This study covers how Daniel and his friends seek God’s wisdom to prevent their deaths along with the other wise men living in Babylon. God gives them wisdom and King Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges God as the God of gods.
In this lesson, students will learn from Daniel’s example of how they can be Ambassadors for Christ in this world as Daniel was God’s ambassador living in Babylon. While it was first prepared for older students, feel free to adapt this teaching plan for your ministry’s needs. Another option for this lesson~ If you have a class that only meets for a short period you can break the lesson down and focus on the different applications of Daniel’s example of an ambassador from this chapter.
Bible Story: Daniel and his friends seek and receive God’s wisdom
Scripture: Daniel 2
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, Dictionary, ambassador articles, poster board/butcher paper, markers and flannels or pictures to show as you teach the lesson, shoe boxes or blocks with memory verse phrases taped on them, ball/bean bag, cube with locations on sides.
Optional: You might use our Daniel coloring page or prayer coloring pages.
Learning Goal: Students will learn that God gives His wisdom to those who ask.
Learning Indicator: Students will demonstrate understanding when they participate in learning activities and the Bible lesson. They will demonstrate their comprehension by answering review questions.
Learning Activity #1: Discovering what it means to be an ambassador for Christ. Have students look up in a dictionary ambassador. Print some articles or cut out articles from other sources that refer to ambassadors.
On one side of a piece of butcher paper or poster board have students compare what ambassadors in our world do for their countries. On the other side compare what an ambassador for Christ does for this world that we live in. (What country do Ambassadors for Christ represent?-Heaven (Philippians 3:20)
(This activity builds a foundation for you as you teach the lessons from Daniel from the perspective of his example as God’s ambassador in Babylon and teaches believers how an Ambassador of Christ should live like in this world.)
Learning Activity #2: Make a cube with different locations on each side (school, playground, ball field, etc). Have students take turns rolling the cube and state how they can be an Ambassador for Christ in that place.
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: Daniel 2:23 “I thank and praise You, O God of My fathers: You have given me wisdom and power, You have made known to me what we have asked of You, You have made known to us the dream of the king.”
Memory Verse Activity: Use shoe boxes or blocks with phrases taped to them. After students have stacked the blocks with the verse in correct order recite the verse together. Choose a volunteer to use a bean bag or small ball (as the rock that wasn’t cut with human hands) to throw at the structure and knock it down. Mix the blocks up and build up again and continue to do this as time allows. Remove phrases as the students progress in the memorization of the verse.
Bible Lesson: Daniel and his friends seek and receive God’s wisdom
(As you present each statement of how Daniel is an example of how to be Christ’s Ambassador you can place that statement on the flannel board with your flannels if you use them.)
In Daniel 1 a young man named Daniel and his three friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were taken captive by the Babylonian army that invaded Jerusalem and captured the people living there. They were removed from their original country and forced to live in a strange, foreign land. Jerusalem was the Holy City and the place where God’s people could worship the One True God at the temple. In Babylon the Babylonians worshiped many false gods. Daniel made a firm decision not to defile himself and sin against God by eating foods that had been offered to idols. He and his friends had been given permission to only eat vegetables and drink water. After three years of being trained by the Babylonians Daniel and his friends were found to be ten times better than all the others who went through the training program. The king was so pleased with what he saw in Daniel and his 3 friends that he placed them in his service to be wise men in his kingdom.
(If you did the learning activity about Ambassadors have students review what they learned.)
An ambassador is someone who is in a high position to represent their country in a foreign land. There are many ambassadors from our country who represent us in the foreign country where they live. If a person is a believer in the Lord Jesus he/she is an Ambassador for Christ. Which country does a believer represent? (Heaven, God’s kingdom)
As we study Daniel we will discover ways to be Christ’s ambassadors as we see his excellent example as God’s ambassador in Babylon.
Let’s open our Bibles to Daniel 2.
King Nebuchadnezzar bolted up in his bed startled by what he saw in his dream. As the images went through his mind he was so troubled that he could not fall back to sleep. His mind was so agitated that he called for his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to come before him.
Earlier I mentioned to you that Daniel and his three friends were given the position of being wise men for the king. However, they are not part of this group that is called before the king. The distinct difference between Daniel and his friends is that they worship the One True God. They obeyed His laws and sought wisdom from Him. The Babylonian ‘wise men’ participated in evil practices and didn’t receive their power or wisdom from God. God did not want His people to be involved with these evil practices.
- Daniel and his friends set an example for Christ’s ambassadors by being set apart from those who participate in evil practices.
As the Babylonian ‘wise men’ stand before King Nebuchadnezzar he tells them that he wants them to tell him what he dreamed and what his dream meant. His ‘wise men’ had books about dreams that would help them to interpret the dream but they didn’t have the ability to tell the king what he dreamed. They asked him to tell them the dream so they could interpret it.
The king had made up his mind that he wanted them to tell him what he dreamed and what it means. If they could not do that they would be cut into pieces and their houses would be destroyed. If they could do what he asked he would reward them with gifts and honor.
Imagine the looks on the faces of these magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers! What the king was asking them was impossible for any human to do! Once again they asked the king to please tell them the dream so they could interpret it. The king said “No.” He felt like they were wasting time so they could make up something to tell him. He wasn’t budging on his decision to make them tell him the dream and the meaning. They all complained again and said, “It is not possible for any human to do what the king has asked.”
King Nebuchadnezzar became so angry that he ordered all of his wise men to be killed. As his soldiers went out to begin to fulfill the king’s order they went looking for Daniel and his friends. Why were they not in the presence of the other wise men? (They didn’t participate or spend time with the wise men who practiced evil.)
Arioch, the king’s commander knocked at Daniel’s door. When he opened the door he saw the seriousness in Arioch’s face and the urgency in his request that Daniel and his friends were to come immediately to be executed with all the wise men.
Daniel was respectful to the commander and spoke to him with wisdom and tact. He asked, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Arioch explained what had happened. Daniel quickly went to talk to the king and asked him for more time that he might be able to interpret the dream for him. The king allowed Daniel to have more time.
- Daniel sets an example for Christ’s ambassadors by responding with wisdom and tact.
When Daniel returned to his house he explained to Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah the very dangerous situation that was at hand. Their very lives were in danger of being killed if they could not tell the king his dream and what it means.
All four young men got on their knees and prayed to the God of heaven. They asked God to show them mercy so they would not be killed with the rest of the Babylonian wise men.
- Daniel and his friends set an example for Christ’s ambassadors by seeking God’s wisdom through prayer to resolve problems.
God heard and answered their prayers and revealed to Daniel what King Nebuchadnezzar dreamed and what it meant. Daniel praised and worshiped God for answering their prayer. Let’s read his praise in verses 20-23.
Daniel asked Arioch not to execute the wise men. He asked to be taken to the king so he could interpret his dream. Arioch went to Nebuchadnezzar and told him that there was a man from the captives of Judah who could tell him what his dream meant.
King Nebuchadnezzar asked Daniel if he was able to tell him what he saw in his dream and interpret it. Let’s read Daniel’s response to the king in 2:27-28. Daniel did not take any credit for being able to do what the king requested. He knew that only the One, True God could reveal the mystery of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
- Daniel sets an example for Christ’s ambassadors to always give God credit for all things that He has done.
Daniel explains the dream that God had given Nebuchadnezzar. In his dream Nebuchadnezzar saw an enormous, awesome statue. The head was made of gold. The chest and arms were made of silver. The stomach and thighs were made of bronze. The two legs were made of iron and the toes were mixed with clay and iron. As Nebuchadnezzar stood looking at the statue in his dream, a rock that wasn’t cut by human hands came and smashed the feet causing the whole statue to come crashing down and was broken into pieces. The rock became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.
Choose volunteers to read verses 36-38. The next parts of the statues were going to be kingdoms that came after Nebuchadnezzar.
This dream that God gave Nebuchadnezzar was prophetic. Prophetic means that God was revealing what was going to take place in the future. This dream was given to Nebuchadnezzar a long time ago and most of the statue prophecy has taken place.
(Gold-Nebuchadnezzar/Babylonian Empire, Silver-Cyrus/Medo-Persian Empire, Bronze-Alexander the Great/Grecian Empire, Iron-Roman Empire, Ten toes-a weakened Roman empire or a political system yet to come.)
The rock that was not cut by human hands will come and destroy all the kingdoms on the earth and will set up His own Kingdom that will never be destroyed.
When Nebuchadnezzar heard Daniel tell him his dream and the interpretation he responded in reverence. (Daniel 2:46-47) He acknowledged that the God that Daniel worshipped is the God of all gods and the Lord of kings. He rewarded Daniel by giving him a high position in his kingdom and gave him many gifts.
Daniel an ambassador for God in a pagan, foreign land obeyed God and sought His wisdom to resolve this dangerous situation. As a result he pointed King Nebuchadnezzar to the One, True God.
- Christ’s ambassadors point others to the Lord Jesus.
If you are a follower of Jesus you are His ambassador in this pagan, foreign land called the world. You can follow Daniel’s example to be an excellent ambassador for Christ by being obedient to God’s Word and seeking His wisdom for your circumstances.
The Rock in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream is the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus came to this earth the first time to save us from our sins. He died on the cross, was buried and rose again the third day. All who believe in Him are saved from their sins and will live with Him forever. One day He is going to come back to this earth and rule as King. All who have believed in the Lord Jesus will live forever in His kingdom on this earth. While we wait for that day, let’s live our lives with excellence pointing others to Him so they can be saved.
Close in prayer.
- What did King Nebuchadnezzar command his wise men to do? (Tell him his dream and its meaning)
- Why did he order all the wise men to be executed? (He was angry because they said no one could tell him his dream)
- How did Daniel respond to Arioch? (with wisdom and tact)
- What did Daniel and his three friends do as they faced this dangerous situation? (prayed)
- How did God answer their prayers? (Told Daniel the dream and its meaning)
- What was Daniel’s response when God answered their prayers? (Praise)
- What did Nebuchadnezzar dream about? (enormous statue being destroyed by a rock)
- What did the dream mean? (Prophesied future kingdoms)
- How did Nebuchadnezzar respond to Daniel’s interpretation? (reverence and worship)
- Name some examples Daniel set for ambassadors for Christ. (set apart, respond with wisdom and tact, seek God through prayer, give God all the credit, point others to Jesus)
- Which one of these examples will you ask God to help you develop in your life this week?