This week in Antioch Kids, we will begin learning about the life of Daniel. God’s people had been warned by the prophets: “Turn from your sin, and turn back to God!” But the people did not listen. The nation of Judah was consumed by idol worship; the kings did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. So as warned, the people were taken from their land.
Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon, the strong and powerful nation that overtook Judah’s capital of Jerusalem and brought God’s people to Babylon. Daniel was a young man in Judah when this happened. He might have heard about the prophet Isaiah’s warnings; now he witnessed their fulfillment. (See Isa. 39:5-7.)
King Nebuchadnezzar called for the best young men from Judah to be trained for service in the palace. Among these teens were Daniel and three of his friends. The chosen boys were given new identities—new names, new education, new culture. But Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah stayed faithful to the one true God and refused to make themselves unclean by eating the king’s food, which was against the dietary laws of the Old Testament.
God blessed Daniel and his friends. Daniel’s obedience to God led to his favor with King Nebuchadnezzar, and Daniel’s life would be a testament to God’s control over all things. God remembered His people during the exile and promised to bring them back to their homeland and set up a new kingdom.
Daniel chose to obey God no matter what. Help your kids understand that obedience is not always easy, but we trust God to give us strength to obey Him. As you review this story, remind your child that:
- Daniel and his friends loved and obeyed God.
- It is not always easy to obey God–but it is always best to obey God.
- God helps us obey Him.
- How can we obey God? We trust God to help us obey Him.