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Chapter 18 – Daniel in Exile “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Chapter and Verse: Daniel 1-3, 6; Jeremiah 29-31 (Daniel 1:3-21; 2:1-30, 46-49, 3:1-30; 6:1-27; Jeremiah 30: 2-3, 8, 10-11; 31: 23-25; 29: 10-14)

Summary: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were young men from Judah who were taken in exile to Babylon. They were given new names and were being trained for service to the king. Daniel refused to eat the royal food, but the chief official was afraid he would get in trouble if Daniel got sick or weak from fasting. After ten days of just water and vegetables they were healthier. Daniel had a gift for interpreting dreams and interpreted a dream for King Nebuchadnezzar, crediting God for revealing the mystery to him. Nebuchadnezzar was grateful to Daniel and acknowledged God. Some time later, Nebuchadnezzar made a giant gold statue and required everyone to bow down to it. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down to the statue; Nebuchadnezzar threw them in a fiery furnace and God rescued them. Again, Nebuchadnezzar praised God. Later kings did not recognize God and Darius threw Daniel into the lion’s den for defying a ban on prayer. God rescued Daniel. Jeremiah continued to prophesy promise and restoration for Israel.

Cast of Characters: YHWH, Jeremiah, Daniel/Belteshazzar, Belshazzar, Hananiah/Shadrach, Mishael/Mishach, Azariah/Abednego, Arioch, Nebuchadnezzar, Darius © 2015 Rev. Linda J. Thurston. All rights reserved. For permissions contact Rev. Linda J. Thurston 1045 S. Arlington Heights Road, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 847.437.2666 Linda.Thurston@CVLutheran.org


Chapter 18 – Daniel in Exile “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Important Terms/Concepts:  Idolatry – Nebuchadnezzar insists that they worship other gods  God’s action in history - God works through kings and prophets and armies  Dreams – God works through Daniel in dreams and visions  Exile – how do God’s people live in exile? What does exile say about God’s faithfulness?  Distinctiveness of God’s people – Daniel and the others insist on retaining their faith practices even while living in a hostile culture  God’s Judgment and Mercy – there is the promise of restoration even in exile  Prayer – Daniel continues to pray, despite the king’s decree

 Blessed to be a blessing – Through Daniel the kings of Babylon recognize God’s sovereignty and power

© 2015 Rev. Linda J. Thurston. All rights reserved. For permissions contact Rev. Linda J. Thurston 1045 S. Arlington Heights Road, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 847.437.2666 Linda.Thurston@CVLutheran.org


Chapter 18 – Daniel in Exile “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Points of Help and Clarification  The book of Daniel contains narrative stories about Daniel in chapters 1-6 and apocalyptic visions in chapters 7-12. It is considered by scholars to be the last part of the OT written – around 164 BCE.  The book of Daniel speaks to the “challenges of living a faithful life in the midst of a hostile world and culture.”  Daniel means “God is my judge.”  The story of the Fiery Furnace is one of the essential stories for the Easter Vigil liturgy.  The expressions “feet of clay” and “the writing on the wall” come from the book of Daniel.

© 2015 Rev. Linda J. Thurston. All rights reserved. For permissions contact Rev. Linda J. Thurston 1045 S. Arlington Heights Road, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 847.437.2666 Linda.Thurston@CVLutheran.org


Chapter 18 – Daniel in Exile “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

For Discussion - General Questions  Where have you seen God at work in the world this week? How does this relate to how you’ve seen God at work in The Story?  In this week’s chapter, what is God doing?  What do we learn about the character/nature of God?  What are people doing?  What do we learn about people/creation?  What do we learn about the relationship between God and God’s people/creation?  What did you find most interesting/surprising/new?  What did you find most troubling?

© 2015 Rev. Linda J. Thurston. All rights reserved. For permissions contact Rev. Linda J. Thurston 1045 S. Arlington Heights Road, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 847.437.2666 Linda.Thurston@CVLutheran.org


Chapter 18 – Daniel in Exile “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

For Discussion – Chapter 18 Questions  What was life like for the exiles in Babylon?  What is God’s role in Daniel’s story?  Compare Daniel with Joseph.  What do you think of the faith of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?  How is God described in this chapter? In Daniel’s prayer?  Note the impact that Daniel’s faith has on those around him.  What do you think of the idea that God disciplines God’s people?  “For I know the plans I have for you…….” (Jeremiah 29:11, p. 261) is a very popular Bible verse. How do you understand it?  What challenges do we face from the broader culture, as we try to remain faithful?  What can we learn from these stories about how to live faithfully in a culture that is at best indifferent and at worst hostile to people of faith?  Think of a situation where you have had to draw a line to maintain your integrity.  Who are some contemporary heroes of the faith who have stood up for their beliefs in the face of oppression?

 How and when are we tempted to take credit instead of giving it to God? © 2015 Rev. Linda J. Thurston. All rights reserved. For permissions contact Rev. Linda J. Thurston 1045 S. Arlington Heights Road, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 847.437.2666 Linda.Thurston@CVLutheran.org

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