WHEN I STAND ALONE
Scripture: Daniel 6:1–28; Hebrews 13:5
Memory verse: Hebrews 13:5
"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Read the following case studies to the students and discuss them.
- Samuel is in sixth grade. One day his teacher gave his class a tough assignment. The teacher divided the class into groups of four and gave each group a different project.
The boys in Samuel’s group were somewhat rude. Though they came to church, they were not saved. Samuel’s group was to make a list of Bible verses that tell of God’s love. Samuel did not like the idea of doing a project with these three boys. He knew they did not know anything about the Bible, and they probably would not help him do the research. Either they would make fun of him or embarrass him in front of the other kids. He considered asking to do the project with a different group.
What would you do if you were Samuel? Should Samuel refuse to do the project with this group of boys since they might embarrass him in front of the other students? How should Samuel handle the situation and still be a Christian witness?
- Jacob is on his school’s football team. His team has planned a 2-day trip to play a match in the capital city. Jacob is a Christian, but the other boys on the team are not. Jacob knows if he goes on the trip, he risks being asked to do things he knows are wrong. Jacob wants to go on the trip, but he does not know how he will handle the pressure from the others to do wrong.
What would you do if you were Jacob? Should a Christian do activities with non-Christians? Should he go if he thinks he will give in to temptation?
Explain that we all feel alone sometimes, and it takes courage to do something when it seems no one is backing us up.
Discuss some people in the Bible who felt they stood alone, such as Elijah, and how they responded to their situations.
Hearing God’s Word
Daniel faced decisions similar in some ways to those Samuel and Jacob had. Let us see what he did. (Open your Bible to Daniel 6.)
Daniel’s home was Jerusalem in Judah. One day the armies of a land called Babylonia invaded Judah. Daniel and many others were taken away as their captives. The Babylonian king decided to educate and train some of the healthiest, most intelligent young men who had been captured. Daniel was chosen as one of them. He did well in his education and was promoted to a position as counsellor to the king.
Through the years Daniel continued to serve under each new king. Then one day the kingdom of Babylon was conquered by people from the lands of Media and Persia. They took over the kingdom, and King Darius took the throne.
The conquered Babylonian kingdom was so large that King Darius divided it into 120 provinces. Each province had a governor and these governors were accountable to three presidents. King Darius chose Daniel to be one of the three presidents. Each of the presidents was accountable to the king.
Daniel did such a good job that the king was considering placing him over the whole empire. The other two presidents and the 120 governors became jealous of Daniel. They plotted together to try to find something wrong with the way Daniel handled things so they could make the king dislike him. However, Daniel never did anything wrong. He was a hard worker and was loyal to the king.
Daniel was even more loyal to God; that was well known. He loved and obeyed God every day. He was so faithful to God that his enemies decided there was only one way they could trap him. They knew that even under penalty of death, Daniel would still be true to God.
The king liked Daniel very much. So the governors and presidents knew they had to trick King Darius in order to trap Daniel. Their plan was so sneaky the king did not suspect it was a plot against Daniel. First, they flattered the king. They told him how great he was. He was so great that a new law should be made. What was the proposed law? They told him there should be a new law that said no one could pray to any god or man, except the king, for the next 30 days.
These men were careful to include the punishment for disobeying this law—the guilty person would be thrown into the lions’ den! They encouraged the king to sign the law into action immediately. They knew once the law was signed, it could not be cancelled or changed for any reason. Even the king himself could not change it.
King Darius liked all this attention. He decided there was no reason why he should not sign the law; so he did.
Daniel had been in the foreign land of Babylon for many years, but he continued to worship the true God he had learned about in his home in Jerusalem. Three times every day Daniel opened his windows toward Jerusalem and prayed to God. Daniel did not worship the idols of the land as everyone else did. He was true to God.
Daniel knew about the law the king had signed. He knew about the punishment for breaking the new law. However, Daniel did not stop praying to God.
Ask: “What would you have done?” (Allow discussion.)
Ask: “Have you ever been really frightened? Do you think Daniel was afraid?” (Allow response.)
He might have been, but he knew staying true to God was most important. Daniel also knew what to do to help calm his fears. He kept praying. Praying and trusting God can change your whole outlook on life. Daniel knew what was right, and he did it.
We have reason to be afraid when evil comes against us. However, if we are on God’s side, we can overcome that fear. God loves us and will help us do the right thing.
Even though Daniel knew about the new law, he went home, opened his windows toward Jerusalem, and began to pray and thank God.
Daniel could have stopped praying for 30 days, or he could have prayed silently in bed at night. But Daniel loved God with all his heart. He prayed out loud as he always did, thanking God for His goodness. Daniel trusted God completely to take care of him.
Being a Christian means you cannot live a double life—living God’s way when you are around Christians and the world’s way when you are around unbelievers. Jesus commands His followers to serve Him boldly no matter who they are around. It is often easier to follow the crowd, but we must determine to stand for God and do what is right no matter how scary the situation is—just as Daniel did.
The presidents and governors knew what time Daniel usually prayed. They agreed ahead of time to check on him. Sure enough, they found Daniel praying. He did not let the crowd sway him.
The governors and presidents hurried to tell the king. They asked him if he remembered the new law. Yes, the king remembered and he knew it could not be changed. When the presidents and governors were sure the king remembered the law, they sprung their trap. “That fellow, Daniel, one of the Jewish captives, has paid no attention to your new law. He continues to pray to his God three times a day.”
The minute the king heard Daniel’s name, he realized what the governors and presidents had done. He was angry with himself for falling for their trap and signing the new law. The rest of the day, King Darius tried to figure out how he could rescue Daniel from the lion’s den.
That evening the presidents and governors came back. “It is no use trying,” they told the king. “You signed the law and it cannot be changed.” They were right—the law could not be changed. There was nothing the king could do. Daniel was arrested, and with a heavy heart, the king ordered him to be thrown into the lions’ den.
King Darius was awake all night, unable to sleep. Early the next morning the king hurried to the lion’s den and called out, “Daniel, has your God whom you serve continually been able to deliver you from the lions?”
God Gives Victory
From down in the bottom of the den an answer came back. “O 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, O king” (Daniel 6:21, 22).
The king was so excited and happy that Daniel was alive! He commanded that Daniel be freed from the den. Daniel had stood for God, even when it meant he had to face death. We can stand for God too.
Accepting God’s Word
Daniel stood alone for God, but he was never really alone. Anytime you stand for God, He is with you. (Say the memory verse together.) God will always do what is best. You cannot lose when you are on God’s side!
A Swahili-speaking pastor and I drove into the Kenya trading centre and was directed to the area chief’s office. He was absent, so we were received by his deputy chief, a Somali. A kind and professional man, he extended a welcome to his community. I explained that I had read about the Somali people and would like to visit one of their villages. He mentioned an area nearby and offered to arrange with the village elders for our visit. When we returned two hours later to the deputy chief's office, we were surprised to find that he planned to accompany us.
Arriving at the cluster of 88 houses, home to about 450 people, we were invited to sit in the shade of a large mango tree. Soon a group of some 40 men, women and children joined us, obviously pleased to receive visitors. The village elder welcomed us and introduced his wife and grandchild.
Following the one-hour visit, we returned with the deputy chief to the trading centre. I invited him to share a soft drink with us, and for the next 30 minutes we sipped Fanta orange sodas and discussed a wide range of subjects. The major discussion centred on the route Somalis used to enter the United States. During this amiable, pleasant time, a relational bond was established. Before we parted, the chief posed with me for a picture. I was amazed that he had given his afternoon to entertain us.
REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Somali Workers
1. Workers to earn a fair salary,
2. Learn to enjoy serving others,
3. Recognize that Jesus came to serve them by providing eternal life.
"The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).
Remember: WHEN I STAND ALONE
Memory verse: Hebrews 13:5
"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
1. I will stand firm in my faith at all times.
2. Persecution may come, but I will drop to my knees and pray.
3. Daniel was not alone in the lion's den. God will be with me too in my times of testing.
Pray for Somali workers.
Study 13 | Come Holy Spirit/Born Again | africaatts.org/go-teach