Text: Daniel 6
Principle: We must make the decision to be wise no matter what the circumstances are.
- Remind your students of the three kinds of people:
- The wise man
- The fool
- The scoffer
- Explain that Daniel was a godly man who lived in the midst of ungodliness.
- The book of Daniel gives us a wonderful picture of wisdom.
- Introduce the idea that sometimes we have to make the decision to be wise no matter what.
Read: Daniel 6
- Daniel 6 paints a great picture of what can happen when we choose to be wise even though everything around us says not to.
- Some of the king’s administrators created a situation to get Daniel in trouble.
- These scoffers framed Daniel by going to the king and asking him to make a decree that if anyone prayed to anyone or anything except the king, they were to be thrown into a den of lions.
- Daniel chose to do the wise thing and continue to pray to the one true God.
- Daniel was caught praying and sent to the king, who has no choice but to throw Daniel into the lion’s den.
- God protected Daniel.
- Daniel did the wise thing by obeying God and not the king’s decree. We can learn a valuable lesson from his story about doing the wise thing and being obedient no matter what.
Thought 1: The wise man (Read Daniel 6:1-4)
- Daniel had to make a tough decision.
- We sometimes think being wise is always easy. Daniel shows this is not the case.
- Daniel didn’t know what would happen, and he was probably very frightened. He knew he could die for his wise choice.
- Our convictions drive us to be wise.
- Daniel knew it was more important to be obedient to his God than to the king.
- Daniel’s convictions drove him to make a wise decision. He did not allow his fear to change his decision.
- God develops our convictions as we spend time with Him and grow with Him. When it’s crunch time in our everyday lives, we lean on our convictions and are able to make wise choices even though it may not be easy to.
- Talk about a time in your own spiritual formation where you faced a situation like Daniel’s. It does not have to be as dramatic, but it should help the students see how this idea has affected your life.
- Daniel chose to do the hard thing, and God protected and delivered him.
- Thought 2 – The fool (Daniel 6:5-14)
Thought 2: The fool (Daniel 6:5-14)
- The king knew what was right but chose to do what was wrong. That’s why he was a fool.
- Being under pressure doesn’t excuse the king’s decision.
- The king took the easy way out and agreed with his administrators, even though he knew that wasn’t the wise thing to do.
- In our lives, we are often pressured to do unwise things. That doesn’t make it OK. Often, doing the wise thing means going against peer pressure.
- Being wise requires action.
- It’s great to know what the wise thing is, but we have to act on it.
- Daniel acted wisely based on what he knew. The king acted unwisely despite what he knew.
Thought 3: The scoffers (Daniel 6:15-24)
- The men who worked for the king chose foolishness and took it one step further.
- A scoffer is someone who takes a liking to foolishness and then criticizes those who choose wisdom.
- This may hit close to home with some of your students because there are usually a few of these in every group.
- This story teaches us there is great danger in being a scoffer.
- God dealt harshly with these scoffers and their families.
- After Daniel is protected and delivered by God, the king throws the scoffers and their families into the lion’s den. They don’t even hit the ground before the lions eat them.
- This story clearly shows us how God feels about scoffers. God, who had the power to shut the lions’ mouths for Daniel, allowed the scoffers to be eaten immediately.
- This should serve as a great warning for us. God does not take it lightly when we choose foolishness and then criticize those choosing wisdom.
We must choose whether we will be scoffers, fools or wise people. God promises to give us wisdom if we ask for it. But we must choose to ask for wisdom and then act on it.
What have you learned from this story about what it means to make a wise choice? What made Daniel wise? Do you think wisdom was easy for him?
How is the king in this story a fool? How are the administrators scoffers? What can we learn from them?
Do we sometimes think that we are wise only to find out that we are really fools or scoffers? How has that happened in your life? What can we do to ensure that we are being wise?
What does God think about scoffers? What did he do to those scoffers in this story?
How does the Bible show God reacting to people who walk in wisdom? How did God protect Daniel? What do you think Daniel thought about God after this happened? What does this story teach us about God’s power and love for us?