This new lesson from Daniel 6 allows students to see Daniel’s consistent Godly character even in his old age. When studying Daniel’s life an inescapable fact for all believers is that Godly character doesn’t happen by accident. Daniel faithfully trusts and obeys God in an ungodly foreign land. Believers can live a life that pleases God by living faithfully and intentionally. Students have an opportunity early in life to establish daily disciplines of prayer and studying Scripture so they too can live a life that is one of consistency and full of integrity. This lesson was prepared for older elementary children. Please adapt to the needs for your ministry.
Bible Story: God Protects Daniel
Scripture: Daniel 6
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List: Bibles, pictures/flannels for story, Scripture cards (learning activity #1), print out our free Daniel in the Lion’s Den coloring sheet. We also have a coloring page activity with Daniel story cards.
Learning Goal: Students will learn that followers of Jesus receive power to live a Christ-like life and protection from God when they faithfully pray.
Learning Activity #1: Discovering verses about prayer-Make cards with Scripture references about prayer. (Some examples: Ephesians 6:18, Psalm 143:1, 2 Chronicles 6:20-why Daniel was praying toward Jerusalem, 1 Peter 3:12, Philippians 4:6, Luke 6:12-Jesus prayed, Romans 12:12, Psalm 55:17, Psalm 32:6) Place cards face down on the ground. Have each student select a verse and look it up. When all have found their verse let them read the verse they selected. If time allows place the cards down again and let them select a different one.
Learning Activity #2: Have a writing activity that allows students to write about how they met their close friend, favorite thing they do together, etc. Another option is for them to draw a picture of something they do together that makes that friendship special.
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: Psalm 143:1 ”O LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.”
Bible Lesson: Daniel is protected
Which of you has a close friend? Who would like to share how you met your friend? What did you do that made the relationship different from others? We get to know people better when we talk to them and listen when they talk to us. We do this when we spend time with them. When we do these things on a regular basis we develop a close relationship. How we develop close friendships is very much the same as how we develop a close relationship with the Lord Jesus. First, like many relationships we are introduced to Jesus when we hear the Good News that He died on the cross for our sins was buried and rose on the third day. When we accept by faith that He is the Savior of the World we enter into a relationship with Him that will last for eternity. When we begin this new relationship with Jesus we must spend time with Him on a regular basis and get to know Him better just like we would do with our close friend. How do believers get to know Jesus better? Spending time each day talking to Him (praying) and listening to Him (reading the Bible). The more time you and I spend time with Jesus the better we will know Him. The better we know Him the more we will live our lives to please Him.
We have studied Daniel 1-5 so far. Daniel is an incredible example of how to live a life that pleases God. What are some character traits that you can think of from each of the chapters? (He chose to boldly resolve not to defile himself, he prayed for wisdom, etc.)
Let’s turn to Daniel 6. For many of you this chapter is a very familiar story. We need to be careful never to think that because we have heard a story from the Bible that we never have to study and dig deeper for precious jewels from God’s Word. God’s Word is His letter to us to teach us about Himself and how we can know Him better. His Word is alive and when we open the Bible and read we should always pray that God will teach us what He wants us to learn from the passage.
Daniel 6:1-3-Daniel’s pending promotion
The new ruler Darius (duh-rai-uhs) chose 120 rulers to be in charge in the different areas of the kingdom. Darius chose 3 men to be the leaders in charge of the 120. Daniel was one of the three men. At this time Daniel is about 90 years old. What kind of character did Daniel have at this age? Read verse 3. Daniel was different from the others because he had an extraordinary spirit (NASB). He had an excellent attitude. Because he had an excellent attitude Darius was planning on setting him over the entire kingdom.
Having an excellent attitude doesn’t happen by accident. How do you think after all these years Daniel was still a man with excellent character? (He walked closely with the Most High God)
- An excellent spirit can only happen in our lives if we are followers of Christ. His Holy Spirit lives in the hearts of believers and when we consistently walk with Him, His Holy Spirit develops an attitude of excellence. Daily walking with Jesus means spending time talking and listening to Him (praying and reading His Word).
Daniel 6:4-9-The plot to take down Daniel
Daniel’s life is a shining example for all. Unfortunately instead of trying to model their lives after Daniel there were wicked men who were jealous of Daniel’s reputation. What did these rulers try to find in Daniel’s life? (Verse 4-they wanted to find something that Daniel had done that was evil/corrupt) Did they find anything that Daniel had done that was dishonest or evil? (No)
Daniel is a man of excellent integrity. He has lived 90 years and not one piece of evidence could be found of him being dishonest or evil.
- A life lived faithfully for Jesus creates a person with integrity. Integrity is a life that has no dishonesty or bad character. To have integrity we must live our lives intentionally making choices that will keep us from having a pure reputation in this world.
The only way these men could get Daniel in trouble was to make his relationship with the One True God illegal. They tricked Darius into signing a law saying that people could only pray to him for 30 days. The law was signed and it could not be changed.
Daniel 6:10-Daniel boldly prays
Let’s read verse 10. What do we learn about Daniel’s prayer life? (His window facing Jerusalem was open, he prayed 3 times a day.) How can we apply these things in our prayer time? (Pray for God’s people and faithfully pray each day)
This part of Daniel’s character is very challenging. He could have closed his windows and prayed privately. He could have prayed as he walked around his home. Daniel did not do that. Daniel’s character did not include compromise. We talked about compromise earlier in the Book of Daniel. To compromise in regards to our relationship with God is to put our trust in people. Daniel didn’t fear these men who were trying to get him in trouble. His faith was fully in the Most High God. He would not compromise his relationship with God because he feared being thrown into a lions’ den.
Daniel 6:11-24- God’s power and protection
When the men report to Darius that Daniel prayed to his God, he realized that he had been tricked. He tried to keep Daniel from being thrown into the lions’ den but could not change the situation because of the laws of the Medes and Persians.
Read Daniel 6:16. The phrase that sticks out in this verse is ‘continually serve’. Darius watched Daniel’s life and saw one that was continually faithful and obedient to God.
Daniel is put into the den of lions and a stone is placed in front of it. The king seals it with his ring along with the rings of his nobles.
The king goes home to his palace but he cannot sleep. He went without food and without any entertainment as he waited for the sun to rise.
As soon as the sun came up Darius was at the mouth of the lions’ den. Read verse 20. Daniel responds immediately. Read verse 21.
The king is very happy that God rescued Daniel and had him taken out of the lions’ den. Read verse 23. Why was Daniel’s body unharmed by the lions? (Because he had trusted in His God)
The king punished the men who tried to have Daniel killed. He punished them and their families by having them thrown into the lions’ den.
- Believers can trust God to punish those who wrongfully accuse them.
Daniel 6:25-28- Darius praises God and Daniel prospers
Read verses 26-27. Darius witnessed a miracle when the Most High God protected His servant Daniel from the hungry lions. He responded by praising God and making a law that people must fear and respect Daniel’s God.
A life like Daniel lived is possible for all who believe in the Lord Jesus. Believers who faithfully walk with God every day will have the Holy Spirit’s power enabling them to have excellent character. The more we turn to God and confess our sins when we fail the more we will grow in becoming more like Jesus.
Close in prayer.
Father when we read about Daniel it seems impossible to live a life like he did. You have given all believers the Holy Spirit to empower us to live a life for others to see Jesus. Help us this week to daily walk with you and obey you in all we do and say. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Answer these multiple choice questions with the best answer.
1) Darius was:
a) A lion
b) A soldier
c) A king
2) There were _________ satraps.
3) How many administrators were there?
4) Which word best describes Daniel’s character?
5) How many times a day did Daniel pray?
6) Where was Daniel thrown?
c) Lions’ Den
7) How did God protect Daniel?
a) Killed the lions
b) Sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths
c) Brought him to heaven
8) What was the punishment for the evil rulers?
a) They and their families were thrown in the lions’ den
b) Had to pay higher taxes
c) They weren’t punished at all
9) How do believers talk and listen to God?
a) On their knees in their closet
b) In complete silence
c) Praying and studying God’s Word