Scripture: Daniel 3
- Students will learn God expects us to follow Him even if others threaten to hurt or kill us if we do.
- Students will learn God wants us to have faith in Him.
- Students will learn even if God does not stop evil people from hurting us when we obey Him, He will make sure His people spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
- Students will participate in an activity to help them understand what it means to obey THE King – God.
Guiding Question: What does it mean to obey God like a King?
Materials: crowns, markers, sequins (or other embellishments), glue sticks
Procedure: Tell students the story of Shadrach and his friends. Explain to students that normally God expects us to obey our rulers. (Romans 13:1-7) The only exceptions we can find in the Bible are when the King or other ruler told people to do something that forced them to disobey God. (Acts 5:27-29 gives an example when the government told them to not do something God wanted them to do!)
In Bible times, Kings were very powerful. When you were the “subject” of a King, you had to do everything he said without questioning it or protesting. If you didn’t obey the King’s commands, he could punish you in any way he wanted to punish you – including throwing you in the dungeon, torturing you or having you killed. People were often very afraid of their kings, but even if they weren’t afraid, they knew absolute obedience was required.
The story of Shadrach and friends is an example of God wanting us to always obey Him first. God expects to be our “top” King – obeying his rules before the rules of anyone else. King Nebuchadnezzar wanted them to worship a statue of him. God had commanded them (and us) to only worship Him. Shadrach and his friends knew that if they worshipped the statue, King Nebuchadnezzar wouldn’t punish them, but they would have disobeyed God.
They made a wise choice and obeyed God – even though it meant King Nebuchadnezzar would throw them in the fiery furnace for refusing to worship his statue. Thankfully God saved them, but they were ready to die if necessary rather than disobey God.
Explain to students that the Bible tells us God is our King, and we are to ALWAYS obey Him – no excuses. (You can read them Romans 6:22 and/or Matthew 6:24 for some examples) This also means we have to know what God has told us to do so we can obey Him. We learn God’s commands by reading our Bibles. (Or listening to our parents read them to us!)
Give students real life scenarios when they have a choice to make – obey God or do what someone else wants that would mean disobeying God. For example: “Your parents don’t let you play games rated M, but you are over your friends house and he has the newest version of the “best game ever”. It’s rated M, but your friend says he’s sure your parents wouldn’t mind. Besides, he adds, what they don’t know won’t hurt them. What do you do?”
Give students a variety if scenarios. More mature students may want to create scenarios of their own. As the scenarios unfold, remember this is not situational ethics. The purpose is for students to understand God expects them to obey Him – no matter what obey authority figures unless their orders would cause them to disobey God. The older students need to begin to understand making these tough choices may eventually put them in a situation that is very unpleasant or even dangerous like Shadrach and his friends. (With older students you may want to share some modern day stories of Christians suffering for obeying God.)
Give students the crowns. Have them decorate the crowns with several verses about obeying God like: John 14:15, Acts 5:29, I John 5:3, Luke 6:46, I John 3:24, James 1:22-25. Students can decorate the rest of the crown with markers and embellishments. Encourage them to display the crowns where they can see them every day and be reminded to always obey God – no mat