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Daniel

Narrator, Daniel, Belshazzar, Queen Mother. 

(have the words ‘number, number, weight, division’ printed on a card & a picture of a hand looking like it just finished writing the words.)

Narrator: Daniel lived to an old age. After King Nebuchadnezzar died his sons and grandsons became rulers together. Daniel still lived at the Royal Court, but he didn’t have any active role with King Belshazzar who ruled in Babylon. One night Belshazzar held a banquet for a thousand of his nobles and their wives. They ate and drank and the party grew noisier and noisier.

Belshazzar: Send for the golden cups and plates from the Temple. They are treasures carried off from the Jewish temple many years ago – we might as well enjoy using them ourselves. Let’s drink from them.

Narrator: So the servants fetched the sacred cups and plates used in temple worship. Belshazzar had them filled with wine and gave them to his guests.

Belshazzar: Drink health to our gods and goddesses. Praise the gold and silver idols ad the ones made of iron, wood and stone. Drink good health to them.

Narrator: And so the king and his guests became very drunk and very noisy. Suddenly King Belshazzar stopped dead. His trembling finger pointed to the white plaster wall in front of him and everyone turned to look.

* have a leader hold up card

Belshazzar: Look! Can you see that? It’s a human hand and it’s writing some words on the wall. Bring my magicians, wizards and advisors. Quickly! Quickly!

Narrator: The servants hurried away to bring the kings advisors to him.

Belshazzar: Anyone who can read and explain these words on the wall will be richly rewarded. I will give him purple robes, gold chains and make him very important in the kingdom. Only tell me the meaning. 

Narrator: But all the advisors and magicians shook their heads. They couldn’t read this writing. Some servants took the news to the kings mother – she was old now, but she was formerly King Nebuchadnezzar’s wife. She went to see Belshazzar.

Queen Mother: Belshazzar. Do not be so distressed and frightened. I hear you have need of a very wise man.

Belshazzar: Yes mother. There is this writing on the wall. It was written by only a hand. It was terrifying. I need to know what it says but no-one can tell me.

Queen Mother: Well, you have an old man who still lives in the Royal Court. His name is Daniel. In your father’s time he could interpret dreams. He worships the Supreme God, and this God knows everything. Call for Daniel and he will tell you what this writing means.

Belshazzar: Servants! Call Daniel. Bring him to me quickly.

Narrator: Daniel was sent for at once. And he came to the king.

Belshazzar: Are you Daniel, captured by my father and brought to Babylon from Jerusalem? I have heard the spirits of the gods are in you and that you can tell me the meaning of this writing on the wall. If you tell me I will give you many gifts and great honour.

Daniel: Keep your gifts, or give them to someone else – I don’t want them. But I will read and explain the writing to you. The Supreme God has sent you a message tonight. You have not listened to him before, even though you could have learned about his greatness from your father King Nebuchadnezzar. Instead you have acted against God by bringing the cups from the temple to use at your drunken party. You praised the idols made of gold, silver, iron, wood and stone – idols that cannot see or hear and don’t know anything. But you neglected the God who made you. who made the world and who controls everything. So he has sent you these words.

Belshazzar: Yes, Yes. But what do the words say Daniel?

Daniel: They say – number, number, weight, division. 
- Number means that God has numbered the days of your rule. Your empire is at an end.
- Weight means that you have been weighed in God’s scales and you do not meet his standards.
- Division means that your empire is going to be divided between the Medes and the Persians.

Belshazzar: Yes, I believe you speak truth Daniel. What can I do. I am going to lose my kingdom. How foolish I have been. Servants! Reward Daniel with purple robes and gold chains. He will be my main advisor.

Narrator: But while Belshazzar was ordering the servants to give rewards to Daniel, the enemy army was already making their way into the city of Babylon. Babylon had huge walls to keep the enemy out. But the enemy dammed up the river that ran through the city. Then they walked along the dried up river bed under the walls. They killed Belshazzar, but not Daniel. King Darius took over the throne.

Lesson: Like the king being weighed in Gods scales, we all have to be judged by God one day. He will look for 2 things:

Have we had our sins forgiven? 

How we serve God. Are we kind, helpful, obedient to God and parents. Do we get to know God better by reading our Bible, praying and living in a way that pleases God? 

That’s what we should try to do.

Dreams

Narrator, King, Daniel, 3 friends, 2 advisors, Arioch

Narrator: Daniel and his 3 friends Shadrach. Meshach & Abednego, were captives in Babylon. They had been trained to become advisors to King Nebuchadnezzar and they had topped the class. In fact, they were found to be wiser and more knowledgeable than any of the kings own advisors, so they were chosen to live at the royal court. One day when Daniel and his friends were away….

King Nebuchadnezzar: My advisors! Where are you? Come to me quickly!

Advisor 1: Yes your Majesty. Here we are.

Advisor 2: What can we do Sire?

King Nebuchadnezzar: I’m worried. I had a dream last night. I couldn’t sleep and I want to know what my dream means.

Advisor 1: May your majesty live forever. 

Advisor 2: Tell us your dream Sire, and we will explain it to you. 

King Nebuchadnezzar: No! You must tell me my dream and then explain it. I’m not sure I trust you. If you are so clever, then tell me the dream first!

Advisor 1: But your majesty – no-one can do that. You must tell us the dream first – then we will explain it.

King Nebuchadnezzar: I’ll tear you limb from limb if you don’t tell me my dream – and I will reward you with many gifts and great honour if you do tell me. Now, what was my dream and what does it mean?

Advisor 2: But no-one can do this Sire. No king has ever made such a demand before. What your majesty asks, only the gods can do – no human can.

King Nebuchadnezzar: Execute them! Execute all my advisors. ALL of them!

Narrator: So the advisors were taken away to prepare for their execution. Meanwhile the king’s bodyguard came to see Daniel.

Arioch: Hello Daniel. Are you ready to die?

Daniel: What is the meaning of all this? Why has the king issued such an order?

Arioch: Well, King Nebuchadnezzar wanted to know the meaning of a dream he had. He also insisted his advisors tell him the dream first – and then the meaning of it. 

Daniel: I see.

Arioch: And as that is impossible to do, you will all be executed.

Daniel: I will see what can be done.

Narrator: So Daniel went at once to ask an audience of the king. 

King Nebuchadnezzar: Ho, Daniel. What do you want? You have not long to live.

Daniel: Your majesty, please give me time to tell you what the dream means. 

King Nebuchadnezzar: Ha! Do you think you are better then the other advisors? 

Daniel: I wasn’t here yesterday Sire. I have only just heard about this today. I just ask you to delay the executions one more day.

King Nebuchadnezzar: Very well. I will await your answer in the morning. No longer.

Narrator: Daniel hurried away to find his 3 friends. 

Daniel: Pray earnestly to God. Ask for His mercy, and for Him to tell me what the dream was about and what it means, so we may live.

3 Friends: Surely we will. (go and kneel down and pray)

Narrator: That same night Daniel had a vision- he saw what King Nebuchadnezzar had seen. And God gave him the meaning of it as well. 

Daniel: My friends, God has revealed to me the dream that the king had. He has given me the dream and its meaning. Praise be to God who knows all things. He has told me what to tell the king. Arioch! Arioch!

Arioch: Yes Daniel?

Daniel: Don’t put the advisors to death. Take me to the king. I can tell him about his dream.

Narrator: So Arioch led Daniel off to see King Nebuchadnezzar.

(Next week we will learn about the Kings dream)

Lesson: Trust in the Lord.
Daniel loved God and he knew God could give him the answers, as God knows everything. So Daniel prayed to God and then waited for God to answer. Even if God had not given Daniel the answer and they were killed, Daniel still would trust God.
God has plans for each one of us, but He can only use that plan if we will trust and obey Him.

Daniel and the Lions Den

Narrator: Advisor 1, Advisor 2, Daniel, King Darius

Narrator: King Darius, king of the mighty Medes and Persians, needed someone to be the chief advisor in Babylon. He chose Daniel, whom he knew to be brave, wise, and honest. The other advisors were angry. They couldn’t believe that a foreigner had been chose over them! Daniel was an old man now and many of them didn’t know of the high position Daniel had held with the other kings. So they worked out a trap to catch Daniel.

Advisor 1: What are we going to do? We can’t let Daniel get such an important job.

Advisor 2: We’ll just have to get rid of him then! Let’s go to King Darius and get him to make a law that will make Daniel do something wrong.

Advisor 1: Yes, but what sort of law should we suggest……I know, something to do with Daniel’s religion and his God.

Advisor 2: Yes! That is a great idea! But how do we get King Darius to agree. Hmmmm. 

Advisor 1: I know! The King has a lot of power. And he enjoys it. Lets’ suggest that all people have to worship him for 30 days. He thinks he is so great he won’t realize it’s a trap for Daniel.

Advisor 2: Yes that just might work. Let’s go!

Narrator: The Medes and Persians worshipped many gods, but Daniel worshipped only the God of Israel, the one true God. The jealous rulers knew that Daniel prayed often to his God. So, with fast-beating hearts, the rulers went to the king.

Advisor 1 & 2: O King, live forever!

Advisor 1: All the rulers have agreed you should make a law saying that for thirty days no one should pray to any god or man except you, because you are such a great king. 

Advisor 2: And if anyone disobeys the law, they should be thrown to the lions.

King Darius: Oh, what a nice thing to suggest. My advisors must surely think I am a great king if they want this law. Of course, I am a pretty good king. Yes, I like that idea. 

Advisor 1: This law should be written down immediately!

King Darius: (Nodding head) Very well, I will write it down.

Narrator: Happily the rulers watched King Darius write down the law. They knew that once a law of the Medes and Persians was written down, it could never be changed. The law was then told to everyone in the land. As soon as Daniel heard it, he knew it was a trap set for him. He must either give up his daily prayers to God, or be thrown to the lions.

Daniel: What am I going to do? I can save my life by not praying to God for thirty days…I could save my life by praying secretly in my head…. I know I could find a hiding place and pray there! But that would not be honouring to God whom I love and serve. Oh God, you know this situation. I will continue to pray to you as I always have. I commit my life to your care.

Narrator: So Daniel went into his house. Upstairs he went, to the front room where he always prayed. He opened the window which faced towards Jerusalem, his own country far away. Then he got down on his knees as he always did and prayed to God to help him with this problem. Daniel did not try and hide his prayer, but prayed just like he had always done before the new law was made.

Advisor 1: Look! Daniel is there ­ in the window. He appears to be praying, just like usual.

Advisor 2: Yes, our plan has worked! Quick, let’s go and tell the King.

Advisor 1: King Darius, live forever. Did you not make a law saying that anyone who prayed to any god or man except you for the next thirty days should be thrown to the lions?

King Darius: Yes, I did. You were the ones who suggested that I make such a law.

Advisor 2: Well, Daniel, who is one of the Jews captured and brought to Babylon years ago, takes no notice of your law. He still is praying to his God three times a day!

King Darius: (putting his head in his hand) How did this happen! I have been tricked. I must find some way to change the law. Daniel is one of my favorite leaders! I must put an end to this law.

Narrator: All day King Darius tried to find a way to help Daniel, but it was no use. King Darius himself had written the law down, and it could not be changed.

Advisor 1: King, it is now evening and you must decide what to do about Daniel. You must carry out the law as you wrote it.

Advisor 2: Yes, Daniel must be punished to show others he has broken your law. He must be taken to the lions’ den.

King Darius: I have no choice. Daniel is to be brought to the lions’ den.

Narrator: So Daniel was brought to the edge of the lions’ den. The hungry lions paced backwards and forwards, roaring. Bravely, Daniel waited. Then the men threw him in.

King Darius: Daniel, may the God to whom you are so faithful save you!

Narrator: Then, hardly able to watch, Darius had the huge stone rolled into place over the entrance to the den. Then King Darius had to seal the stone with his own ring, so that everyone would know if the stone had been moved in a rescue attempt. Then King Darius went back to the palace.

King Darius: I cannot sleep or eat. I am so worried about Daniel. What have I done!

Narrator: All night the king paced his room and at the first sign of morning, he hurried back to the lions’ den.
But he stopped just before he got there. What would he see? Had his friend been torn to pieces? Fearfully, he called out….

King Darius: Daniel! Has your God saved you?

Daniel: O King, live forever! I am safe. God sent an angel to shut the lion’s mouths and they have not harmed me.

King Darius: (Speaking to the rulers) I order you to get Daniel out!

Advisor 1: What! He isn’t dead?

Advisor 2: How can this be?

Narrator: The men who had thrown Daniel into the den now lifted him out. Sure enough, he was completely untouched by the lions. After a joyful greeting, King Darius issued another order….

King Darius: You rulers there! You have accused Daniel and now I accuse you. You tried to kill an honest and great man by trickery. You shall be thrown into the lions’ den!

Advisors 1 & 2: No……

Narrator: And so the rulers who had tried to trick Daniel and the King were themselves thrown into the lions’ den. Even before they touched the floor of the den, the lions sprang on them and tore them to pieces.

King Darius: Tell all the people in my kingdom I have a new law. I command that everyone should respect Daniel’s God. For this God is truly great, and will last forever.

Lesson: In all circumstances we should continue to give God honour if we are Christians. Let God deal with the problem, and continue to trust Him. 

King Madness

Narrator, King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, Angel, Arioch, Herald, God’s voice

Have a cardboard cut-out of a tree – in 2 pieces – the main tree and the stump. Start with them fitted together. Have some pictures of fruit, birds & animals to blu-tack or velcro on. Place appropriate pieces on as you relate the story.

Narrator: King Nebuchadnezzar was amazed at Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego’s God and how great he was. He sent a message out to all nations of the world saying….

Herald: Greetings from King Nebuchadnezzar. Listen to his account of the wonders and miracles which the Supreme God has shown to him… 
How great are the wonders God shows us
How wonderful are the miracles he performs
God will be king forever
He will rule for all time.

Narrator: King Nebuchadnezzar was feeling pleased with himself. Everything he did was a great success and he was very happy. But one day…

King Nebuchadnezzar: Arioch. Come here. 

Arioch: Yes your majesty. 

King Nebuchadnezzar: I have had a frightening and terrifying dream. Order all my advisors and magicians to come to me. I want to tell them my dream.

Narrator: So all the fortune-tellers, magicians and advisors were brought to the king. He told them his dream, but they couldn’t explain it to the king. 

King Nebuchadnezzar: Hmmm. What am I to do? I feel this dream has a special meaning for me. 

Arioch: Your Majesty. Daniel is here to see you.

King Nebuchadnezzar: Daniel. Yes of course. He is the one I need. You have come for something else – but I have need of you. Daniel, your God explains things to you. I will tell you of a dream I had and then you can explain to me what it means. 
I saw a big tree that kept growing and growing until it reached the sky. Everyone in the world could see it and enjoy its good fruit – wild animals sat in its shade – birds built nests in its branches. 
Then suddenly an angel flew down. 

Angel: Cut down the tree. Chop off its branches. Strip its leaves and scatter its fruit. 

King Nebuchadnezzar: And so the angel left only the stump of the tree behind. Then the angel changed into a man.

Angel: This man will live in the open like an animal. His mind will become like and animals too. He will live outside amongst the plants and animals. This will be done so all people everywhere will know that the Supreme God has power over all kingdoms and will give them to anyone he chooses. 

King Nebuchadnezzar: And that was my dream Daniel. Now tell me what it means.

Narrator; But Daniel was so upset he couldn’t say anything. 

King Nebuchadnezzar: Don’t be worried Daniel. You must tell me what it is about.

Daniel: Your Majesty. How I wish the dream was not meant for you – but it is. You are that tree, Sire- Strong and tall, giving food and protection to all people. But you have grown so great that one day you will forget that God is above all, so He will take away your power. You will become mad. You will be driven away from humans and become like a wild animal. For 7 years you will be like this – until you turn back to God. Then He will restore you to your throne again. Please be warned your majesty and stop sinning, do what is right and look after the poor. Then this disaster won’t happen. 

Narrator: But King Nebuchadnezzar forgot Daniels warning. One year later the king was walking on the roof of his palace looking down on the magnificent city of Babylon.

King Nebuchadnezzar: What a wonderful city I have built. This is all my own work. It shows how great and powerful I am, and displays my own glory and majesty.

God’s Voice: King Nebuchadnezzar! Listen to what I say. Your royal power is now taken from you. You will eat grass like a cow and live with wild animals fro 7 years, until you acknowledge that I am the Supreme God and have all power.

Narrator: Suddenly, God’s words came true. A type of madness came upon 
King Nebuchadnezzar. His officials were terrified and didn’t know what to do – but Daniel did. King Nebuchadnezzar was taken out to some park area and he lived there for 7 years. His hair grew long and so did his nails – they became like claws. And he ate grass like the cows. Probably Daniel helped look after him – and probably Daniel ruled his kingdom for him for those 7 years. 
Then one day the King’s senses came back…

King Nebuchadnezzar: God. The Supreme and only God. I give you glory and honour. You are the only one who lives forever. Thank-you for giving me back my understanding. I praise, honour and glorify you, the king of heaven.

Narrator: And so, the king came back inside the palace. His madness had gone. He realised that he was not all-powerful – only God was. And he became an even better king than before.

Lesson: God has ALL power. We should give our worship to God only.

Nebuchadnezzar

Narrator, Arioch, King, Daniel

( have a large card and ‘parts of a body’ – gold head, silver chest, bronze rest of body, grey/iron legs, charcoal feet – have a leader place them onto the card as the dream is told.)

Narrator: King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. He wanted his advisors to tell him the dream first, and then tell him what the dream meant. Daniel prayed to God, and God showed Daniel the dream and the meaning of it. Now Daniel was off to see the king.

Daniel: OK Aricoh, lead on. I have something to tell the king.

Arioch: Well, I sure hope you can tell him what he wants to know. I like you Daniel and would be sorry to have to kill you.

Daniel: I would be too Arioch.

Arioch: Your Majesty – here is your advisor Daniel. He can tell your Majesty the meaning of your dream.

King: I have given you another day – are you able to tell me my dream and what it means? Otherwise you will die.

Daniel: Your Majesty. There is no wizard, magician or fortune-teller who can tell you that. But there is a God in Heaven who reveals mysteries. He has made it plain. Now I will tell you the dream you had. Your dream was about the future. God has told me it’s meaning, not because I am wiser than anyone else, but so that he could let you know what is going to happen. 
In your dream you saw a giant sized statue of a man, bright and shining. Its head was made of gold. Down to the waist it was of silver, and below the waist it was made of bronze. The legs were iron and the feet were of iron mixed with clay. 

King Nebuchadnezzar: Yes, yes, that’s correct. How amazing. Carry on Daniel.

Daniel: As you were gazing at the statue, a great stone broke off the cliff, without anyone touching it. It collided with the feet of the statue and broke them to pieces. Then the whole statue crumbled into dust. But the stone began to grow and grow until it was big enough to fill the whole world. 

King Nebuchadnezzar: Yes, Yes, that’s so right. That was my dream. But can you explain it Daniel?

Daniel: The statue represents the great empires of the world. You your majesty are the head of gold, and your empire is the greatest and most splendid of all. Other empires will rule the world, but none as magnificent as you. None will last forever though.
The unimportant looking stone, that grew bigger and bigger and destroyed the statue, is the empire that God will one day set up. One day in the future, God is going to put His king on the earth. His kingdom will never come to an end but will grow bigger and bigger to fill the whole earth. 

King Nebuchadnezzar: Your God is very great and wonderful Daniel. He deserves worship and praise. I know this because you have been able to tell me my dream and its meaning. 

Narrator: Then the king made Daniel chief of all his advisors. He gave Daniels 3 friends important jobs in different parts of the empire. But Daniel stayed at the royal court. 

WORLD EMPIRES: 
There were Rulers that did rule the whole of the known world. What the statue was made from showed the magnificence, power and wealth of their kingdom.

Head of Gold – Babylon The head represents the single strong nation who would rule and it would not be broken up when it was defeated. That was King Nebuchadnezzar and he ruled for 70 years.
Chest and Arms of Silver - Medo-Persia The Medes and Persians next conquered Babylon, and King Cyrus allowed the Jews to go home. He made arrangements to have the temple rebuilt. But the known world was still ruled by these kings who ruled for 208 years.

Belly and Thighs (Hips) of Brass or Bronze - Greece The Greeks under the leadership of Alexander the Great were the third conquerors. He and others who followed Alexander ruled for 163 years over the world.
Legs of Iron - Rome (168 BC - 476 AD) After them were the Romans who ruled the world for nearly 650 years. They had Ceasars instead of kings. They were very powerful and cruel, but no where near as wealthy.
Feet of Iron and Clay – Europe Since the Roman times, most countries and continents are ruled separately. The British had an Empire, but it was only a part of the world. So did France and Spain, but they didn’t have absolute power as these others did.
But there is still a world power to come – this is represented by the feet of iron and clay. It seems it will be a world rule but with 10 rulers working together. 
Lesson: Even though Daniel is in a foreign country, he is faithful at serving the king. But he never forgets God. In fact Daniel is always praying regularly and trusting in God. He asks God for help so he can serve his king well. 
I think a good lesson here for us is that we should pray regularly to God, and trust him in all things, even when we don’t think things are going like we want. God looked after Daniel and He will look after you too if you put your trust in Him.

Prisoner in Babylon

Here are a series of simple devotion dramas telling the story of Daniel. Adapt the lesson at the end to suit. Use some simple clothing to show the different characters and have fun.

Narrator, Daniel, 3 friends, King Nebuchadnezzar, Ashpenaz, Guard

Narrator: When King Nebuchadnezzar first marched into Jerusalem, he arrested King Jehoiakim, and took some of the treasures from the Temple back to Babylon. Something else King Nebuchadnezzar took too – he captured many prisoners. They were all carted away from their own country to a place called Babylon – thousands of kilometres away.
When the king got back to Babylon again after this time of war, he called for his chief official Ashpenaz to come and see him.

Ashpenaz: Yes your Majesty – how can I serve you?

King Nebuchadnezzar: I want you to look over all the prisoners. Choose from those who have royal or noble blood, ones that can be trained to serve in my royal court. Look for those that are handsome and fit. I want no physical defects.

Ashpenaz: Yes your Majesty.

King Nebuchadnezzar: Also they must be intelligent and quick to learn. I want them to become Babylonian citizens and serve me well. You know what to do.

Ashpenaz: It shall be done as you say your Majesty.

Narrator: So Ashpenaz went and looked over the young men who had been captured. He chose Daniel and 3 of his friends as well as some others. 

Ashpenaz: You men are going to be taught to read and write in our Babylonian language. You will also learn our history, some philosophy, to study the stars and our literature. If you qualify well you will be chosen to become advisors at the royal court. There will be 3 years of this study and training. 

Daniel: Thank-you. We will do our best.

Ashpenaz: Also the King has given orders that you are to eat the same food and wine as he eats. It is a real privilege as the meat is offered to the gods before it is given to the king.

Daniel: Could I have a quiet word with my friends?

Ashpenaz: Certainly, if you are quick.

Daniel: This royal food is offered to idols. God will not be pleased with this. I would like to ask for plain vegetables and water to drink instead. Do you agree?

Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego: Yes, we agree with you. 

Daniel: Ashpenaz, we need your help. We don’t want the king’s food. It has been offered to idols and that is against our belief. We want only plain vegetables to eat and water to drink.

Ashpenaz: But if you don’t eat well, you won’t look healthy, and then the king will be angry with me. He will blame me and then maybe kill me. Sorry, I can’t do this.

Narrator: So Daniel and his friends talked to the guard who had been put in charge of watching over them. 

Daniel: Would you let us eat just the vegetables and give us only water to drink? You can eat the meat – we don’t want it as it has been placed before idols.

Guard: Well, what say you get sick because you don’t have the meat? I will be in trouble then.

Daniel: Give us a trial. 

Shadrach: See how we look after 10 days.

Meshach: If we look sick then we will eat it all.

Abednego: Base your decision on how we look compared to the other students.

Guard: OK then. I will enjoy eating the meat and drinking the wine myself. 

Narrator: So this is what happened. And after 10 days Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego all looked healthier, stronger and more energetic than the other students.
So they continued with their simple food and stayed loyal to God. In return, God gave the four young men knowledge and skill in literature and philosophy. They learned the Babylonian language well and they were the top students. God also gave Daniel the gift of understanding dreams. At the end of 3 years all the students appeared before King Nebuchadnezzar. He wanted to know how much each one knew and if there were any especially gifted men worthy of serving him as his advisors.
After questioning them all, the king realised that Daniel and his 3 friends knew 10 times more that any other advisor in his kingdom.
King Nebuchadnezzar was impressed.

Lesson: To do what you believe is right, no matter how hard it is. And to be faithful to God.
Daniel and his friends didn’t want to eat food offered to idols as they felt this would be dishonouring to God. They kept worshipping God and God blessed them for their faithfulness. 

Writing on the Wall

Narrator, Daniel, Belshazzar, Queen Mother. 

(have the words ‘number, number, weight, division’ printed on a card & a picture of a hand looking like it just finished writing the words.)

Narrator: Daniel lived to an old age. After King Nebuchadnezzar died his sons and grandsons became rulers together. Daniel still lived at the Royal Court, but he didn’t have any active role with King Belshazzar who ruled in Babylon. One night Belshazzar held a banquet for a thousand of his nobles and their wives. They ate and drank and the party grew noisier and noisier.

Belshazzar: Send for the golden cups and plates from the Temple. They are treasures carried off from the Jewish temple many years ago – we might as well enjoy using them ourselves. Let’s drink from them.

Narrator: So the servants fetched the sacred cups and plates used in temple worship. Belshazzar had them filled with wine and gave them to his guests.

Belshazzar: Drink health to our gods and goddesses. Praise the gold and silver idols ad the ones made of iron, wood and stone. Drink good health to them.

Narrator: And so the king and his guests became very drunk and very noisy. Suddenly King Belshazzar stopped dead. His trembling finger pointed to the white plaster wall in front of him and everyone turned to look.

* have a leader hold up card

Belshazzar: Look! Can you see that? It’s a human hand and it’s writing some words on the wall. Bring my magicians, wizards and advisors. Quickly! Quickly!

Narrator: The servants hurried away to bring the kings advisors to him.

Belshazzar: Anyone who can read and explain these words on the wall will be richly rewarded. I will give him purple robes, gold chains and make him very important in the kingdom. Only tell me the meaning. 

Narrator: But all the advisors and magicians shook their heads. They couldn’t read this writing. Some servants took the news to the kings mother – she was old now, but she was formerly King Nebuchadnezzar’s wife. She went to see Belshazzar.

Queen Mother: Belshazzar. Do not be so distressed and frightened. I hear you have need of a very wise man.

Belshazzar: Yes mother. There is this writing on the wall. It was written by only a hand. It was terrifying. I need to know what it says but no-one can tell me.

Queen Mother: Well, you have an old man who still lives in the Royal Court. His name is Daniel. In your father’s time he could interpret dreams. He worships the Supreme God, and this God knows everything. Call for Daniel and he will tell you what this writing means.

Belshazzar: Servants! Call Daniel. Bring him to me quickly.

Narrator: Daniel was sent for at once. And he came to the king.

Belshazzar: Are you Daniel, captured by my father and brought to Babylon from Jerusalem? I have heard the spirits of the gods are in you and that you can tell me the meaning of this writing on the wall. If you tell me I will give you many gifts and great honour.

Daniel: Keep your gifts, or give them to someone else – I don’t want them. But I will read and explain the writing to you. The Supreme God has sent you a message tonight. You have not listened to him before, even though you could have learned about his greatness from your father King Nebuchadnezzar. Instead you have acted against God by bringing the cups from the temple to use at your drunken party. You praised the idols made of gold, silver, iron, wood and stone – idols that cannot see or hear and don’t know anything. But you neglected the God who made you. who made the world and who controls everything. So he has sent you these words.

Belshazzar: Yes, Yes. But what do the words say Daniel?

Daniel: They say – number, number, weight, division. 
- Number means that God has numbered the days of your rule. Your empire is at an end.
- Weight means that you have been weighed in God’s scales and you do not meet his standards.
- Division means that your empire is going to be divided between the Medes and the Persians.

Belshazzar: Yes, I believe you speak truth Daniel. What can I do. I am going to lose my kingdom. How foolish I have been. Servants! Reward Daniel with purple robes and gold chains. He will be my main advisor.

Narrator: But while Belshazzar was ordering the servants to give rewards to Daniel, the enemy army was already making their way into the city of Babylon. Babylon had huge walls to keep the enemy out. But the enemy dammed up the river that ran through the city. Then they walked along the dried up river bed under the walls. They killed Belshazzar, but not Daniel. King Darius took over the throne.

Lesson: Like the king being weighed in Gods scales, we all have to be judged by God one day. He will look for 2 things:

Have we had our sins forgiven? 

How we serve God. Are we kind, helpful, obedient to God and parents. Do we get to know God better by reading our Bible, praying and living in a way that pleases God? 

That’s what we should try to do.



 

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