“Home-Study Lesson: Daniel 3–12; Hosea; Joel; Amos (Unit 30)” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)
“Unit 30,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual
Daniel was cast into a den of lions because he prayed to God, and God delivered him from harm.
Fill a glass jar (the size of a quart or liter) half full of rice or wheat. Place a small, lightweight ball (such as a table tennis ball) in the jar, and cover the jar with a lid. Hold up the jar and quickly turn it upside down so that the ball is on the bottom, covered by the grain. Tell students that the ball represents those who are faithful to the Lord and the rice or wheat represents opposition and challenges we might face because of our faithfulness.
Ask the students to think about opposition and challenges we might face for being faithful to the Lord.
Invite students to look for principles in Daniel 6 that can help them choose to be faithful to the Lord in any situation.
Remind students that Babylon was conquered by the Medes and the Persians, and Darius the Mede was made king over Babylon (see Daniel 5:28, 30–31).
Invite a student to read Daniel 6:1–3 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the position Daniel was given in the new government.
What position was Daniel given in the new government?
Why was Daniel preferred above the other leaders?
Summarize Daniel 6:4–5 by explaining that the other presidents and princes were jealous of Daniel, and they sought to find a charge of misconduct against him. Because of his faithfulness, they were unable to find any fault against him. They realized they would need to use Daniel’s commitment to obeying God against him.
Invite a student to read Daniel 6:6–9 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what these other leaders did to try to create a dilemma for Daniel.
What was the decree that the other leaders convinced Darius to establish? (You may need to explain that a “petition” [verse 7] is a prayer or earnest request.)
What problem did this decree create for Daniel?
Ask students to consider what they would have done if they were in Daniel’s situation. Invite a student to read Daniel 6:10 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how Daniel responded to this decree.
What did Daniel do that indicates he was not afraid to be seen or heard obeying the Lord instead of the king’s decree?
How would Daniel have been unfaithful to the Lord if he had obeyed the king’s decree?
Summarize Daniel 6:11–13 by explaining that the other leaders found Daniel praying and told Darius. Invite a student to read Daniel 6:14–17 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the king did when he learned about Daniel’s defiance of the decree.
Before casting Daniel into the lions’ den, what did King Darius say to him? (You might suggest that students mark the phrase “thy God whom thou servest continually” [Daniel 6:16].)
Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Daniel 6:18–23. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what happened to Daniel.
What did the Lord do to deliver Daniel from the lions’ den?
Display the picture Daniel in the Lions’ Den (Gospel Art Book , no. 26; see also LDS.org). Show the jar from the beginning of the lesson, and shake it so that the ball rises to the top. Ask students how this relates to what the Lord did for Daniel.
What principle can we learn from Daniel’s example? (Students may identify several principles, but make sure it is clear that if we are continually faithful to the Lord, He will help us through challenges we may experience as a result of our faithfulness. Write this principle on the board.)
Based on what you have learned in your study of the book of Daniel, what do you think it means to be continually faithful to the Lord? (You may want to refer students to the responses they wrote to a similar question in assignment 4 in the day 1 lesson.)
Invite a student to draw four lions on the board. While the student is drawing, read aloud each of the following faithful actions, and ask the class to name different “lions,” or difficult situations, that someone might be threatened with for choosing to act in that faithful way. (You may want the student drawing the lions to label each one with the types of opposition or challenges the students name.)
Why would we choose to be faithful to the Lord if we knew we might experience some of these challenges as a result?
When has the Lord helped you or someone you know through a challenge that came as a result of being faithful to Him?
Encourage students to be faithful to the Lord when they experience opposition and challenges as a result of being faithful. Testify that as they are faithful, the Lord will help them.
Summarize Daniel 6:24 by explaining that those who accused Daniel and tricked Darius were thrown into the lions’ den with their families.
Invite a student to read Daniel 6:25–28 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the new decree that Darius made. Ask students to report what they find.
Who was affected by Daniel’s fearless decision to obey the Lord?
What can happen if we are not afraid to show our obedience to the Lord? (Students may use different words, but make sure it is clear that if we are not afraid to show our obedience to the Lord, we can help others believe in Him. You might suggest that students write this principle in the margin of their scriptures next to Daniel 6:25–28.)
How can seeing someone’s obedience to the Lord help others believe in Him?
When has your belief in the Lord, or the belief of someone you know, been strengthened because of another person’s example of obedience to Him?
To conclude this lesson, share your testimony of the blessings of being continually faithful to God, even in difficult situations.
Explain that students will learn how they can be “saviours … on mount Zion” (Obadiah 1:21) to others. Ask students if they have ever had difficulty believing that someone could repent and change and be forgiven by the Lord. Explain that in the next unit they will study an experience of Jonah, who faced a similar challenge and learned important truths about the Lord in the process. Students will also read about more prophecies of events associated with the Second Coming.