OBJECTIVE: To help the children understand that God told Daniel about some very special promises, and we can trust in God’s promises.
MAIN IDEA: Daniel bravely obeyed God and remained faithful even when facing persecution and death. He was used by God to foretell the future coming of a Savior, Jesus Christ, whose death provided salvation for every person who repents of their sins and believes in him.
TARGET AGES: 9 – 13 Older Elementary. You may need to simplify this lesson when working with younger children.
CURRICULUM UNIT: This lesson is part of the Who was …. ? series on major Bible characters.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: Daniel 9:25-26, Genesis 17:19, Daniel 12:1-4
MATERIAL(S): medium-sized wooden plaques, paint pens or permanent markers, various craft supplies (e.g. glitter pens and stickers), card stock paper, scissors, prize (optional)
Introduction (20 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “God, give us boldness to obey you even when it is hard. Thank you for promise of salvation through Jesus Christ. Amen.”
Give each child a wooden plaque and ask them to write “God keeps his promises” with a paint pen or permanent marker. Then they may decorate the plaques with additional supplies such as glitter glue and stickers. Tell the class about a time when someone broke a promise to you and how it felt. Then share the joy of someone’s fulfilled promise. Say, “We never have to guess if God will keep his promises because he has already proven through his word that he is trustworthy.” The children may set their plaques aside (especially if the plaques need to dry) and then take them home after the day’s events.
Lesson (15 minutes)
- Say, “Today are going to learn about a prophet named Daniel who foretold of a time when the Messiah would come.” Briefly review common stories about Daniel (such as his friends being thrown into the fiery furnace and Daniel being thrown into the lion’s den). Ask, “Did Daniel’s actions prove that he was serious about his faith? Absolutely! And we are going to see that God gave him a special message.”
- Read Daniel 9:25-26. Explain that each day represents a year, so 7 days in a week times 69 weeks equals 483 years. Ask, “What did Daniel prophesy would happen (Christ would die 483 years in the future)? What does the fulfillment of this prophesy teach us about God (that he always follows through with his promises)?” Remind the children of God’s promises to Abraham concerning his son Isaac by reading Genesis 17:19. Ask, “What does God’s promise to Abraham have to do with Jesus (Jesus was the fulfillment of the ‘everlasting covenant’)? Isn’t it awesome to know that even hundreds of years before Christ was born God was still reminding his people, even though they were in captivity, that they could trust his promises?”
- Lastly, read Daniel 12:1-4. Ask, “What additional promise did Daniel prophecy (that believers will be delivered in the end times)? How do we know this promise will happen (because God already fulfilled the prophecies of Christ)?” Explain that even though Daniel was Jewish, this promise applies to Gentiles as well. Emphasize the incredible hope we have as children who have a place in the family of God. Say, “If you haven’t received salvation through Jesus Christ, then this promise doesn’t apply to you. Only those who have repented of their sins and believe in Jesus as God’s Son will spend eternity in heaven.” Briefly outline the gospel message and address any questions or convictions that may arise.
“Daniel Matching Cards” Game (10 minutes) Download Attachment here
Print the matching cards on card stock paper and cut out each card. Then shuffle the cards and flip them upside down on a table. Each child will have a turn choosing two cards in an attempt to find a match. When a match is found, the player receives another turn. Continue the game until all matches have been found. Consider bringing a prize for the winner.
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: God used Daniel to assure the Israelites that he would follow through with his promises. And, when we become believers, we too share in the promise of salvation and an eternity in heaven as God’s children.
CLOSING PRAYER: “God, thank you for showing us that you don’t break promises. Help us to be brave, like Daniel, and trust your plan for our lives. Amen.”
Who was …. A Study on Bible Characters
This lesson is part of a 14 unit curriculum for older children (age 9 – 13) that introduces major characters in the Bible.