Study Guide

Book of Daniel Courage

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This is a big one. In the first six chapters of Daniel—the main story part—every chapter demonstrates someone doing something courageous: Daniel refuses to eat food that doesn't jive with his religious standards, he saves the wise men (and himself) by telling and interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's statue dream, he tells Belshazzar it's "Game Over," and refuses to stop praying to God, getting tossed into the lions' den. And Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego also demonstrate courage by refusing to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar's idol and facing the fiery furnace.

All of these instances of courage have something in common. They're not based on prowess on the battlefield, or the kind of courage that kings and warriors typically deal in. They're examples of having the courage to tell the truth in a situation where the truth is unwelcome—and not only to tell the truth, but to live the truth, as well.

Questions About Courage

  1. Do you think it's realistic that being courageous works out so well for Daniel and his friends, given that they end up getting promotions? In the long run, do you think that courage in the truth is rewarded (even if you die in the process)?
  2. Why do you think Belshazzar gives Daniel a promotion, even though Daniel has just told him he's about to be overthrown and killed?
  3. In these stories, is courage a gift that's given to Daniel by God? Or is it something that he's able to do through his own power and effort?
  4. How do you think these stories spoke to people who were living under tyranny at the time (meaning the Hebrews oppressed by Antiochus IV Epiphanes)?
  5. How do the people in power (the kings) react to hearing the truth spoken to them? How do they react differently at different times?

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