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Scripture Story: Daniel 6.

Commentary: Prophets and Kings (or Royalty and Ruin), chapter 44.

deliverance

Photo by Jennifer and Company

keytext

"Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?" (Dan 6:20, NKJV)

flashlight

“God did not prevent Daniel’s enemies from casting him into the lions’ den; He permitted evil angels and wicked men thus far to accomplish their purpose; but it was that He might make the deliverance of His servant more marked, and the defeat of the enemies of truth and righteousness more complete. ‘Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee’ (Psalm 76:10), the psalmist has testified. Through the courage of this one man who chose to follow right rather than policy, Satan was to be defeated, and the name of God was to be exalted and honored”

(Prophets and Kings, p. 543, 544).

what do you think?

What would you do in the following situations?

1. Someone in your class cheats on a test using the answers from your paper, without you knowing it. Later the teacher accuses you of cheating and gives you a zero for the test. The other student does not admit to cheating and gets a passing grade. What would you do?

2. Someone tells your best friend something about you that is not true, and your friend stops talking to you. The person who was dishonest becomes good friends with your best friend. What would you do?

did you know?

The lion is often thought of as a symbol of power, nobility, and courage. Lions have a social system based on teamwork, and live in groups called prides. The teamwork of the pride is evident in their hunting methods. The female lions of the group work together to track and overpower their prey. The lions in the den of Daniel 6 worked as a team to overpower Daniel’s adversaries and broke them into pieces before they even hit the bottom of the den. (See Daniel 6:24.)

INTO THE STORY

“It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. . . . Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, ‘We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.’

“So these administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: ‘May King Darius live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.’ So King Darius put the decree in writing.

“Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. . . . Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree. . . .

“Then they said to the king, ‘Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.’ When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him. . . .

“So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, ‘May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!’ . . . Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.

“At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?’ Daniel answered, ‘May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.’

“The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.”

(Daniel 6:1-24, NIV)

OUT OF THE STORY

After reading the story in Daniel 6, answer the following questions.

Have you ever been wrongfully accused? How did you handle it? What would you do next time?

The princes and governors had a plan in Daniel 6, but God had a different plan. What was God’s plan?

Check the words that show the things that make up an excellent spirit.

faithfulness
prayer
jealousy
loyalty
greed
deception
honesty
pride
kindness
patience

What does the story teach us about being faithful to God?

punch lines

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, NKJV).

“‘Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 1:8, NIV).

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10, NKJV).

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1, NKJV).

“Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, for You are my strength” (Psalm 31:4, NKJV).

“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25, NKJV).

further insight

“Unceasing prayer is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life; and from our life, purity and holiness flow back to God.”—Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 98

“Through sincere prayer we are brought into connection with the mind of the Infinite. We may have no remarkable evidence at the time that the face of our Redeemer is bending over us in compassion and love, but this is even so. We may not feel His visible touch, but His hand is upon us in love and pitying tenderness.” —Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 97

connectingtolife

Sabbath

Read Daniel 6:10.

In the What Do You Think? section of this week’s study you were asked to describe what you would do in certain situations. Think about your responses. Why did you choose to handle each situation the way you did? When Daniel heard about the decree that his enemies had devised for King Darius to sign, he went straight to the Lord in prayer. Daniel prayed three times that day, just as always. When you go to the Lord for help, do you think things will turn out the way that you expect them to? Why would the Lord choose to help us in a way that is different than we expect or want?

Sunday

Read Psalm 31:4.

Review the Into the Story section. What do you think motivated the princes and governors to bring an accusation against Daniel? List three of their character traits below.

What character traits did Daniel display?

Review your responses to the Out of the Story questions. How does a Christian handle unfair treatment differently than a non-Christian?

Monday

Read Daniel 6:20.

Daniel trusted in his God. He knew that God had the power to deliver him from the lions. Trusting God the way that Daniel did comes from having a personal connection with Him. It comes from daily prayer and studying God’s Word, and the determination to obey His will.

Read the key text of the lesson again. Then reflect on your own experiences. Do you believe that God is able to deliver you from problems or difficult situations? Talk to someone about areas of your life where you wish to experience God’s deliverance. Pray together, asking God for deliverance.

Tuesday

Read Genesis 37:28; 1 Samuel 19:1.

In the Flashlight section we read that “God did not prevent Daniel’s enemies from casting him into the lions’ den.” Instead of removing the danger, the Lord used it to show His power to deliver His servant. Just as in Daniel’s case, God does not always prevent bad things from happening to us. In many cases, the Lord uses our experiences for our own good, or to bring about some future blessing. We may not understand why things happen the way they do, but like Daniel, we must trust that the Lord has our best interest in mind. Can you think of other Bible characters who were treated wrongly or unfairly but in the end were blessed by God?

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Wednesday

Review the verses listed in the Punch Lines section. Some of the key words in these verses are listed on the left below. Match the words by placing the number the words on the left to the synonyms that match on the right.

1.courage shelter
2.strength set free
3.deliver brave
4.refuge faith
5.trust power

How many of the Punch Line verses are promises?

In what verse can you see a prayer?

Thursday

Read Mark 9:24.

When we are faced with danger or with a difficult situation it is natural to become fearful—especially if we cannot see a solution to the problem. List some specific things you can do to overcome fear:

Fearfulness comes as a result of doubting God. What can we do when faced with doubt? (See Mark 9:24.)

Friday

Read Psalm 106:3.

Standing for what is right can be a hard choice to make. Many things prevent a person from doing the right thing— wanting to be like everyone else, wanting to be accepted by others. Sometimes doing what is right means missing out on something. The choice to keep the Sabbath holy might mean missing out on certain school activities. The choice to live healthfully might mean missing out on some favorite foods. The choice to accept and treat everyone the same might mean not being popular with certain people. What are you willing to miss out on, for the sake of doing the right thing and choosing to obey God’s Word?

this week’s reading*

Prophets and Kings (or Royalty and Ruin), chapter 44.

*Royalty and Ruin is a special adaptation of Prophets and Kings, created for you by the Ellen G. White Estate and Pacific Press. Get more information about it at http://www.cornerstoneconnections. net/article/191/about-us/conflict-of-the-ages-companion-books#. URlhF1rBO9s. By following the weekly reading plan, you will read at least one book of the Conflict of the Ages Series each year.