher position. Q: What might we speculate are some of the reasons for this? A: The wicked are often against the righteous; he was a hold-over from the Babylonians; he was a Jew; he was old.
- The Plot. Q: What plot do some of the other rulers contrive against Daniel? A:They ask the king to pass an edict that anyone who prays to any god or man other than the king for thirty days will be punished by being thrown into a den of lions.
- The Response. Q: How does this conflict with Daniel's customary life? A: He prayed to God three times a day, with the window open toward Jerusalem. Q: So what does Daniel do? A: Continues his customary prayer life. Q: Why do you think Daniel did not continue to pray but to do so in secret? A: Perhaps he did not want to send the message that the others had stopped his prayer life.
- The Judgment. Q: When Daniel's enemies report his violation to the king, what is the king's response? A: He was distressed and sought a way to keep from sending Daniel to the lion's den. But he could not find any. Q: So what did the king do? A: He sent Daniel to the den of lions but said, "May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you."
- The Rescue. Q: How did the king feel during the night? A: He couldn't sleep and refused food and entertainment. Q: Then what did the king do? A: Early in the morning he came to check Daniel's situation. He called to Daniel to ask if his god had been able to save him. Q: What does Daniel say? A: My God sent an angel to protect me because I was found innocent in His sight. Q: How does the king respond? He is overjoyed, takes Daniel out of the pit, and has those who made the plot, along with their families, thrown to the lions who eat them. Heal so sends a decree throughout the land saying that everyone should respect the God of Daniel who saved him from the lions. Q: Of what does this decree remind you? A: Of the decrees of Nebuchadnezzar. Q: To what great ancient world empires did God have some representative? A: Egypt (Moses), Assyria (Jonah), Babylon (Daniel), Medes and Persians (Daniel and Esther), Romans (Paul who appealed to Caesar) and eventually even the emperor became a Christian. By placing His people in the land of Canaan, God put them at the very center of the ancient world so all could see His dealings with them.
Application: (about 14 minutes)
- Q: What qualities does this story show about Daniel? A: Prayer, trust, courage,persistence in what is right, and focus on spiritual values. It also shows that even the best people sometimes have those who oppose them.
- Q: Who are other great Bible characters whose strong prayer life we know about? A: Paul, David, Jesus. Q: Did they become strong spiritually because they prayed a lot or did they pray a lot because they were strong spiritually? A: It works both ways. We must recognize that those who are strong spiritual people are typically strong in prayer.
- Q: How would you describe a day in the prayer life of one who is committed to prayer?
- Q: What advice could we give each other about improving our prayer life?
- Q: Does God always save a prayerful person from death when they ask him to? A Christian man who knew he was soon to die and who knew many had prayed for his recovery, asked that someone at his funeral would explain how his death was not a failure of prayer. If you had been asked to give this explanation, what would you have said?
- Record lessons on your application sheet.
Assignment: (about 1 minute)
- Get ready for the Review Quiz next week.
- Read Daniel 7 which is the beginning of the second half of Daniel which provides primarily prophecies he was given. Use the chart we started in Lesson 2 and see what parallels you find with a different prophecy.
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