Writing on the Wall
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Teaches the lesson through the use of a skit.
- Read Daniel 1-6, focusing on chapter five.
- Gather the materials.
- You will need to familiarize yourself with the skit, If you do not have enough kids for all the roles, many of the parts can be played by the same person. The roles of the assassin and hand of God do not require speaking for anyone who does not want to speak or who has trouble reading.
- Copies of the script.
- Any costumes and props you may want.
The nation of Israel has been captured by Babylon and exiled from their homeland. Daniel is one of many young men who have been taken into royal service. He is faithful to God, and God blesses him with great wisdom. The point of the story is that while it appears that Babylon is in control, it is really God who is in charge. The kings of Babylon are merely the people He is using to fulfill His purposes.
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet the children and introduce yourself.
Open with a prayer.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Begin by explaining the background of what is happening. King Belshazzar is king of Babylon, the mightiest kingdom on earth at the time. His father, King Nebuchadnezzar, had conquered much of the land around them, including Israel, where God’s chosen people lived. Nebuchadnezzar had taken young men from Israel and trained them to work for him. Daniel was one of them. After Nebuchadnezzar died, his son, Belshazzar became king.
Our skit takes place during a banquet that King Belshazzar is giving for himself and his nobles.
Assign roles and pass out props.
If you have time, you can go through the skit several times and let different kids have a chance to play different roles.
Questions for Discussion:
- Why did God send the writing on the wall?
- What was the message from God?
- What happened to the king? Why?
- Who is in control of everything that happens? God. Does it always seem like that? Why?
- How can we show God that we believe he is in charge?
End with a prayer.
The Writing on the Wall Skit
Hand of God
Wise men & Magicians
Crown & robe for king, robes for nobles, outfits for servants, large foam hand, crown & robe for queen, wine glasses, magician hats, beard for Daniel, pretend knife
Banquet hall of King Belshazzar. The king is surrounded by his nobles and they are eating and drinking.
King: Servants! Come here!
Servants rush in and bow before king.
Servants: Yes, your majesty. You wish is our command.
King: Bring the cups that my father, Nebuchadnezzar, took from the temple in Jerusalem, so that we can drink from them.
Servants: Of course, your Majesty.
Servants leave and return with wine glasses that they pass out to the king and his nobles.
King: Nobles! Let us toast our gods.
Nobles & King: Great are the gods of the Babylonians!
Nobles and King pretend to drink from glasses.
Suddenly a hand appears and begins writing on the wall. The king is terrified.
King: What is the meaning of this?! Wise men! Magicians! Get in here and tell me what this means!
Wise men and magicians run in. They bow before the king.
Wise men and Magicians: Yes, your majesty. How can we be of assistance?
King: Tell me what this writing on the wall means!
Wise men and Magicians: We humbly apologize, your majesty, but we do not know what it means.
King: Isn’t there anyone who can tell me what this means?
Queen: Calm down, your majesty. It will be alright. I know someone who will be able to tell you what this writing means. His name is Daniel. He is very wise.
King: Then get him in here!
King: Daniel, if you can explain to me what this writing means, I will greatly reward you. You will have fancy clothes and will be third highest ruler in the kingdom.
Daniel: You can keep your gifts for yourself, but I will tell you what the writing means anyway. God was good to your father, King Nebuchadnezzar. He gave him this whole great kingdom of Babylon.
But your father forgot that. Instead, he thought that he did it himself. So God struck him and made him act like an animal until King Nebuchadnezzar realized that God was in charge.
You knew all of this, King Belshazzar, but you did not learn from it. Instead, you dishonored God by using His cups to praise other gods that don’t even exist!
This is what the writing says: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin. God is ending your rule. You have been weighed and haven’t measured up. Your authority will be taken away from you.
King: Wow! That is not good news.
The Assassin runs in and kills the king.
A lesson written by Deborah Ward from: Williams Lake Church of the Nazarene
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