TiO 15 – The Story – Daniel in Exile (Chapter 18)
The Main Idea
Now that Judah has been exiled to Babylon, the centre of the action, at least for a while, has been moved there. In chapter 18 we see the stories of four men, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. In these stories we see faithfulness: the faithfulness of four young men in a foreign land and the faithfulness of God.
Warm Up Questions: (Choose 1 or 2)
Q1: Have you ever lived (not just visited) in a place where you knew few people and where you were unfamiliar with geography and/or customs? Tell that story.
Q2: Can you think of someone in your life who was faithful to you even when you were not faithful in return? Tell that story if you are able.
Q3: How have your views of Bible stories changed since you were a child? Did you find that the stories in chapter 18 sounded or felt different than those same stories when you heard them in Sunday School?
God is faithful to us and we are called to be faithful to him. However, while God’s faithfulness to us is often used as a reason for us to be faithful to him, we are never told to “keep obeying as long as it seems God is blessing you.” Instead, we are simply called to obey despite the circumstances we find ourselves in. We are to say, as the three men in the furnace did, “God is able to deliver us … but even if he does not … we will not serve your gods.”
Q1: How do you feel when your faithfulness to God is not rewarded with blessing?
Q2: What has God actually promised us, in terms of blessing?
Faithfulness is hard, especially when we do not see immediate (or any) good result of being faithful to God. But, we are called to declare our allegiance to God with words (“we will not bow”) and with actions (Daniel prayed for all to see).
Pray for increased faithfulness to listen to God and to do what he asks of you.