“Unit 30: Day 1, Daniel 3–12,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 30: Day 1,” Old Testament Study Guide
The Lord miraculously delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace into which they had been cast for refusing to worship a golden image made by King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a great tree. Many years later, under King Belshazzar, Daniel interpreted divine writing on a wall concerning the conquering of the Babylonian kingdom. Daniel was cast into a den of lions for praying to God, and God delivered him from harm. Daniel saw visions of future events, including events in the last days.
- Copy the following chart in your scripture study journal. Write positive consequences and negative consequences that could result from each choice.
Not joining with your peers when they invite you to cheat on a school assignment.
Not adopting a popular fashion trend that goes against the Lord’s standards.
Walking out of a movie with inappropriate content.
Consider why you might make different choices if you first thought about the consequences of those choices. As you study Daniel 3, look for truths that can help you choose to obey the Lord, regardless of the consequences.
In Daniel 3:1–5, we read that King Nebuchadnezzar had a large golden image, or statue, made that was approximately 90 feet (27.4 meters) high and 9 feet (2.74 meters) wide. The king then gathered leaders from his kingdom for the dedication of the image. At the dedication, a command was announced that when music sounded, everyone was to fall down and worship the golden image.
Read Daniel 3:6–7, looking for what would happen to those who did not worship the golden image.
Read Daniel 3:13–15, looking for what King Nebuchadnezzar said to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Read Daniel 3:16–18, looking for how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego responded to the king’s offer to give them a second chance to worship the idol. Consider marking the statements that stand out to you.
It may help to know that the phrase “we are not careful to answer thee in this matter” in verse 16 could also be interpreted as “we have no need to discuss this matter” because they were completely resolved not to worship the image.
- Complete the following in your scripture study journal:
Summarize the response of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to the king in Daniel 3:16–18.
Answer the following question: What stands out to you about their faith in the Lord?
One truth we can learn from the example of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is that we show our faith in the Lord by choosing to obey Him regardless of the consequences.
Elder Dennis E. Simmons of the Seventy taught about how the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego relates to various situations in our lives in which we express our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His power:
“Our scriptures and our history are replete with accounts of God’s great men and women who believed that He would deliver them, but if not, they demonstrated that they would trust and be true.
“He has the power, but it’s our test.
“What does the Lord expect of us with respect to our challenges? He expects us to do all we can do. …
“We must have the same faith as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.
“Our God will deliver us from ridicule and persecution, but if not. … Our God will deliver us from sickness and disease, but if not. … He will deliver us from loneliness, depression, or fear, but if not. … Our God will deliver us from threats, accusations, and insecurity, but if not. … He will deliver us from death or impairment of loved ones, but if not, … we will trust in the Lord.
“… We will have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that if we do all we can do, we will, in His time and in His way, be delivered and receive all that He has” (“But If Not … ,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 74–75).
Ponder what you could do to develop this same kind of faith in the Lord.
Refer to the choices presented in the chart in assignment 1. Consider whether you would show your faith by making those righteous choices even when you might experience negative consequences, or “fiery furnaces.”
Read Daniel 3:19–20, looking for how King Nebuchadnezzar reacted to the response of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
If you were one of those three men, what might you have been thinking and feeling as you watched the furnace being heated?
Read Daniel 3:21–27, looking for what happened when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were cast into the furnace. You may want to mark what the king saw when he looked into the furnace.
It appears that Jehovah stood with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the furnace. From this experience we learn that if we choose to obey the Lord, He will be with us.
Remember that even though we choose to obey the Lord, it does not mean that He will always deliver us from the consequences resulting from the actions of others.
Think about some of the ways the Lord shows He is with those who obey Him.
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
When have you, or someone you know, shown faith in the Lord by choosing to obey Him regardless of the consequences?
How did the Lord show He was with you or the person you know?
Set a goal to be like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego by choosing to obey the Lord’s commandments regardless of the consequences.
Read Daniel 3:28–30, looking for the positive consequences that resulted from the faithful actions of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Daniel 4 records that Daniel interpreted another dream of King Nebuchadnezzar. The dream was a prophecy of the king’s removal from the throne and of his madness. A year later, while King Nebuchadnezzar was boasting of his accomplishments in his kingdom, the events in his dream began to be fulfilled. From the suffering Nebuchadnezzar experienced, he learned that the Lord is all-powerful and is able to humble the prideful (see Daniel 4:37).
More than 20 years after Nebuchadnezzar died, Belshazzar was the king in Babylon. In Daniel 5, we read that Belshazzar hosted a feast for leaders in the kingdom. The people mocked the Lord by drinking wine from vessels that had been taken from the temple in Jerusalem, and they praised their false gods. During the feast, a hand appeared and wrote on a wall in the king’s palace. Belshazzar was greatly troubled, and when others were unable to interpret the writing, he summoned Daniel. Daniel reproved Belshazzar for being prideful (see Daniel 5:22–23) and then interpreted the writing, which was a declaration that God had judged Belshazzar and that Babylon would be given to the Medes and the Persians. That night, Belshazzar was slain, and the Babylonian Empire was conquered. Darius the Mede was placed in command of Babylon.
Daniel 6 contains an account of Daniel’s refusal to obey an order forbidding petitions or supplications to anyone, God or man, other than King Darius. Daniel was cast into a den of lions for praying to God, and the Lord delivered Daniel from harm. As you read Daniel 6 as part of your personal study, notice what additional blessings came from Daniel’s faithfulness. The word princes in Daniel 6:1 may also refer to officials.
Much of Daniel 7–12 consists of descriptions of visions of future events that Daniel saw. For example, Daniel 7 records a vision representing different political kingdoms and evil that would be on the earth from Daniel’s time through the last days. He also saw a sacred event associated with the Savior’s Second Coming. Those who hold priesthood keys from all of the dispensations will gather in a council held in Adam-ondi-Ahman, in Missouri, and give an accounting of their stewardships to the “Ancient of days” (Daniel 7:9), who is Adam (see D&C 27:11; Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , 104). Adam will then give his report to Jesus Christ, whose people will recognize Him as their King (see Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection , 290–91).
Read Daniel 7:27, looking for who will reign with the Savior in His kingdom on earth after His Second Coming.
The title “saints” means “holy ones” and refers to faithful followers of the Lord. From this verse we learn that after the Second Coming, the Savior will reign on earth with His saints.
Daniel also saw the resurrection and judgment of many people (see Daniel 12:1–4).
- Based on what you have learned in your study of the book of Daniel, write a description in your scripture study journal of what it means to be continually faithful to the Lord. Include at least three specific characteristics and habits of those who are continually faithful to the Lord.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Daniel 3–12 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: