Brave Hearts Ministry

Daniel

Memory Verse:

 “He (God) reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him”.

Facts About Daniel
            
Purpose:  To give a historical account of the faithful Jews who lived in captivity and to show how God is in control of heaven and earth, directing the forces of nature, the destiny of nations, and the care of his people.
Author: Daniel
Date written: Approximately 536 B.C., recording events that occurred from about 605-535 B.C.    
Key Places: Nebuchadnezzar’s palace, the fiery furnace, Belshazzar banquet, and the den of lions.

Overview:

Lesson 1:  Daniel’s Life After Capture
Lesson 2:  Daniel Can Interpret Dreams
Lesson 3:  Trusting in the Lord
Lesson 4:  Daniel in the Den of Lions
Lesson 5:  Daniel’s Prayer

Lesson 1: Daniel’s Life After Capture

     Daniel 1:1-21   “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.  They delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God.  These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.  Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility, young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand and qualified to serve in the king’s palace.  He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.  The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table.  They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
    Among these were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishail and Azariah.  The chief official gave them new names:  to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.
    But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.  Now God had caused the Official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, but the official told Daniel,  ‘I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink.  Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age?  The king would then have my head because of you.’

    Daniel then said to the guard who the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah Nishael and Azariah, ‘Please test your servants for ten days:  Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.  Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.’  So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
    At the end of the ten days they looked healthier ad better nourished than any of the other young men who ate the royal food.  So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
    To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning.  Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.  
     At the end of the time set by the king to bring them in, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar.  The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service.  In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.  Daniel remained there until the first your of King Cyrus.”

Questions:

1.  How did Daniel end up in Babylonia?  The king of Babylonia besieged or conquered Jerusalem.
2.  What did the Jehoakim, king of Judah take to Babylonia?
Articles from the temple of God.  
3.  What did he do with them when he got to Babylonia?  Put them in the treasure house of  his god.
4.  The king did two things to four men from Judah.  What were they?
He selected four men who he thought were very smart and put them in his service.  He renamed Daniel to Belteshazzar, Hananiah  to Shadrach, Mishael to Meshach, and Azariah to Abednego.
5.  What was the experiment Daniel was allowed to follow for ten days?  Eating vegetables instead of  the royal food and wine.
6. What was the result?  Daniel was fitter than the others.
7.  At the end of the time set by the king to bring them in, what did Nebuchadnezzar find out?  They had more wisdom, understood all the things the king questioned them about and found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
8.  How do you think they became this way?  Remember they are in a foreign land with a foreign culture.  Here is where the sovereignty of God shows itself.  God had a plan in these men’s lives.  

Summary:

God is in control.  God is all-knowing, and he is in charge of world events. God overrules and removes rebellious leaders who defy him.  God will overcome evil; no one is exempt.  But he will deliver the faithful who follow him.
       
Lesson 2:  Daniel can Interpret Dreams

    Daniel 2:1-3   “In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams, his mind was troubled and he could not sleep.  So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed.  When they came in and stood before the king, he said to them ‘I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means.’”  

     Daniel 2:10-19  “The astrologers answered the king.  ‘There is not a man on earth who can do what the kings asks!  No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer.  What the kings asks is too difficult.  No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among men.’  
     This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon.  So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.
    When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard had gone out to put to put death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact.  He asked the king’s officer, ‘Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?’  Arioch than explained the matter to Daniel.  At this, Daniel  went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him.
     Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mnishael and Azariah.  He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.  During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision.”
     Damiel 2: 24,24  “The large statue in Nebuchardnezzar’s dream represented the four kingdoms that would dominate as world powers.  We recognize these as the Babylonian empire, the Medo-Persian empire, the Grecian empire, and the Roman empire.  All of these will be crushed and brought to an end by the kingdom of God which will continue forever. “   
 
Questions:

1.  Who did the king summon to tell him what his dream meant?  Magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers.
2.  Were they able to help him?  No.
3.  What did he threaten these men with?  Death
4.  Daniel spoke to Arioc, “Why did the king order such a harsh decree?”  They couldn’t interpret the dream.
5. What do you think about magicians, sorcerers, and astrologers interpreting dreams?  Talk about the inability of man to foresee the future through dreams, palm reading. etc.
6.  Daniel was able to give the king an answer.  What made this possible?  God gave him the meaning in a dream.  Remember this book is about a sovereign God.  You can have a discussion at this time about what does a sovereign God mean.  (dictionary meaning,  Supreme in power, possessing dominion or jurisdiction, free of outside influence or control)  Many things happen in our lives that we have no control over.  Our sovereign God watches and cares for us through all of the trials.

Summary:

These visions gave the captives added confidence that God is in control of history.  They were to wait patiently in faith and not worship the gods of Babylon or accept that society’s way of life.  God still rules over human activities.  Evil will be overcome, so we should wait patiently and not give in to the temptations and pressures of the sinful way of life around us.      

Lesson 3: Trusting in the Lord

Daniel 3:1-    “King Nebuchadnezzar made and image of gold, ninety feet high and nine feet wide , and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.  He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up.  So all of the people he summoned came for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.  
    Then the herald loudly proclaimed, ‘This is what you are commanded to do, O peoples, nations and men of every language.  As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.  Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.’
    Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lye, harp and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and men of every language fell down and worshipped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
    At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews.  They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘O king, live forever.  You have issued a decree, O king, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music must fall and worship the image of gold and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace.  But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.’
    Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  So these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, ‘Is it true Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?  Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good.  But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace.  Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?’
    The three replied to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, ‘We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.’
    Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed.  He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shad, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace.  So these men, wearing their robes trousers, turbans and other clothes were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.
    The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up the three, and these three men, firmly tied fell into the blazing furnace.
    Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, ‘Weren’t there three man that we tied up and threw into the fire?’  They replied, ‘Certainly, O king.’
    He said, ‘Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth look like a son of the gods.’  Nebuchadnezzar than approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, Come out! Come here!’
    So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, perfects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them.  They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.  
    Then Nebuchadnezzar said ‘Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants!  They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship and god except their own God.  Therefore I decree that the people of any nation of language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.’”

Questions:

1.  King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold. What did he expect all of the people to do?  Bow down and worship the idol.
2.  Why did the astrologers go to the king about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?  They weren’t bowing before the gold idol.
3.  What did King Nebuchadnezzar do to the three men?  Threw them into the blazing furnace.
4.  What became of the men that threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the furnace?  The furnace was so hot, that just getting close to it killed them.   
5.  What happened next?  There were four in the furnace walking around.  None were burning.
6.  King Nebuchadnezzar  issued a new decree.  What was it?  Nobody from any nation or language speak against Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s God.

Summary:

  This whole book is about our sovereign God.  He has control over everyone and everything in our universe.  God was using some very extreme circumstances to show his great power to an unbelieving people.  He did make them realize he was the one and only God.         

Lesson 4  Daniel in the Den of Lions

Daniel 6:1-23  “It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them one of whom was Daniel.  The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss.  Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.  At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of  government affairs, but they were unable to do so.  They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt or negligent.  Finally these men said, ‘We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.’”  
    So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: ‘O King Darius, live forever!  The royal administrators, perfect, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lion’s den.  Now, O king issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians which cannot be repealed.’ So King Darius put the decree in writing.
Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem.  Three times a day he got
down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.  Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help.  So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: ‘Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or man except to you, O king, would be thrown into the lion’s den?’
     The king answered, “The decree stands in accordance with the
Laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.
    Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you put in writing.  He still prays three times a day.”  when the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.
    Then the men went as a group to the king and said to him, ‘Remember, O king, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.’
    So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lion’s den.  The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of  his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.  Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him.  He could not sleep.
    At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den.  When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?’  Daniel answered, ‘O king, live forever!  My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions.  They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight.  Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king. The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den.  When Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him because he had trusted in his God. ‘”
 
Questions:

1.  Describe Daniel’s characteristics.  Honest, loyal, trustworthy, neither corrupt or negligent.  A true follower of  God.
2.  When did Daniel have to use God’s protection?  When the land he was in wanted to get rid of him using cruel methods.
3.  Why did the governing men under Daniel want to get rid of him?  They were jealous of him and could never find fault with him.   
4. The governing men tricked the king into signing a decree that could not be repealed.  In doing this they thought they had found the perfect why to get rid of Daniel forever.  How did the king feel after he discovered how he had been tricked?  He couldn’t eat or sleep. He told Daniel “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you.”
5.  In the morning at first light the king went to the loins den and called to Daniel.  Daniel answered.  What did he say?  My God sent an angel to shut the mouths of the lions.
his is the second story we have read in the book of Daniel that out sovereign God used his exceptional power to save his children.

There are many other stories in the bible where God has interceded on behalf of his children.  God continues to show his sovereignty.
Think about the times you and your family or friends have been saved from problems by God’s hand.  Share these with the group.  Talk about how important prayer is in our everyday lives.

Summary:

It is wise to make trusting and obeying God alone our true purpose in life.  This will give us direction and peace in spite of the circumstances or consequences.  We should disobey anyone who asks us to disobey God.  Our first allegiance must be to God.   
 
Lesson 5:  Daniel’s Prayer

     Daniel 9:1-19  “In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom in first year of his reign I Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.  So I turned to the Lord God and plead with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.  I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed:
    ‘O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong.  We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.  We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.’    
    ‘Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame- the man of Judah and people of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you.  O Loud, we and our kings, our princes and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you.  The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets.  Also Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.’
   ‘Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against. You.  You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing upon us great disaster.  Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem.  Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins
and giving attention to your truth.  The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster upon us, for the Lord our  God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.
     Now, O Lord our God who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong.  O Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill.  Our sins and  iniquities of our fathers have made Jerusalem and your people the object of scorn to all those around us.’
    ‘Now, O Lord our God hear the prayers and petitions of your servant.  For you sake, O Lord, look with favor on the desolate sanctuary.  Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the  desolation of the city that bears your Name.  We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.  O Lord listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God do not delay, because your city and your people bear you Name.’”       

Questions:
 
1.  Since there was no written Bible in Daniel’s day, where did he learn about God?  Understood the Scriptures according to the word of  the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet.
2. What did Daniel include in his prayer?  Confession of wickedness, sinning, rebelling, not only for his people but including himself.
3. What does Daniel ask for?  Turn away your anger and wrath from Jerusalem.  He  didn’t make these requests out of righteous, but because of God’s great mercy.

Summary:

Daniel served for 70 years in a foreign land that was hostile to God, yet he did not compromise his faith in God.  He was truthful, persistent in prayer, and disinterested in power for personal glory.  God was faithful in Daniel’s life.  He delivered him from execution, from a den of lions, and from enemies who hated him  God cares for his people and deals patiently with them.      

*The material for this study was from the Life Application Study Bible
NIV  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Wheaton, Illinois and Zondervan Publishing House Grand Rapids, Michigan


Posted 5/09