Week 6: Hope - then and now
What are some of your hopes in life? (think about wealth, health, relationships and family)
What would bring you ultimate satisfaction?
Do you think it’s possible for people to be truly happy in life? Why or why not?
The Time of the End
1 “Daniel, at that time Michael, the great prince, will stand up. (He is the one who protects your people.) There will be a time of much trouble. It will be the worst time since nations have been on earth. But your people will be saved. Everyone whose name is written in God’s book will be saved. 2 Many people who have already died will live again. Some of them will wake up to have life forever. But some will wake up to find shame and disgrace forever. 3 The wise people will shine like the brightness of the sky. Those who teach others to live right will shine like stars forever and ever.
4 “But you, Daniel, close up the book and seal it. These things will happen at the time of the end. Many people will go here and there to find true knowledge.”
5 Then I, Daniel, looked, and I saw two other men. One was standing on my side of the river. And the other was standing on the far side. 6 The man who was dressed in linen was standing over the water in the river. One of the two men spoke to him. He asked, “How long will it be before these amazing things come true?”
7 The man dressed in linen who stood over the water raised his hands toward heaven. And I heard him make a promise. He used the name of God who lives forever. He said, “It will be for three and one-half years. The power of the holy people will finally be broken. Then all these things will come true.”
8 I heard the answer, but I did not really understand. So I asked, “Master, what will happen after all these things come true?” 9 He answered, “Go your way, Daniel. The message is closed up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many people will be made clean, pure and spotless. But the wicked will continue to be wicked. And those wicked people will not understand these things. But the wise people will understand them.
11 “The daily sacrifice will be stopped. There will be 1,290 days from that time. Then the horrible thing that destroys will be set up. 12 Those who wait for the end of the 1,335 days will be happy. 13 “As for you, Daniel, go your way till the end. You will get your rest when you die. And at the end you will rise from the dead to get your reward.”
Story: Daniel 12 (International Children's Bible)
This final chapter of the book of Daniel is actually part of a longer vision that begins in chapter 10. The vision talks about a great battle that will take place, a battle that will take over most of the world. God will rescue some people from this. After describing this great picture of the world being taken over, the story moves to Israel and Daniel.
In verses 1-4 it describes two different destinations for people. What are they and how is each person’s destination determined?
We often ask what the future holds – our society is preoccupied by it. Palm readers, tarot cards, star signs – everyone wants to know what will happen to them.
What is the most important thing about the future? From the whole book of Daniel, what can we know for certain about the future? With our confidence in the future, what can we do right now to make the most of it? As the famous Woody Allen quote says "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans". God has a plan for us all, we just need to be open to receive it.
Can you think of a time when it seemed as though God wasn’t there/ What made it feel like this? What could you do the next time you feel this way?
Watch the last part of the video that explains the book of Daniel (6:47-8:53) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cSC9uobtPM
“As for you, Daniel, go your way till the end. You will get your rest when you die. And at the end you will rise from the dead to get your reward.” (Daniel 12:13)
Thank God for all that he has done for us, for the hope that we have for eternity.
Have a think about the series we have covered over the past few weeks. What have been your favourite parts/stories? Have a go at drawing them and retelling the story to someone who doesn't know about Daniel. Or you could try modelling it out of playdoh or lego/duplo.
(Some of the ideas and questions on this page have been taken from Youthworks Bible Study Series: Old Testament - Daniel: Loyalty Under Pressure by Luke Thomson.)