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Unit 16: In Exile

Key Passage: Zephaniah 3:17

Big Picture Question:

Where is God? God is in all places at all times and is always with His people

Unit Description:

The people were far away from the land God had given them, but they were not far from the God who had given it. Even in exile, God was with His people watching over them and promising them that one day, they would return to the land, and when they did, they would return to Him as well.

Session 2: Daniel Was Faithful

Bible Passage: Daniel 1

Story Point:

Daniel was faithful to God, and God blessed him. In an even greater way, Jesus was always faithful to God. He came to earth and followed God’s plan to save sinners. Those who trust in Jesus receive God’s forgiveness and blessing.

Daniel 1

Daniel was Faithful

Lesson

When Jehoiakim (jih HOY uh kim) was the king of Judah, Babylon’s king, Nebuchadnezzar (NEB yoo kad NEZ uhr), went with his army to Judah. Because God’s people had sinned against Him, God allowed King Nebuchadnezzar to take over the city of Jerusalem.

King Nebuchadnezzar’s leaders gathered a group of young men from among God’s people and brought them to Babylon. The king wanted people who were healthy, handsome, and good learners to serve in his palace. Every day, King Nebuchadnezzar gave the young men special meals. They ate the same food and drank the same drinks that the king ate and drank. They would be trained for three years. Then they would be ready to serve the king.

Four of the young men from Judah were different from the others in the group. They worshiped the Lord, the one true God. Their names were Daniel, Hananiah (HAN uh NIGH uh), Mishael (MISH eh uhl), and Azariah (az uh RIGH uh). The man in charge of the group gave them new Babylonian names. Daniel’s new name was Belteshazzar (bel tih SHAZ uhr). Hananiah’s new name was Shadrach (SHAD rak). Mishael’s new name was Meshach (MEE shak), and Azariah’s new name was Abednego (uh BED-nih goh).

Even though Daniel and his friends weren’t in Judah anymore, Daniel wanted to be faithful to God. God’s laws told Daniel what he could and could not eat. Daniel was not allowed to eat some of the food that the king gave the young men. Daniel asked the man in charge for permission to eat other foods.

Daniel said, “Try this for 10 days. Let us eat only vegetables and drink only water. Then see if we are healthier than the other young men.”

The guard agreed. At the end of 10 days, Daniel and his friends looked healthier than the young men who had eaten the king’s food. After that, the guard allowed Daniel and his friends to keep drinking water and eating vegetables.

God was happy that Daniel obeyed Him. God blessed Daniel and his friends. He made them wise and smart. They learned lots of new things. God gave Daniel the ability to understand visions and dreams.

When their training was over, Daniel and his friends stood before the king. The king saw that they were smarter and stronger than all the other young men. They were even smarter than the wise men who worked for the king. Daniel served the king for many years.

Christ Connection: Daniel was faithful to God, and God blessed him. In an even greater way, Jesus was always faithful to God. He came to earth and followed God’s plan to save sinners. Those who trust in Jesus receive God’s forgiveness and blessing.

Questions

  1. Why is obeying God better than all the delicious food in the world?   (Lead kids to understand that eating all the best foods or enjoying the greatest pleasures does not give us eternal joy. Help kids learn that following God is our ultimate good because it leads us to life with Him. Remind kids that God is forever and promises that we will be most happy in Him. (Ps. 16:11))
  2. Why is it sometimes hard to obey God? (Teach kids that because we are sinners, we do not always obey God. Help kids understand that our hearts are drawn to sin, but that we can say no to sin through Jesus. Lead kids to remember that we will not always perfectly obey, but that Jesus obeyed God perfectly for us.)
  3. How can you be faithful to God?  (Lead kids to understand that we can be faithful to God by obeying His Word, trusting in Him, and remembering His faithfulness to us. Help kids understand that God will help us be faithful and that He gives us the desire and strength we need to follow Him. Encourage kids to ask God to help them be faithful and to spend time in prayer and reading the Bible.)

Videos

Prayer Time

  1. What does this story teach me about God or about the gospel?
  2. What does this story teach me about myself?
  3. Who can I tell about this story?

Activity Pages