Reflection: What aspect or lesson from last week’s study or lecture most encouraged or challenged you? Why?
Begin your study by sitting and quieting your heart and mind. This week we see Daniel facing many difficult circumstances and remaining faithful. Ask God to encourage you through Daniel to remain faithful under challenging circumstances in your own life.
A servant [Gk doulos—– servant, slave, one under bondage] faithfully serves, obeys, acts on behalf of, and represents his master. Christ exemplified the perfect servant by being faithful to His Father, regardless of the consequences and circumstances, unto death.
Believers have been redeemed [Gk exagorazo — to purchase out of the marketplace for a price] as bond slaves to serve the Lord wholeheartedly, to voluntarily submit to human authority, and to be His representatives. Believers are warned against the enslaving character of sin, the world, and idols, and against the divided allegiances that can result from serving two masters.
Be careful whom you serve!
You have been bought with a price to serve God with courage and wisdom, and to serve one another in love!
Daniel was carried away to Babylon in 605 B.C. in the first of three invasions Nebuchadnezzar made on Judah. He lived until about 530 B.C. He was in his 80s when thrown into the den of lions. We need to review his whole life to examine his faith.
1. What truth about God is emphasized in Daniel? (Dan. 2:21a, 37b, 44–45; 4:3, 17, 25, 26, 32b, 34–35; 5:18, 21; 6:26) Why was this important to stress when Judah was in captivity in Babylon?
2. Describe Daniel and his friends from information in Daniel 1.
A. What is the significance of changing their names?
B. What had Daniel predecided? What would have been wrong with him eating the king's food?
3. What was Daniel, by faith, expecting God to do for him and his three friends? (Dan.1:12–14)
A. What do you observe about his attitude toward authority?
B. What else did God do for these men? What was His plan for them? (Dan. 1:9, 17– 21)
4. How did Daniel exercise faith when included under a death sentence? (Dan. 2:12–18)
How did Daniel prove God’s sovereignty and power in his own life? (Dan. 2:19–20)
5. Trace Nebuchadnezzar’s growing enlightenment concerning Daniel’s God.
NEBUCHADNEZZAR AND GOD
6. How did Daniel demonstrate his faith in Chapter 4? (Dan. 4:24–27) Discuss what is unusual about verse 27.
7. Notice Daniel’s fearless rebuke of Belshazzar (Dan. 5:l8-23). What qualities did he demonstrate?
What connection does his courage have with his view of God?
8. The kingdom of Babylon was conquered by the Persians. Notice Daniel’s position with his new king. What motivated the satraps and administrators to plot against him? (Dan. 6:1–5)
A. What do we learn about Daniel's personal conduct and spiritual life in his 80s (Dan. 6:4, 5, 10, 11, 16, 20–24)
B. What additional insights do you gain from any of the cross-references on the response of faithful service and the reward of life in the Optional Studies for Personal Enrichment?
9. What consistency do we see in Daniel from his teens to old age? (Dan. 6:11)
How do we know that Daniel won God’s approval? (Dan. 9:23; 10:10, 18; 12:13)
1. Daniel resolved that he would not compromise his faith in God. Are you a compromiser?
A. Do you avoid being too different if you are in the minority?
B. Where should you to stop compromising?
2. What attitude do you display when you disagree with authority on a matter of principle?
What can you learn from Daniel? (Dan.1:8, 12, 13; 6:10)
3. Daniel was fearless in his faith in a pagan society. Look at the impact of his testimony. (Dan. 4:34–37; 6:25–28)
A. Do your friends, fellow workers, and family know your life is lived by faith in Jesus Christ?
B. Are you willing to tell someone about Him? Has God put someone specific in your mind?
4. What one insight or lesson do you hope to remember from your study of Daniel? Write it below to share in class, and then write it on the journal page entitled “Lessons Along the Way” at the back of your study guide.
Choose one verse from this week’s lesson to memorize. Write it here and meditate on it.
Daniel demonstrated a lifetime of faithful service under the pagan dominion of Babylon and Medo-Persia. Utilize your word-study tools to examine the meaning of the following words. List the insights you learn from the related scriptural cross-references. How do these insights enhance your understanding of the response of faith in service, and the reward of faith of abundant and eternal life?
Serve [Heb. 9:14]
2 Peter 2:19
1 Cor. 6:19–20
Life [Hebrews 7:16]
1 Tim. 6:13
Life is a gift from God in which to serve Him. What did you learn about King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4?