This Bible lesson is taken from Daniel 10 and teaches students that there is a battle in the unseen world. The battle is won through prayer. The lesson was prepared for older students but is adaptable to other ministry needs.
Bible Story: Daniel’s Vision of a Man
Scripture: Daniel 10
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, The Enormous Crocodile book, Word Puzzle (listed below), pens/pencils, pictures of Bible stories that have angels,
Learning Goal: Students will learn that believers fight spiritual battles by praying.
Learning Indicator: Students will demonstrate their understanding by participating in the Bible lesson and by answering review questions.
Learning Activity #1: Word puzzle (Using Puzzle Maker create a word puzzle about Biblical angels. Here is how I set up the one I created-I created questions that needed to have blanks filled in. The answer was the word they would search for.
Angels are ________ beings. Colossians 1:16 (Created)
Angels are called ________. Genesis 3:24 (Cherubim)
Angels _________ God. Psalm 148:2 (Praise)
Satan is an angel named _________ who was kicked out of heaven. Isaiah 14:12 (Lucifer)
When Satan was kicked out of heaven he took _____ of God’s angels with him. Revelation 12:4 (One Third)
Demons are ________ that were kicked out heaven when Satan was kicked out of heaven. Revelation 12:9 (Angels)
Satan is called the god of this ________. 2 Corinthians 4:4 (age)
Jesus is the ______ of the world. John 8:12 (Light)
Satan ____________ as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14 (Masquerades)
There is a battle in the ___________ realms. Ephesians 6:12 (Heavenly)
Optional: For a younger class you could use our Daniel coloring pages.
Memory Verse: Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Teaching the Memory Verse: If you used The Enormous Crocodile remind them of the illustration of how the children couldn’t see their enemy because he disguised himself. This verse is teaching us that the real enemy that is fighting against us is not people or circumstances but God’s enemy Satan and his demons.
Bible Lesson: Daniel’s Vision of a Man
Suggested Introduction: Use The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl. Before class, familiarize yourself with the story (it is too long to read out loud) so you can tell a brief version of it using a few of the pictures to show the students how the crocodile disguises himself to try to trick children so he can have them for lunch.
In this fictional story the children were unaware that they had an enemy that was trying to destroy them. The other animals knew of the crocodile’s plans and fought to protect the children from his evil schemes.
Did you know that there is an unseen enemy in our life that is out to destroy us? Do you know what his name is? (Satan/devil/evil one)
We live in a world that God created. We can see some of the things God has created with our physical eyes. However, we cannot see all of His creation. Angels are created by God and are mentioned many times in the Bible. Can you think of any stories from the Bible that we read about angels? (Allow responses) As we have been studying Daniel have we heard of any encounters he has had with angels? (Angel shut the mouths of lions; Gabriel came to explain God’s visions).
Facts about angels:
- Angels do not have bodies because they are spirits. If God wants people to see angels he gives them bodies.
- Angels never die. They do not marry and have more angels. All of the angels God created are still living today.
- There are two groups of angels. Angels that worship and praise God in heaven and fallen angels. When Lucifer (Satan) wanted to be like God he was cast out of heaven. Many angels left heaven to follow Lucifer. These angels can also be referred to as demons/evil spirits.
Knowing these facts about angels is going to help us understand that there is an unseen world that exists. As believers we may not see this unseen world but we need to live always remembering it exists. Let’s turn in our Bibles to Daniel 10. Our focus is going to be what happens in this unseen world.
Read Daniel 10:1-3. Who was given a revelation? (Daniel) When? (Third year of Cyrus) What was message about? (A great war) What emotion did Daniel feel after receiving this vision? (Mourning) How long did Daniel fast? (Three weeks)
The Bible has some difficult passages in it that many good Bible teachers don’t always agree. Only God knows for certain exactly what is taking place in this Scripture. If we meet others that disagree with what we understand is happening (that is not clear) we need to respect their understanding and not argue. As believers our responsibility is to study Scripture. When we come to difficult passages we should always compare Scripture with Scripture and ask God for His understanding. With that said we are going to discuss this difficult passage that not all people agree on.
Read Daniel 10:5-9. Describe what Daniel saw. Let’s turn in over to Revelation 1:12-17. (Discuss the similarities of each passage.)
Many Bible scholars believe Daniel sees a Theophany. A Theophany is an appearance in the Old Testament of Jesus before He came into the world as the Son of Man (in the New Testament). Another word used for this is the pre-incarnate Jesus. Did Jesus exist before He was born in Bethlehem? (Allow responses. I was surprised that some students said no. Emphasize that Jesus is God and has always existed. John 1:1-4)
Other scholars believe this appearance is an angel. We have examined Scripture (Daniel 10) with Scripture (Revelation 1:12-17) and from that basis we are going to look at this passage from what these many scholars believe that this is the Pre-incarnate Jesus and not an angel.
How did Daniel react when he saw this Man? (Verses 7-8)
Daniel 10:10-11:1 An angel (we aren’t given his name) is present with Daniel and this Man. He encourages Daniel.
The angel tells Daniel that at the very moment he humbled himself before God and prayed God sent this angel to him. As the angel was coming to Daniel he got involved with a battle with the prince of the Persian kingdom. This prince battled with him for 21 days. While this battle was taking place an angel named Michael who was in charge of protecting God’s people Israel came to help the angel held back by the prince of Prince of Persia.
To put this in simple terms a spiritual battle was taking place while Daniel was fasting and praying. The prince of Persia is a demon.
God created angels to worship and serve as His messengers. The ruler of this world Satan has demons (evil spirits, fallen angels) that serve in his kingdom. Satan and his demons are enemies of God. They fight against Him and try to destroy His people. Satan knew that God was going to send the Messiah through His people. He fought all throughout history trying to stop God’s plan. No matter how hard Satan tried he was not and will not be successful in keeping God from keeping all of His promises.
Daniel is overwhelmed with his guests and the information he is receiving. Let’s read how he responds in verse 15. (Choose a volunteer to act this out.)
Once again Pre-incarnate Jesus touches Daniel’s lips. (Verse 16) Daniel is able to speak and he speaks to the angel. Let’s read what he says in verse 17. Jesus touches Daniel again and gives him strength.
The angel encourages Daniel and says, “Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed. Peace! Be strong now; be strong.”
The angel tells Daniel he is going to explain what is written in the Book of Truth and then must return to fight with the prince of Persia.
Let’s think about what the angel told Daniel about being retained by the prince of Persia for 21 days. While Daniel was praying an unseen battle was taking place that he was unaware of.
Maybe before this lesson you were unaware that there continues to be an unseen battle taking place. If you are a believer there is a battle going on in the unseen world between Satan and his demons who are trying to keep you from living the life that God has for you. He knows if you follow the Lord Jesus you will have power to say no to sin and be victorious over him. If you are not a believer Satan and his demons fight to keep you blinded to the truth that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, was buried and rose again. He wants to keep you from having eternal life. The lesson we need to apply from Daniel is the power of prayer. When we pray God’s angels fight against the demons.
Close in prayer…
- What does Daniel see in his vision? (A great war)
- How long did Daniel fast? (3 weeks)
- Who was the man dressed in linen with a belt of finest gold? (Pre-incarnate Jesus)
- Who was in a battle with the prince of Persia for 21 days? (An angel God sent in answer to Daniel’s prayer.)
- Which angel came to help him? (Michael)
- How are spiritual battles fought? (Prayer)
- How will this lesson affect your time of prayer?