The Shepherd’s Love - Lesson 45
Daniel - Reigning in Captivity
Daniel 1 - 9
Ezekiel 36:26 or 27 or Isaiah 50:7
Like Ezekiel, Daniel lived and served God in a foreign land. But whereas Ezekiel was God's messenger to His people in exile, Daniel was His messenger to the rulers of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon) and Darius (administrator of Babylon under Cyrus, the supreme ruler of the Persian Empire) were instruments used of God to fulfill His plan. Daniel, through his faith, humility and obedience, imparted to these kings the knowledge of the one true God with His glorious sovereignty and omnipotence.
Father, show us Your glory as we study the life of Your beloved Daniel. Let the example of his life strengthen my faith and deepen my commitment to you. Like Daniel, I too, would love and serve You with all my heart, soul and strength. Thank You, precious Lord!
1. Read Daniel 1.
A. When and why were Daniel and these young "sons of Israel" brought to Babylon?
B. In v. 8, we see that Daniel made a choice to follow God in a special way. What did he "make up his mind" to do?
C. What statement tells you that Daniel's decision was in accordance with the will of God? (Relate this to John 10:4)
D. What did you learn from Daniel's attitude and approach as he sought permission to carry out his intention? (Can you related this to a circumstance in your own life?)
E. In verses 17-21, God shows His approval of the choice made by the four youths. How did He bless them?
F. (Personal) What sort of choices are you making this week which affirm your love-relationship with Jesus Christ? (See Mark 8:34; John 14:21; Revelation 2:3-5)
2. Read Daniel 2.
A. According to verses 10-11, what do the Chaldeans know about Nebuchadnezzar's command? (See also Matthew 19:26)
B. What do you learn about Daniel and his character in...
1. verses 14-20?
2. verses 23-24?
C. How did Daniel honor and acknowledge God before the king? (How does his example encourage you?)
D. Briefly summarize the interpretation of the dream. (This dream was fulfilled so accurately that amazed historians have argued that the book of Daniel could not have been written centuries before these historical events took place -- just as God promised His prophet in Isaiah 41:26, 46:10 and Isaiah 48:3-5.)
E. As a result of Daniel's faith and obedience, what did Nebuchadnezzar learn about God?
3. Read Daniel 3. What was revealed to Nebuchadnezzar about the one true God in verses...
D. What awesome facts do you learn about the righteous man in 33:12-13?
4. Read Daniel 4.
A. How is God's sovereignty manifested through His dealings with Nebuchadnezzar?
B. Compare the words of Nebuchadnezzar in verse 30 (before his madness) with those in verses 34-35, 37. What transformation took place in the king's heart as a result of God's discipline?
5. Read Daniel 5. Belshazzar, son of Nebuchadnezzar, is about to lose his reign and his life. What reasons are given for his downfall in verses 18-23?
6. Read Daniel 6.
A. Why was Daniel "cast into the lion's den"?
B. What evidence do you see of Darius' faith in God and love for Daniel?
7. Like Daniel, we -- who are part of God's Kingdom -- serve Him in a foreign land. (John 17:15-16 and Phil. 3:20) What have you seen in Daniel's life that encourages you?
8. Read Daniel 9.
A. What discovery did Daniel make as he was reading the Book of Jeremiah?
How did he respond to this discover?
B. Study the following sections of Daniel's prayer. What is his heart saying to God in each division? Include one word which would characterize each type of prayer.
1. verse 4
2. verses 5-15
3. verses 16-19
C. How did God answer Daniel's prayer?
9. Read Jeremiah 29:10-14 and delight in the words that filled Daniel with hope and caused him to seek God's forgiveness for His people.
A. What does God promise His people? (This for that special remnant of Israel -- the faithful people who have discovered their desolation apart from God and long to return to Him.)
B. What action by the people will prepare them to receive God's blessing? (verses 12-13)
C. (Personal) What special word of hope is God speaking to you in this passage. (Make it part of you --"hide it in your heart" -- so that you may be encouraged in your times of affliction.) Give Him thanks.
SUGGESTED HYMN: Take my life and let it be
Next: Lesson 46