March 22, 2020 Lesson
BIG PICTURE QUESTION
Last week we answered our big picture question, why do we pray? We pray because we trust God, and we know He hears us. We can pray to God anytime, anywhere. We don’t have to use special words when we talk to God. We don’t have to use words at all! God knows our words before we say them. He even knows our thoughts before we think them. Let’s find out what part prayer has to play in our story today.
Help your child find Daniel chapter 4.
Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream- Daniel 4
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, shared a message to tell everyone who would listen about the wonderful things God had done for him.
One night, Nebuchadnezzar had a frightening dream. He called for all the wise men in Babylon to explain what the dream meant, but they did not understand the dream. Finally, Nebuchadnezzar told Daniel about the dream: “I saw a big, strong tree. Its top was in the sky, and everyone could see it. The tree had beautiful leaves and fruit, and animals lived in and around the tree. An angel came down from heaven and said, ‘Cut down the tree! Take off its leaves and fruit. Let the animals hurry away.’ The angel said only the stump and roots would be left in the ground. Then the angel said the tree’s mind would change from a human’s mind into an animal’s mind. He said this would happen so that people would know God is ruler over human kingdoms.”
The dream frightened Daniel too, and he told King Nebuchadnezzar what it meant. “The tree is you,” Daniel explained. “You are great and strong, and your greatness reaches the sky.” Then Daniel said, “Like the tree was cut down, you will be driven away from people. Instead, you will live with wild animals and eat grass. Like the stump was left in the ground, your kingdom will not be completely destroyed; it will be restored when you acknowledge that God rules over everything.”
A year later, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream came true. He walked on the roof of his palace and said, “Babylon is great! I built this kingdom with my power and for my glory!” Suddenly, the king heard a voice from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, you will be driven away from people. You will live with wild animals and eat grass until you acknowledge that God rules over everything.” Nebuchadnezzar was driven away from people. He ate grass like cattle, his hair grew like eagles’ feathers, and his nails grew like birds’ claws.
After some time, Nebuchadnezzar looked up to heaven and praised God. He acknowledged that God rules over everything. His kingdom was restored to him, and Nebuchadnezzar gave glory to God.
Have you ever worked really hard to make something, and you wanted to take all the credit for it? That’s just what King Nebuchadnezzar did. He wanted to take all the credit and give himself the glory for building the kingdom of Babylon. The king was prideful. Pride is when we think too highly of ourselves and refuse to praise God for what He has done. The Bible says that pride is a sin.
Nebuchadnezzar did not worship God alone. He believed that he was the most powerful king and that he deserved glory. God wanted Nebuchadnezzar to understand that only God deserves glory. No matter what power Nebuchadnezzar had, it all came from God, and God could take it away.
God humbled King Nebuchadnezzar to show that He is in control. But God also showed mercy to Nebuchadnezzar because at the end of the seven years God restored his sanity and allowed him to rule over Babylon again.
In our lives, we are sometimes tempted to see ourselves as the most important people. We forget that God is the King of kings, the Ruler of all creation. He created all things, and all things belong to Him. Our pride may cause us to doubt that God can hear our prayers. We may even think that God cannot help us or that we can handle life without Him. But those are lies. We need God. He hears and helps us. Why do we pray? We pray because we trust God, and we know He hears us.
The Bible shows us that we are sinful and need God to save us. We are completely dependent on His grace, so it’s silly for us to think that we can do anything in our own strength. Pride steals God’s glory. God humbled King Nebuchadnezzar so he could see that God alone deserves glory. Jesus is the King of kings who humbled Himself by coming to earth and dying on the cross. Jesus saves sinners so we can live for God’s glory.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ
Our key passage is all about prayer. But what is prayer? Prayer is talking with God. We talk to God to praise Him, to ask Him for help, to tell Him how we feel and what we think, and to confess our sins. Prayer is important for building our relationship with God. Imagine if you never spent time talking to your friends. Do you think you would know them very well? No way! It’s similar with God. Why do we pray? We pray because we trust God, and we know He hears us. The more we read our Bibles and pray, the more we get to know God.
God, we thank You for Your Word. It is so special that we get to know You by reading the Bible. Thank You for the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and how You showed that You are in control of everything. You are powerful and mighty, God. We give You all our praise. Amen.