Taken from Daniel 2 this lesson focuses on how a follower of Christ receives wisdom and understanding when they seek God for answers. This lesson was prepared for older students but with adaptation can be used for other ages as well. It is only a suggested guide to help you get ideas on how to present this chapter to your students.
Bible Story: God Reveals Mysteries through Daniel
Scripture: Daniel 2 (Key Verses: Daniel 2:11, 18-23, 27-30, 45-47)
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 for each student, flannels/visual aids,
Learning Goal: Students will learn that God answers believers’ prayer for wisdom when they seek Him for understanding.
Learning Activity #1: Bible Sword drill. This activity gives the students opportunity to familiarize themselves with finding passages of Scripture. It gives students who are familiar with finding the verses an opportunity to help those who are new to the Bible. Suggested verses that are for this lesson are found at the end of the lesson.
Suggested Song: A wise man builds his house upon the rock.
Memory Verse: Daniel 2:47-The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.
Memory Verse Activity: Write the verse on the board and cover with pieces of construction paper. Students take turns removing the paper from the verse until the whole verse is revealed. Recite together.
Bible Lesson: Revealer of Mysteries
Daniel 2:1-13 King Nebuchadnezzar sought man for answers to the mystery of his dream.
It was night time and Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon should have been sleeping soundly. Unfortunately he was tossing and turning. King Nebuchadnezzar’s mind was very troubled. He tried to sleep but he could not because he had vivid dreams that he could not understand the meaning.
King Nebuchadnezzar does not worship the One True God. He worships false gods. In his kingdom he has ‘wise men’ to give him understanding. Let’s read who the majority of his wise men are in verse 2. (Magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers) These men are not truly wise because they don’t seek truth from the One True God. (The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10)
King Nebuchadnezzar’s first response to a very troubled mind is to seek answers from men who do not fear God.
Let’s read what he asks of these ‘wise men’ from verses 5-6. What is his request? (Tell him what he dreamed and what it means) What was his punishment for not interpreting? (Cut into pieces and houses turned into piles of rubble) What would be the reward for doing what he requested? (Gifts, rewards and great honor)
These men knew that it was impossible to do what the king required. They had years of practice of studying and explaining what dreams may mean but they did not have the ability to tell another person what they dreamed. Read their response back to the king from verses 10-11.
Seeking answers from anyone/anything but God will lead to anger and frustration. These men could not help the king. Their response made him furious. He commanded that ALL the wise men living in Babylon be put to death.
Earlier I said the majority of wise men in Babylon were not truly wise because they did not believe and obey the One True God. There was a minority of truly wise men living in Babylon. Who remembers their names? (Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah)
Let’s read verse 13. This verse clearly shows us that the group of ‘wise men’ standing before Nebuchadnezzar did not include Daniel and his friends. Why do you think men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends? (Allow students to respond)
Daniel 1:8 tells us that Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the king’s food. His choice to not eat unclean food made him and his friends stand out from the crowd. We can trust that if they chose not to lose their reputation over eating foods that didn’t please God they did the same about the choice of who they spent their time with. (1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”) To hang out with the magicians, astrologers etc. would have defiled their reputation of what they believed about the One True God. The things these ungodly men did to seek wisdom were against God’s laws.
Daniel and his friends are an example for followers of Jesus. We need to have a pure reputation that we follow the One True God and do not participate in practices that are clearly not pleasing to God. (Examples in our day that are things believers should not participate in are horoscopes, witchcraft, sorcery etc. “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 6:17a)
Daniel 2:14-28 Daniel and his friends sought God for answers to the mystery of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
When Daniel hears the news from Arioch that all the wise men in Babylon are to be killed he speaks with wisdom and tact (courtesy). Read verses 15-16.
Daniel and his friends were in a very dangerous situation. Their lives were at stake. Daniel showed respect for his leaders by speaking wisely and carefully. (A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1)
Daniel and his friends are given time by the king for the ability to interpret his dream.
Daniel and his friends show their faith in the One True God by how they sought for wisdom. They didn’t go home and search the internet for ways to know what others dream and how to interpret them. They fell on their knees and prayed to the God who knows all things and asked Him to show them what the king dreamed and what it meant.
God heard and answered these men’s prayer. Read Daniel’s praise in verses 20-23.
Whatever question or problem followers of Jesus have God knows the answer. Pray and seek His wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
Daniel 2:29-49 God reveals present and future kingdoms in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
Daniel went to Arioch and asked him not to execute anyone because he will be able to interpret the king’s dream. Arioch quickly took Daniel to the king.
Believers’ deciding to seek God’s wisdom may spare the lives of many.
Read verses 26-28. Daniel gives credit to God alone. He doesn’t try to claim the amazing ability that no man is capable of doing. He knows that the One True God is the only One able to reveal this mystery.
Daniel tells the king what he dreamed. Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of a large statue (show picture). The statue was an enormous, dazzling and awesome in appearance. The statue was made up of different metals. The head was pure gold, chest and arms were silver, belly and thighs were bronze, the legs were iron and the feet were part clay and part iron.
As the king watched this awesome statue a rock that was not cut or mined with human hands flew through the air and smashed the feet of the statue causing the whole thing to fall smashing into small pieces that were unrecognizable.
Daniel interprets the dream about the statue: The head is Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. Verses 37-38.
The remainder of the statue indicate future kingdoms that will be weaker than Babylon:
- Chest and arms-Medo-Persia
- Belly and thighs-Greece
- Legs- Rome
- Feet/toes-future kingdoms
Daniel explains the rock that was not cut by human hands in verses 44-45.
This refers to a future event when the Lord Jesus reigns for a 1000 years. Those who have put their faith in Jesus as the Savior who died on the cross for sins, was buried and rose again will live with Jesus as He is King over all the earth. This kingdom will never be destroyed.
When Nebuchadnezzar heard Daniel tell him his dream and explain it with such accuracy he got on the ground and lay stretched out on his face before Daniel. Let’s recite verse 47 together since it is our memory verse for this lesson.
Daniel and his three friends sought God wisdom and God answered their prayers. Is there anything in your life that you don’t understand? As we close in prayer we will have a time of silence and you can ask God to give you wisdom about that situation. This week as you read His Word and continue to seek Him look for how He answers you.
Close in prayer.
- Why was the king’s mind troubled? (He had dreams)
- What did the king require of his wise men? (Tell him his dream and what it means)
- Why did Nebuchadnezzar become angry with the wise men? (They said no man could do what the king asked. They needed him to tell them his dream)
- How did Daniel speak to Arioch when he learned that all the wise men were going to be executed? (Wisdom and care (tact))
- How did Daniel find out what the king dreamed and what it means? (He and his friends prayed and asked God)
- What did the king dream about? (A large statue)
- What did the dream mean? (It was about Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom and future kingdoms that would be destroyed by a kingdom that could never be destroyed)
Sword Drill: (To help all students with this exercise is to say the verse and write it (or have it written in advance) for students to see.)
- Numbers 12:6 He said, “Listen to my words: “When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams.
- Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
- Amos 3:7-Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.
- Amos 4:13 He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth — the Lord God Almighty is his name.
- Matthew 11:25-At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
- Matthew 16:17-Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”
- 1 Corinthians 2:9-11-However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.