God’s Story: Daniel

(Narrator reads title)
(fun music plays) So part of God’s story is about a guy named Daniel,
and it goes like this: Daniel was a Jew,
which means he was part of God’s special family. But when he was a young man,
a king called Nebuchadnezzar, let’s call him Nezzar,
came in from the city of Babylon and took over. He chose the smartest, strongest,
most handsome Jewish men to leave their home
and come work for him in his palace. One of those young men was Daniel. Even though most people in Babylon didn’t follow God,
Daniel and his friends did. So they had to figure out how to obey God…
and serve the king. For starters, they had to go through a training program,
where they were fed royal food. The problem was, King Nezzar had also
offered that food to idols, or false gods. And since they followed God,
they wanted nothing to do with idols! (buzzer sound) So Daniel had an idea. He asked the chief of the king’s staff
if he and his friends could eat vegetables and water for ten days instead. If they got too weak or skinny,
they’d eat something else. Well, guess what? God made them even stronger than
the men who ate royal food! God gave Daniel extra understanding, too.
(ding!) In fact, a few years later,
the king had a nightmare. (snoring and gasp) Nobody knew what it meant.
-Crowd: Huh? Daniel told King Nezzar that he
would ask God to show him. -Crowd: Yeah!
God did. After that, King Nezzar adored Daniel! He even said God was pretty great,
which was a big deal, because the king didn’t even think
about God before that. But soon, he made it hard for
Daniel to follow God again. (low hum) That’s because the king built
a huge gold statue of himself… ninety feet tall!
(whoosh of winds) Anybody who didn’t bow down to it
would be thrown into a furnace. This time, Daniel’s friends
were the ones in trouble. Their names were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They told the king,
“The God whom we serve is able to save us. But even if he doesn’t, (buzzer sound)
we will never worship the gold statue you’ve set up.” So they got sent into the fire.
(fire crackling) Well, pretty soon, the king looked into the furnace
and noticed that there were four men… and they were walking around.
(footsteps) An angel of the Lord was protecting Daniel’s friends!
(fire continues crackling) They got out alive, and didn’t even smell like smoke. God didn’t stop them from getting punished,
but he did go through it with them. The king had never seen a god
who would rescue like that! Afterwards, King Nezzar didn’t mind
if Daniel and his friends worshiped God. But the king still worshiped idols, too. So God sent him another dream,
and Daniel told him what it meant: King Nezzar would live in a field and
eat grass like a cow for seven years. (mooing of cows) In other words, he’d go crazy until he realized
that God is the only one we should worship. Kids, God doesn’t want everybody
to worship whoever they want. He wants everybody to worship him. Anyway, Daniel kept working for other kings
of Babylon, even after King Nezzar. God continued to help him
understand dreams and visions. And even though he had to
give a lot of bad news, Daniel did excellent work, and
he was really well-liked by the kings. In fact, one king, named Darius,
liked Daniel so much that others got jealous. They tried to get Daniel in trouble. But they knew the only way to do that was
to make a law against God. They suggested that
everybody pray only to King Darius. That made the king feel important,
so he made it a law. Anybody who disobeyed
(lions roaring) would spend the night in a den of lions.
(growling) Daniel kept right on praying though. And when King Darius found out, he was sad…
he didn’t want to punish Daniel. But now it was the law. He said, “May your God,
whom you serve faithfully, rescue you.” And guess what? God did!
(Angels’ choir) He sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths. Daniel served four important kings,
and he followed God. But whenever it came down to obeying God
or the king, Daniel chose God every time. No matter what. And even though Daniel had to
do some really hard things, God was always with him. And THAT’s the story of Daniel. So in case you missed it, here’s the quick version:
(upbeat music starts) Daniel was taken to Babylon. He asked for vegetables. God made him strong. God gave Daniel understanding. Daniel’s friends obeyed God instead of the king. They got punished. God rescued them. Daniel understood more dreams. He was the king’s favorite. Others got jealous. Daniel obeyed God instead of the king. He got punished. God rescued him. Daniel served God no matter what. And THAT’s a part of God’s story.
(lion roarings) (music fades away)

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