Daniel’s Gift of Prophecy
Summary of Lesson Activities:
The following is a lesson plan for Nebuchadnezzar's dream about the statue. The basic activity is building a model of the statue out of Lego blocks.
"Prophecy" is an important word to Christians which can mean different things. For the purposes of teaching our children, we will define it as the gift of being able to hear God's message about the future and communicate it to others as a warning, and as a message of hope. God's prophets often point out how bad behavior has very real consequences.
Daniel Chapters 2 and 7
“For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
2 Peter 1:21 NIV
Lesson Objectives for Daniel Rotation:
The students will learn the about the nature of God and his kingdom, as seen in the words of King Darius in Daniel 6:26:
- God is the living God, and he endures forever.
- His kingdom will not be destroyed; his dominion will never end.
- God rescues and he saves.
- The students will learn the definitions of prophesy, prophet
- The students will identify Daniel as a prophet, the older students will be able to name 1 – 3 others
Additional Bible Discovery Zone objectives:
- Sometimes prophecies take time to be fulfilled
- Worldly power is impressive, but nothing compared to God’s sovereignty
Teacher preparation in advance:
- Read through Daniel chapters 2 and 7. Use a study Bible to provide added insight.
- Prayerfully consider the full text of 2 & 7, and what & how to distill it for each of the age groups you will teach.
- Practice a Lego model of the statue. Play around with an easier and harder model for the younger and older kids.
- Prepare a few thoughts for opening & closing prayers.
- Gather the materials
- Legos - you will need four colors.
- The fifth section of the statue, the feet, are made of iron and clay.
- You could use a fifth color, or if you put clear Scotch tape over the smooth sides of the Lego, you could color in some clay splotches with permanent marker. Make sure it dries well before handling.
- Toy rock to symbolize Jesus – just one
- Journal sheets – these have a drawing of the statue and space to fill in what each layer means
Room set up:
- Keep the Legos hidden until you are ready to use – they are a HUGE distraction to children
Opening-Welcome and Introductions:
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag. (Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.) Make sure the children are wearing nametags. If not, ask the Shepherd to supply a temporary badge.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Bible verse and story:
Open to the scripture: teach or ask (depending on age) if this is Old or New Testament. For older kids, you can mention that Daniel is in the OT, but prophesies about the future, including about Jesus.
Discuss briefly what a prophet is, what a prophecy is, name a couple of famous prophets. (Isaiah, Elijah, Elisha). Remind them that CHRISTMAS is a MAJOR EVENT "FORETOLD BY THE PROPHETS." This will help them understand what prophecy is.
Say: Daniel was growing up in Judah when Babylon took over Jerusalem and the surrounding area. King Nebuchadnezzar directed that the best young men should be taken for “training” in Babylon, figuring they would make good rulers over the Jewish people once they were brainwashed to his way of thinking. Daniel was one of these young men. He had no choice but to go. However, while in service to the king, he chose to serve God above all. For this, God gave him the ability to interpret the dreams placed by God. This made the king favor Daniel above all others, and gave Daniel more opportunity to serve God. Daniel could have used this gift to make himself more popular and powerful, instead he always gave the glory to God.
Sometimes prophecies are fulfilled quickly. You will learn about some of these in Marketplace and Desert Drama Theater. Sometimes prophesies take much, much longer to be fulfilled.
(The story itself is told during the activity. You can contrast this story with the one in Chapter 7 with the older kids, if time allows.)
Activity: Lego Model of King Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream
Pour out the legos provided. If the class is large or rambunctious, you may want to put the colors out one at a time as they are needed.
As you read the story of the king telling his dream, have the kids follow you in constructing a model. Stop after the king’s dream to talk about what this statue might mean. Use the model as an illustration as you relate the interpretation Daniel was given by God, explain what each substance (color) stands for.
The Story of Daniel and King Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of a Statue
Daniel chapter 2
- (v 1-3) King Nebuchadnezzar has a troubling dream. He calls his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell help. He not only wanted to know what it meant, but what the dream was. How many of you can remember your dreams in the morning? King N was having the same trouble.
- (v 4-13) Well, of course the wise men and advisors could not tell the king his dream. The king accused them of being frauds and liars, then he demanded that all wise men in Babylon be killed.
- (v 14-23) Daniel was a wise man who served King N, so he was among the wise men rounded up. Daniel calmly asked the guard why the king had issued such a strong order. When Daniel heard of the king’s problem, he asked to see him to interpret the dream.
- (v 24-28) “Do not execute the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king, and I will interpret his dream for him.” Daniel tells King N that no human could do what he asks, but God in heaven can.
- (v 29-35) Daniel describes the dream:
- King N saw an enormous statue, dazzling to look at
- The head was pure gold
- The chest and arms were silver
- The belly and thighs were bronze
- The legs were iron
- The feet were iron and clay
- While King N was watching, a rock appeared and struck the statue on the feet of iron and clay and smashed them.
- Then the iron, the clay the bronze the silver and the gold were broken in to pieces, then crumbled into dust and blew away.
- The rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain that covered earth.
- Pause to ask the kids what they think it might mean
- (v 36-45) Daniel interprets the dream.
- King N is the gold head
- After him, an inferior (silver) kingdom will arise - Persia
- Then the Greeks ( bronze)
- Then the strong iron legs. (Rome)
- The mixed-up feet symbolize a kingdom that did not stay pure; its people mixed with bad people. (yet-to-be-named group of countries)
- The rock symbolizes Jesus
- (v 46-49) King N worships God and promotes Daniel.
For older kids, and if time allows, compare with the dream Daniel has in chapter 7.
- Review memory verse
- Journal question(s): Journal sheet will be a drawing of the statue in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream with lines to fill in the meaning.
End with a prayer.
This lesson was written by Kristi St. Laurent for Windham Presbyterian Church in Windham, New Hampshire.
Copyright 2006 – permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included.
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.