VERSES: Daniel 1:1-21
MEMORY VERSE: Daniel 1:17 "... Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: 1 Thessalonians. Write "1 Thessalonians" on small slips of paper and hand out to the students at the end of class.
PRAYER: Thank God for the smart minds that we have and that we will always use our minds to study His Word."
SPECIAL SONG: The Wise Man Built His House Upon The Rock (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog. Click orange circle for tune."
VISUAL AID: Draw on whiteboard or chalkboard the Activity below or make a large paper Activity.
- Daniel was a young man when he was carried off into Babylonian captivity. He had three friends and their Hebrew names were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. When Daniel and his friends arrived in Babylon, they were given new Babylonian names. Daniel's name was changed to Belteshazzar, but for some reason, we still refer to him as Daniel. However, we know his three friends better as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. All four friends were together in the palace in this strange new land of Babylon. The young men were chosen to live and work in the palace because they didn't have anything wrong with them physically, they were handsome, skilled in wisdom, understood science, and were able to serve in the king's palace. They were to learn the language of the Chaldeans and teach it to other people.
- The king had a food program for all who served in his palace. Everyone was given a certain portion of the king's special meat and wine to drink, so that at the end of three years, the men would be able to serve the king.
- But there was a problem. Daniel was determined not to pollute his body with the king's fine food or with the king's wine, so he requested of the officer in charge of them, Melzar, that he and his three friends only eat pulse. 'Pulse' is another word for beans and peas and things like that. God had given the four young men favor with the officer, but Melzar was afraid that, because the young men were only going to eat pulse, that they would soon be looking skinny and in poor health and he did not want any trouble from the king. But Daniel asked if they could only eat pulse and drink water for ten days, then Melzar could come back and check them out to see if they looked badly. So, the Melzar tested them for ten days, and at the end of this time, when he saw the four friends, they looked fatter and healthier than all the other ones who had been eating the king's food and wine! So Melzar let them continue eating their pulse and drinking their water and took away the king's food.
- After this, God gave the young men knowledge ,and they were able to be skillful with what they learned and had wisdom to use the learning wisely. Daniel was also given the ability to understand dreams and visions. At the end of the three years, Melzar brought the whole group of young men in before the king and Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood out in the group. The Bible says there was none like them and whatever the king asked them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in his kingdom. God had blessed Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
"Older Student" Tips:
- 'Pulse' also has a definition of 'vegetables', but whatever Daniel and his friends were eating, it was not meat or any of the fine foods that the king wanted them to eat. Usually, people eat vegetables and beans and peas to LOSE weight, but Daniel and his friends GAINED weight, showing that God was with them.
- While Jeremiah was a prophet in Jerusalem and Ezekiel was a prophet was a prophet in Babylon by the river Chebar, Daniel was also a prophet in Babylon, but in the king's palace. They were prophets all at the same time!
ACTIVITY: What Daniel Ate And Drank
Materials needed: 8.5" x 11" piece of white bond paper, 3" x 5 " tan construction paper, scraps of green, tan, brown construction paper, one small plastic bag for two people, glue, tape, marker, scissors.
- Hand out white paper.
- Cut paper into an oval shape, using most of the paper. This is the plate.
- Hand out scraps.
- Cut long shapes and circles out of different colored paper. These are the beans, peas, and lentils.
- Glue beans, peas, and lentils onto plate.
- Write "Daniel 1:15" and "Daniel, Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego ate pulse and drank water instead of the king's food." on the white plate.
- Hand out tan paper.
- Cut the paper into a shape of a glass.
- Add lines to resemble a glass of water.
- Hand out plastic see-through bag.
- Cut 'water' out of bag.
- Glue plastic on top of glass.
- Tape glass to the back of the plate. (see picture).