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Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Determined To Obey God

VEGETABLESDetermined To Obey God

Memory Verse: Daniel 4:20

Life Application: God will honor our faithfulness.

Bible Text:

Daniel 1:1-21

2 Kings 20:16-18

Leviticus 11:47

Ezekiel 4:13

Deuteronomy 32:37-38

 

 

When Jehoiakim the king of Judah had ruled Judah for three years King Nebuchadnezzar sent soldiers to overthrow Jerusalem. King Nebuchadnezzar’s solders took some items from the house of God.

Daniel 1:1-2  NKJV    “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.”

          Many years before, Isaiah had prophesied to Hezekiah that his descendants would be taken captive to serve the king of Babylon.

2 Kings 20:16-18  NKJV     “Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”

          King Nebuchadnezzar instructed Ashkenazy, the master of his eunuchs, to bring back strong, healthy, and intelligent young men from the royal families in Jerusalem. The king wanted these young men to serve in his palace. They were be taught the Chaldean language and literature. This training was to last for three years, and at the end of that period of time they would serve the king. Once in Babylon, as part of their preparation for service the king ordered them given a daily provision of his food and wine.

Daniel 1:3-5  NKJV     “Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king.”

          The young men that were taken were given new Babylonian names. Four of these young men were given the names  Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. The Babylonians wanted these Jewish young men to forget their God. They thought a name change would help in making them forget. But a name change could not make them forget the true, loving, and holy God they served.

Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego knew that a name change would not change how they feel about God or their option of Him, or their trust in Him.

Daniel 1:6-7  NKJV     “Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.”

         The Jewish young men knew that God had given specific dietary laws for His people to follow.  The food ordered for them by the king was not prepared according to their Jewish laws, therefore they did not want to eat it. Also the king customarily offered his food and drink first to a false god.

Leviticus 11:47  NKJV     “to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten.’”

 

Ezekiel 4:13  NKJV     “Then the Lord said, “So shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, where I will drive them.”

 

Deuteronomy 32:37-38  NKJV     “He will say: ‘Where are their gods, The rock in which they sought refuge? Who ate the fat of their sacrifices, And drank the wine of their drink offering? Let them rise and help you, And be your refuge.”

               For Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego to eat the food first offered to idols would be a sign that they believed in those false gods. They decided not to make themselves impure  by eating the kings food, because they did not want to displease God.

Daniel 1:8  NKJV     “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”

             The four young men did not want to defile themselves, so Daniel asked Ashkenazy, the master of the eunuchs, for permission not to eat the king’s food. They wanted to eat the food that God had instructed them to.

Daniel 1:9-10  NKJV     “And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”

           Ashkenazy was afraid to allow the young men to eat something other than the food the king had ordered. He feared that the king would have him killed if Daniel and his friends looked worse than the other young men.

Daniel 1:11-13  NKJV     “So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.”

           Daniel was determined not to eat the king’s food, or drink his wine so, he asked the chief of the eunuchs to give them a test for ten days. For  these ten days they would eat only vegetables and drink water. After these ten days he could examine their appearance and compare it to the young men that eat the kings food and drink his wine.

Daniel 1:14  NKJV     “So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.”

             The steward granted Daniel and his friends a ten-day test. It is quiet possible that others made fun of them for not eating the same food, but they did what was right. They did not take into their bodies that which displeased God.

Daniel 1:15-16  NKJV     “And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.”

                After the ten-day period of time, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego passed the test. They were stronger and healthier than the young men that ate the kings food, and they were allowed to continue to eat vegetables.

Daniel 1:17  NKJV     “As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”

            Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego found favor with God because of their determination to obey Him and to keep themselves pure. God gave them knowledge and wisdom.  God also gave Daniel the ability to understand dreams and visions.

Daniel 1:18-19  NKJV     “Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, therefore they served before the king.”

               When the period of their preparation was complete all the young men were all brought before the king. The king interview each one of them and Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego’s wisdom was much superior. In fact, they were found to be ten times better. God honored the young men by allowing them to serve before the king.

Daniel 1:19-20  NKJV     “Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.”

               Daniel and his friends continued to serve in Babylon for many, many years. During this time God gave them more knowledge and wisdom than the kings magicians and astrologers.

Daniel 1:21  NKJV     “Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.”

               God honored David and his friends for their faithfulness.

 

Review

1. King Nebuchadnezzar instructed Ashkenazy to bring back strong, healthy, and intelligent young _____________ from the royal families in Jerusalem.

2. These young men were taught the Chaldean language and literature. How long did the training take?

 

3. The young men that were taken were given new Babylonian names. What were the names of four of these young men?

 

4. Why were the men given a new name?

 

5. The Jewish young men knew that _________had given specific dietary laws for His people to follow.

6. For Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego decided not to make themselves impure  by eating the kings food. Why?

 

7.  Daniel asked Ashkenazy for ________________________ not to eat the king’s food.

8. Why was Ashkenazy afraid to allow the young men to eat something other than the food the king had ordered?

 

9. After the ten-day period of time, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were stronger and __________________ than the young men that ate the kings food.

10. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego found favor with God because of their determination to __________ Him and to keep themselves pure.

11. How did God bless them for their faithfulness?

 

12. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego’s were found to be ____________ times wiser than the other young men.

 

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The Tortoise And The Hare – Keep On Going

tortos and hareThe Tortoise And The Hare – Keep On Going

Theme: Turtle and Rabbit

Memory Verse: Galatians 6:9

Bible Truth: We will be rewarded if we keep going and don’t give up.

1. Open in prayer

2. Introduction -What Is Perseverance?

     In Galatians, Paul uses the example of sowing and reaping to teach about perseverance. Perseverance is keeping on though the job is hard or discouraging without complaining or quitting. It is also going through hard times without grumbling or giving up.

Galatians 6:9 NKJV     “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

     God expects us to persevere in all that we go through, both individually and as a group. Sometimes we go through discouraging situations for extended periods of time, but if we don’t give up we will be rewarded. There is a season for everything, but we must wait for it no matter how slow the process seems.

3. Praise and Worship Songs

1. _________________________________________

2. _________________________________________

4. Memory Verse

Galatians 6:9 NKJV     “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

5. What Is Steadfast?

1 Corinthians 15:58  NKJV     “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

     We must remain steadfast. Steadfast means a firm purpose: loyal and unwavering; firmly fixed; not moving or changing. As a Christian must remain firm and constant in what we believe and be determined in what we do. Our steadfastness will be rewarded, in God’s time – not ours.

6. Game – The Tortoise And The Hare Memory Verse Relay Race

Need: a sign with the memory verse written on it.

Galatians 6:9 NKJV     “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Divide the group into two teams and have them line up in two rows. At the signal the first person on each team is to hop like a rabbit to the front. Stand up and say the memory verse, then crawl like a tortoise back to their team. The next person on their team will do the same thing. The team that finishes first is the winner.

7. Examples Of Steadfast People

The Bible gives us many examples of people who persevered, even in the face of opposition. Giving up was not on option to them. Noah, Job, Daniel, Joseph, Hannah, Nehemiah, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are all wonderful examples of people who remained steadfast in their faith, goals and dreams.

In our Christian walk we must remain steadfast and strive for the goal ahead of us.

Philippians 3:12-14  NKJV     “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize  of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

8. Game –  Persistence Relay Race

Need:  Two packages of seeds. Write the memory verse on two small pieces of paper and attach them to the packages of seeds and a poster board sign with the word “Persistent” written on it.

Galatians 6:9 NKJV     “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Divide the group into two teams. Line the two teams up in rows. Give a package of seeds to the first person on each team. At the signal the first person on each team is to run to the sign, say the memory verse, then run back to their team. The next person on the team will do the same thing. The team that finishes first is the winner.

9. Story – “The Story Of Tommy And Harry”

One bright and sunny day Tommy tortoise went for a walk. He enjoyed going for walks and looking at and listening to all the wonderful things that God had created.

After a short period Tommy slowed down to admire some very small flowers growing next to the path. The flowers were so delicate and they had a sweet smell that filtered out into the air.

“Slow poke!” shouted Harry the hare as he came up behind Tommy. “You’re so slow you’re blocking the path.”

“I’m sorry I was in your way, anyway I’m not that slow,” replied Tommy.

“If you got any slower the grass would grow up around you!” teased Harry. Harry was not a nice hare and he enjoyed making fun of others, especially Tommy. “You need to find another path and leave this path to the really fast.”

“You’re not as fast as you think you are,” replied Tommy. He did not like it when Harry made fun of him. It made him feel sad inside. All the sudden Tommy remembered what his Sunday school teacher had read from the Bible last week – “You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.” Before Tommy realized it he said, “I challenge you to a race! We’ll see who the slowest person is.”

“A race? You mean a race between you and me?” asked Harry. “Even my great-grandmother could go faster than you!”

“Are you afraid I might win?” asked Tommy.

By this time many of the animals in the meadow had come to see what was going on. They looked at Harry with questioning eyes. Was he going to accept Tommy’s challenge or not?

Harry knew what the crowd was thinking and he didn’t want them to think he was afraid of Tommy’s challenge to a race, so he quickly said, “I’m definitely not afraid that you might win! In fact, I know you will lose! Let the race begin!”

Standing close by was Sammy the squirrel who said, “I’ll help you with the race.” After going over the details of the race, the path it would take and where it would end, Sammy lined up Tommy and Harry. It was time for the big race to begin. Sammy held  his handkerchief high in the air. “On your mark, get set, GO!” yelled Sammy, as he brought his handkerchief down to his side.

The race was off. Harry was running as fast as he could go down the path. Tommy was walking his normal slow pace.

Harry looked back over his shoulder and he saw Tommy moving ever so slowly. It did not take long before Harry was way out of sight. Harry continued to run until he came to the farmer’s garden beside the path. When he looked at the garden he immediately thought of all the delicious, crisp vegetables growing in it. Then he remembered the race. “Tommy is so far behind he’ll never catch up,” said Harry to himself. “It would not hurt for me to stop and eat some of these scrumptious vegetables!” The carrots, Harry’s favorite food, were growing on the far side of the garden next to a wonderful shade tree. As fast as he could Harry made his way there. He ate, and ate, and ate. It wasn’t long before Harry began to feel sleepy, probably from eating so many carrots. Once again Harry said to himself, “Tommy is so far behind he’ll never catch up. I think I will take a nap under this shade tree.” As soon as Harry laid down He was fast asleep.

Meanwhile, Tommy continued with the task at hand. Ever so slowly Tommy walk on and on. Each step that Tommy took, no matter how small, brought him closer to the goal. As much as he like the flowers and the things growing along the path, he never stopped nor was he distracted. Even when he passed by other animals that teased him about being slow it did not discourage him or make him want to give up.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity to Tommy, he could see the finish line up ahead, just past the farmer’s garden. It had been a long day for Tommy as he journeyed toward the finish line. Thoughts of his Sunday school came back to his mind. All the things that the teacher had taught began to have a new meaning for Tommy. “I truly can do all things through Christ who gives me strength,” thought Tommy as he placed his foot over the finished line.

Harry was awakened from his sleep by the sounds of cheering. He jumped up and took off running as fast as his legs could go. As he rapidly approached the finish line his eyes caught a glimpse of Tommy, already there. “Oh no!”

When Harry arrived at the place where Tommy was standing he asked him, “How did you get here before me?”

“By not giving up or stopping.” replied Tommy.

Perseverance is always rewarded. It paid off for Tommy and it will us too.

10. Game – Memory Board Game

The Bible gives us many examples of people who persevered, even in the face of opposition. Giving up was not on option to them. Noah, Job, Daniel, Joseph and Nehemiah are all wonderful examples of people who remained steadfast in their faith, goals and dreams.

Need:  9 note cards with the following written on them.

2 cards with the name Noah written on them, 2 cards with the name Nehemiah written on them, 2 cards with the name Joseph written on them, 2 cards with the name Daniel written on them, and 1 card with the memory verse written on it.

Divide the group up into teams. The teams will take turns turning over two cards. If the cards match they will remove them and earn a point, if they do not match they will turn them back over. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

11. Worship Song  – _______________________________________

12. Challenge And Altar

Each of us must earnestly pursue our goal of heaven. We must persevere no matter how long, slow, hard or alone the journey may seem. In times of discouragement we should not complain or quit. The Holy Spirit will help us to not grumble or giving up, however we must admit that we need help and ask Him.

Revelation 3:10  NKJV     “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on earth.”

     Perseverance is always rewarded. Revelation 3:10 is a wonderful verse because it gives us an extraordinary promise from God. If we obey God’s commandment to persevere we will be greatly rewarded. For those that persevere God will remove them from earth (trough the rapture of the church) before He sends a time of testing to the earth (the Great Tribulation).

Sometimes, as a Christian, we may feel like we are moving at the pace of a turtle while those in the world seem to be moving at the speed of a rabbit. There is a children’s fable that teaches us a very good lesson about perseverance. The story “The Tortoise And The Hare” reminds us that we will be rewarded if we keep going and don’t give up.

Allow the children time to pray.

Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior, making heaven your home?

Are you following after God with all your heart?

Have you, or someone you know, given up on God’s promises?

Are you, or someone you know,  weary, discouraged, or tired?

God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us during these times.

13. Refreshments or a light meal 

14. Crafts

15. Dismissal

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