Lesson: Daniel's Ram and Goat Vision

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This lesson has additional teaching ideas for Daniel 8. The lesson helps students to see that God can be trusted because He always does what He says He will do. The lesson was prepared for older students. This lesson is a suggested guide to help you create a lesson for your class.

Bible Story: Daniel’s Ram and Goat Vision
Scripture: Daniel 8
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, message written and sealed in an envelope, Books about Alexander the Great (I checked some children’s books out from the library)
Learning Goal: Students will learn that knowing that God always fulfills His Word should cause us to love and obey Him.
Learning Activity #1: Prediction Game-before class have someone write a message on a note and fold it up and put it in a sealed envelope (if you have no one available you can write a message and put it in sealed envelope).
Learning Activity #2: Bible Sword drill-optional verses:  Psalm 33:1, Proverbs 19:21, Isaiah 46:11, 2 Chronicles 36:22, Isaiah 44:28, Isaiah 44:26, Jeremiah 1:12, Matthew 2:23 These verses point to God’s fulfillment of His Word.
Learning Activity #3: Children’s Historical books about Alexander the Great-While students arrive they can look at these books and learn facts about Alexander the Great.
Memory Verse:  Daniel 8:19 “He said:  “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end.  “

Bible Lesson:  Daniel’s vision of a ram and goat

(Before class write a message on a note card and place in envelope) We are going to play a prediction game.  In this envelope is a message.  I need you to predict what is written.  Allow students to ‘predict’ what the card says.  Write their responses on the board.  Have someone open the envelope and read the message.  Did anyone predict the exact wording that is found on the message?
Have you ever heard a person make a prediction that is detailed that came true exactly as they predicted?  Last year (2011) you may remember that a group of people were predicting that Jesus was going to come back on a specific day.  He did not come back on that day and they decided that they had calculated wrong making a new prediction.  The day passed without Jesus coming back as they predicted.
The more we read and study God’s Word we will be amazed at the detailed predictions God has made and how they came to pass exactly how He said they would. In our Bible Sword drill we discovered verses that tell us that everything that God has planned will come to pass.  Only the One True God could say something would happen and hundreds of years later could that very thing happen to the exact detail.
Knowing that God does exactly as He says should cause people to love and trust Him.  When a person believes God completely they have no fear of the future.
Let’s turn to Daniel 8 as we continue our study of the Book of Daniel. Let’s review what we discovered in chapter 7.  Allow students to share what they remember from the four beasts.  The four beasts were four kingdoms. From the fourth kingdom a little horn representing the antichrist would come. )
Daniel 8:1-4.  It has been two years since Daniel’s dream of the four beasts.  What animal does Daniel see in this vision?  (Ram with 2 horns)  What does the ram do?  (Charged toward the west, north and south, no animal could stand against him and he did what he pleased)
Daniel 8:5-8.  What animal did Daniel see next?  (Goat) Describe the goat (He had a prominent horn between his eyes, came from the west crossed the whole earth without touching the ground) What did the goat do to the ram? (Attacked and trampled him to the ground) What happened to the goat at the height of his power (His large horn was broken off and four horns grew in its place)?
Daniel 8:9-12.  This horn that appears attacks God’s people and takes away their ability to offer sacrifices at the temple.  He destroyed copies of God’s Word.
Daniel 8:13-14.  What was the question the holy one asked?  (How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled?)  What was the answer?  (2300 days)  That answer is a specific prediction wouldn’t you say?
Daniel 8:15-16.  Who was told to tell Daniel what the vision meant?  (Gabriel)
Daniel 8:17-18.  What did Gabriel tell Daniel the dream was about?  (The time of the end)  What was Daniel doing when Gabriel explained the dream?  (In a deep sleep)
Memory Verse:  Daniel 8:19 “He said:  “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end.  “
Daniel 8:20-Who does the 2 horned ram represent?  (Kings of Media and Persia)
Daniel 8:21-22 Who does the shaggy goat represent?  (The king of Greece) The first horn is the first king and the four horns that replace it are four kingdoms that arise out of his kingdom.
Daniel 8:23-25-What kind of king rises up after the four horns?  (Wicked, stern-faced, a master of intrigue) What will this king do?  (Astounding devastation, destroy mighty men, holy people, cause deceit to prosper.  What will happen to him? (He will be destroyed but not by human hands)
Daniel 8:26-27 Why do you think Gabriel told Daniel to seal up the vision?  God knows how much of the future we need to know and what needs to remain ‘sealed’.
We just read God’s Word in Daniel.  You might not be impressed or may be confused thinking of rams and shaggy goats with horns.  We began our lesson talking about predictions.  This vision that God gave Daniel came to pass years after it happened.  If you had an opportunity to look at the Alexander the Great books when you arrived what did you learn about him?  What kingdom was he ruler over?  (Greece) From Daniel’s vision who which animal does he represent?  (The shaggy goat) Alexander conquered a great area of land (show the map from the book of the vast territory of his conquests).  Alexander died young (33).  He was at the ‘height of his power’ (Daniel 8:8) When he died his four generals began to rule over different areas of the kingdom of Greece.
Cassander- Macedonia and Greece
Lysimachus (Thrace and parts of Asia Minor)
Ptolemy (Egypt and parts of Asia Minor)
Seleucus (Syria, Israel, Mesopotamia)
Out of the Seleucus family Antiochus Epiphanes IV came to power.  He was cruel to God’s people.  He tried to destroy the Jewish faith.   He didn’t allow them to sacrifice in the temple.  He put an image of Zeus in the temple and sacrificed pigs on the altar.  (Pigs were unclean animals and were forbidden to be offered to God as a sacrifice)
God raised up a Jewish family named Maccabee.  They rose up and fought against this evil ruler and were able to restore the proper worship of God in the temple.
Gabriel explained most of the vision Daniel saw and many of the events have happened in history.  However, Gabriel also told Daniel to seal up the vision because it concerned the distant future.  There are many things in the vision that have not happened yet.
God fulfills every word that He speaks down to the last detail.  If you and I believe that everything God says is true, how should that affect the way we live our life today?  We can trust Him completely.  The decisions we make should reflect what God teaches us to do and what not to do.
Close in prayer.
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