Lesson 8 – Daniel: Planted and Pure

LESSON FOCUS
Daniel was transported to Babylon as a prisoner of war. He was a gifted leader and would be recognized as such – even among the enemy! Daniel made a commitment to remain pure and faithful to his God regardless of the challenges thrust upon him. He walked through the trials and remained holy. We will study 1 Peter 1 and learn how God leads us toward pure and holy lives regardless of our life circumstances.

HELPFUL INSIGHT
The book of Daniel stands apart from the rest of the books which make up the Old Testament. This is apparent even to the reader without theological expertise. Though it is found in our English Bibles among the prophets, it does not contain proclamations in the name of the Lord after the manner of the prophets; nor is it historical in the sense that the book of Kings are historical, though it begins from a point in history and is clearly concerned with history. By the use of dreams and visions, signs, symbols and numbers it appears to be declaring the course of history, and to be drawing attention to the significance of history, by mapping out its course as it proceeds towards its end. In technical language the book is therefore eschatological.
—Joyce G. Baldwin, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries: Daniel: An Introduction and Commentary, Inter-Varsity Press, 1978, p. 13

FOCAL PASSAGES
Daniel 1; 1 Peter 1

Bible Readings
This week, we begin an ancient journey. On Wednesday, we turn our eyes toward the cross of Jesus and begin our annual trek to Jerusalem to commemorate the sacrifice made on our behalf. We will stop at a hill outside of Jerusalem and be reminded of the cost of our sin. We will stand at an empty tomb and marvel at the power of God in face of death. As we read the story of Daniel and his friends held in captivity in Babylon, we are reminded of their example of holiness and purity in the midst of their pagan surroundings. We also will reflect upon the purity of Jesus Christ and how His example motivates us to live pure lives wherever God has planted us.

Monday:                                      Daniel 1
Tuesday:                                     Daniel 2
Ash Wednesday:                    Daniel 3; Luke 1:1-25
Thursday:                                   Daniel 4; Luke 1:26-56
Friday:                                          Daniel 5-6; Luke 1:57-80

ISSUES/QUESTIONS TO ADDRESS

  1. How did Daniel and his friends handle the cultural pressure to be assimilated into the Babylonian way of life?
  2. What can we learn from Daniel as we face the cultural challenges of our day?
  3. How can we distinguish ourselves as believers in an unbelieving culture?