Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

God Saves Daniel From the Lions

Daniel 4-6

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Judah Returns from Captivity (Ezra & Nehemiah)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

Opening Prayer

Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah)
    Who was Nebuchadnezzar and what was his relationship with the Jews?
      Jeremiah 39:1, 4-9 = King of Babylon, Attacked & destroyed Jerusalem, exiled Jews
    Why did he do this?
      Jeremiah 25:4, 8-9 = He was doing God's work in punishing the Jews for unfaithfulness
    How did the Jews feel about Nebuchadnezzar?
      Jeremiah 51:34-35 = They hated him and wanted vengeance
    Did the Jews ever see the vengeance they wanted?
      Jeremiah 25:12-14 = Yes, but not until 70 years had passed

Judah Exiled in Babylon (Daniel 1-2)
    How did Daniel and other Judah nobility become subject to Nebuchadnezzar?
      Daniel 1:1-2 = During first exile of Jehoiakim
    Did Nebuchadnezzar have these noble people killed like other kings would?
      Daniel 1:3-4 = No, he chose the best from them and trained them in Babylonian ways
    Who were some of these best? = Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael & Azariah
      Daniel 1:6-7, 17, 19-20 = Renamed Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego
    How did Daniel become an official in the Babylonian kingdom?
      Daniel 2:26-28, 48 = God revealed N's dream thru Daniel, Neb named D as high official
    What was the purpose of the dream?
      Daniel 2:47 = To begin Nebuchadnezzar's faith & spread God's name through the world

Nebuchadnezzar's Second Dream (Daniel 4:1-18)
    What was happening in Babylon when God gave Nebuchadnezzar a second dream?
      Daniel 4:4-5 = Nothing, Nebuchadnezzar was content & prosperous
    How did Daniel get involved?
      Daniel 4:6-9 = Wise men couldn't interpret, Neb told Daniel since God was in him
    What was the dream?
      Daniel 4:10-14 = A huge tree covered the earth with shelter, angel commanded it cut down
    How did the dream change strangely for its finish?
      Daniel 4:15-16 = Tree stump changed into a man given mind of an animal for 7 years
    Was Nebuchadnezzar given any reason to think this dream had a special meaning?
      Daniel 4:17 = He was told it was a decision from God, the Most High

The Meaning of the Dream (Daniel 4:19-26)
    Did the dream have a good or bad meaning?
      Daniel 4:19 = Daniel was afraid to tell Nebuchadnezzar its bad meaning
    What was the tree?
      Daniel 4:22 = Nebuchadnezzar & his greatness was the tree
    What other nation had its greatness compared to an expansive tree?
      Hosea 14:1, 5-7 = Israel, if it repented and returned to God
    What was meant by the man with the mind of an animal?
      Daniel 4:24-25 = Nebuchadnezzar would go nuts & live like an animal 7 years
    Why was the tree stump left in the ground?
      Daniel 4:26 = Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom would be restored when he turned to God

The Dream is Fulfilled (Daniel 4:27-37)
    Was there any way Nebuchadnezzar could prevent this from happening?
      Daniel 4:27 = Yes, Renounce his sins & be righteous & faithful
    Did Nebuchadnezzar turn to God or did the curses of the dream happen?
      Daniel 4:28-31, 33 = He continued his evil & pride for 1 year, then went crazy per dream
    Did Nebuchadnezzar regain his sanity after the prescribed 7 years?
      Daniel 4:34, 36 = Yes, and his kingdom & honor were returned

    Did the dream & fulfillment have its desired effect of turning Nebuchadnezzar to God?
      Daniel 4:37 = Yes, he praised God
    How sincere and enthusiastic was Nebuchadnezzar's praise for God?
      Daniel 4:1-3 = He documented the story & his praise in a letter to all the world

Belshazzar's Party (Daniel 5:1-24)
    Nebuchadnezzar was succeeded by son, Nabonidus in 562 BC
      Nabonidus retired to Arabia, left his son Belshazzar in charge
      Belshazzar meant Bel protect the king - Bel was Babylon's chief god
    How faithful was Nebuchadnezzar's grandson, Belshazzar?
      Daniel 5:1-4 = Used temple goblets at party to drink toasts to gods
    How was Belshazzar suddenly sobered up?
      Daniel 5:5-6 = Saw hand write words on the wall (white plaster)

    How did Daniel enter the scene?
      Daniel 5:8-12 = Wise men couldn't interpret, queen mother remembered Daniel's ability
    How did Belshazzar try to influence an interpretation and how did Daniel respond?
      Daniel 5:16-17 = Offered him riches and power, Daniel declined since he worked for God
    How did Daniel use the story in chapter 4 to explain Belshazzar's problem?
      Daniel 5:18, 20-24 = Nebuchadnezzar turned to God, but Belshazzar desecrated God

The Meaning of the Words (Daniel 5:25-31)
    What words were written on the wall? = Rulers in descending value (N/B were co-regents)
      Daniel 5:25 = Coins/weights in descending order, Parsin sounds like Persia

      Word Meaning Coin / Weight Ruler Symbolized
      Mene Numbered Mina Naboplasser
      Tekel Weighed Shekel Nebuchadnezzar
      Parsin Divided Half-Shekel Nabonidus / Belshazzar Persia

    What judgment on Belshazzar did God pronounce with these words?
      Daniel 5:26-28 = Days numbered, under weight, kingdom divided
    When was this judgment fulfilled?
      Daniel 5:30-31 = That night, Darius Cyaxares II (Mede) took over

    From historical records:
      Persian army conquered Babylon in 539 BC (Judah exiled in 608 BC)
      Soldiers temporarily diverted the Euphrates River & crossed dry bed
        Led into city by 2 traitors during annual feast of the gods
      Darius means Lord-King - Term used like Caesar or Pharaoh
        Used later for Darius Hystapis (Ezra 4:5) & Darius Codomanus (Neh 12:22)

The Decree of Darius Cyaxares II (Daniel 6:1-9)
    How did Darius organize his Median empire?
      Daniel 6:1-2 = 120 satraps reporting to 3 admin, inc Daniel (probably ~80 yrs old)
    How did God bless Daniel's work and what did others think of it?
      Daniel 6:3-5 = Top leader, others jealous & tried to dig up dirt
    What plan did Daniel's enemies conceive to be sure they could catch Daniel?
      Daniel 6:7-9 = A decree that anyone caught praying in next month is thrown to lions

Daniel's Response to the Decree (Daniel 6:10-15)
    Did Daniel obey the new law or did he keep on praying?
      Daniel 6:10 = He remained faithful and kept praying regularly
    Was Daniel ever caught illegally praying?
      Daniel 6:11-13 = Enemies caught him, reminded Darius of decree, reported Daniel's crime
    How did Darius respond to Daniel's blatant disregard for the law?
      Daniel 6:14 = Greatly distressed, Tried everything to repeal law
    Why didn't Darius just cancel the stupid decree?
      Daniel 6:15 = Against law to change a king's decree, even by king
      See also Esther 1:19 and 8:8

Daniel in the Lions' Den (Daniel 6:16-28)
    Was Darius able to find any way to save Daniel?
      Daniel 6:16-17 = No way other than trusting in God
    How well did Darius sleep after putting Daniel in the lions' den?
      Daniel 6:18-20 = He didn't; Ran to den at dawn hoping Daniel was ok

    What had happened to Daniel in the lions' den?
      Daniel 6:21-23 = God protected him for his faithfulness
    Could it have been that the lions just weren't hungry?
      Daniel 6:24 = No, they devoured Daniel's enemies & their families

    How was God's name glorified through this story?
      Daniel 6:25-27 = Darius sent decree throughout the world praising God

The Rest of the Story
    How else was Daniel's life blessed by God? = Given 4 visions of future
      Daniel 7:1 (2-28) = 4 world powers followed by son of man
      Daniel 8:1 (2-27) = Future world powers named, destroyed by god
      Daniel 9:1, 21 (2-27) = Specific times given for coming of Messiah
      Daniel 10:1 (10:2-12:13) = Israel's future & end times foretold

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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