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Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

Daniel 1:1-7, Daniel 3

Story Summary

This is a very famous story and is also relatively short (mostly contained in Daniel 3). Therefore, refer to the scripture to get a summary of the story.

There are a couple of items to note about the story:

  • In the last lesson, we learned that Nebuchadnezzar is the King of Babylon that besieged Jerusalem and carried away many of the Jews to Babylon.
  • As part of his assimilation strategy, he brought some of the best and brightest from Judah to be incorporated into the king's palace. He educated them, pampered them, and changed their names.
  • Four of those youth are the subject of many stories in the Book of Daniel:
    • Daniel (Belteshazzar)
    • Hananiah (Shadrach)
    • Mishael (Meshach)
    • Azariah (Abednego)
  • The Bible doesn't explicitly tell us who the 4th man in the furnace is (in Daniel 3:25). Some have theorized that it was an angel who protected them, some say it was Christ himself.

What You Will Need

Resource Sheet

Shadrach, Meschach & Abednego Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts the 3 Israelites remaining steadfast in their worship of God and not the King's statue.

Lesson

1. Warm Up

get your kids talking and engaged

If you could change your name to anything, what would it be?

Today, we are going to learn about 3 people who were forced to move to another country and had their name changed.

2. Teach the Story

teach a holistic story

Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.

For older children, read the story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or tell the story yourself.

3. Bible Mastery

give them basic Bible skills

Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud: Daniel 3:8-30

4. Comprehension Questions

make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • What country was King Nebuchadnezzar king of? (Babylon)
  • What did he want to do with the people of Babylon (to bring the best and brightest to stay in his palace, be educated in their language, and to eat from the king's table)
  • Who were the 4 youths that the book of Daniel tells stories about? (Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah)
  • What did the king's servant change their names to? (Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego)
  • What did King Nebuchadnezzar make? (a golden statue of himself)
  • What law did he make about it? (that at the sound of music, everyone was to bow down and worship the statue)
  • What was the punishment for anyone who didn't fall down and worship the statue? (they were to be thrown into a fiery furnace)
  • Who did not bow to the statue? (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego)
  • What did the King do to punish them? (he heated the furnace 7 times hotter than it had been and threw them in)
  • What surprised the King after he threw them into the furnace? (he only threw 3 men into the furnace, but he saw 4 men walking around in the furnace, not bound, and walking around)
  • What did the King do after they came out of the furnace unharmed? (he made a new law that said everyone in Babylon was to worship the God of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego)

5. Faith Questions

help them apply the story to their lives and open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer
  • In this story, we see three men who were steadfast in their worship of God and only God. The other Israelites were not this way at all. Remember, that's why God judged them and sent them into exile!
  • Are you willing to serve only God in your life? No matter what?

6. Memory Verse

hide God's Word in their heart
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:11-12

Reinforcement Activities

Tissue paper fire

Scripture So they were tied up. Then they were thrown into the furnace. They were wearing their robes, pants, turbans and other clothes. Daniel 3:21

Supplies red and orange tissue paper squares, card stock or construction paper, Men patterns

  • Glue squares of red and orange tissue paper to card stock.
  • Place Shadrach, Meshach and Abendego on top of tissue paper.
  • Add more tissue paper, to make it look like they are in the fire.

Smores!

Scripture The royal rulers, high officials, governors and advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire hadn’t harmed their bodies. Not one hair on their heads was burned. Their robes weren’t burned either. And they didn’t even smell like smoke. Daniel 3:27

Supplies graham crackers, large marshmallows, chocolate bar, chocolate and honey teddy grahams

  • Break a graham cracker in half.
  • Place a piece of the chocolate bar on the graham cracker.
  • Place a marshmallow on top of the chocolate piece.
  • Stick 3 chocolate teddy grahams and one honey teddy graham in marshmallow.
  • Place in oven for a few minutes, just enough time for the chocolate and marshmallow to begin to melt.
  • Everything else melted, but Shadrach, Meshach and Abendego were fine!

Baby Food Jar Furnace

Scripture So they were tied up. Then they were thrown into the furnace. They were wearing their robes, pants, turbans and other clothes. Daniel 3:21

Supplies large baby food jars, squares of red and orange tissue paper, watered down glue, paint brushes, teddy grahams, clay or playdough

  • Water down the glue and paint it onto the outside of the jar.
  • Stick pieces of red and orange tissue paper onto the glue. Cover the outside of the jar.
  • Place a small bit of clay inside jar.
  • Push 4 teddy grahams down into the clay. (Use three of the same flavor and one of a different flavor).

Shoe box lid Furnace

Scripture So they were tied up. Then they were thrown into the furnace. They were wearing their robes, pants, turbans and other clothes. Daniel 3:21

Supplies shoe box lids, wax paper, red, orange and cream tissue paper, black construction paper, glue, flameless tea light candles

  • Follow instructions on website to complete craft.

Balloon Science Activity

Heads up! This is a good activity for outside.

Scripture The royal rulers, high officials, governors and advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire hadn’t harmed their bodies. Not one hair on their heads was burned. Their robes weren’t burned either. And they didn’t even smell like smoke. Daniel 3:27

Supplies candle, matches, 2 balloons, 1/4 cup water

  • Add some water to one of the balloons.
  • Blow both balloons up and tie them.
  • Light the candle.
  • Hold the empty balloon over the flame.
  • The balloon will pop.
  • Hold the balloon with water over the flame.
  • The balloon does not pop!
  • The water absorbs the heat.
  • You can add various amounts of water to different balloons to see how long they can last before popping.

Hot Snacks: Can you handle the heat?

Heads up! This activity needs to be optional!

Scripture Then Nebuchadnezzar’s anger burned against Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The look on his face changed. And he ordered that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. Daniel 3:19

Supplies red hot candies, fireballs, jalapeno peppers, spicy salsa, saltine crackers

  • Have students try the different types of spicy foods.
  • Which ones were the hottest?

The Repeater

Scripture Memory verse game, great for any verse

Supplies puppet

  • If you have a ventriloquist’s dummy or a glove puppet, use that to help teach the memory verse. Have the verse written out for the children to see, and then explain to them that your puppet is going to say the verse – a few words at a time – and they have to repeat everything he says. You can have a lot of fun with this method by getting the puppet to ‘say’ totally irrelevant things, e.g. jokes, personal comments, etc. as he gradually works his way through the verse, always remembering to bring ‘him’ back to where he digressed. Then get the puppet to say the verse, but pausing in the wrong places. Finally, get the puppet to say the verse the right way, with the children still ‘repeating’ of course.