Veggie Sticks: Daniel

timthumbProps: A plate of celery and carrots; optional plate of candy bars

Scripture: Daniel 1

(Offer the veggies to the students.)

Does anyone want a snack this morning? How many of you eat celery or carrots on a regular
basis? How many of you, given the choice of anything at home, would pick veggies over
crackers, cookies, candy, or anything else?

(Optional: Offer them the candy bars.)

How many of you would rather have a delicious candy bar instead? Before you answer, let me
tell you a story about a boy named Daniel.

Daniel was an Israelite. He was still just a boy when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon
conquered the Israelites. After conquering Israel, Nebuchadnezzar took hundreds of young
boys like Daniel captive, bringing them into his palace. They were not prisoners, however.
These boys were enrolled in a special school, where they learned the law of Babylon. If they
did well, they would have a chance to serve the king in his palace.

Living in the palace meant the boys in this program got to eat like royalty. They were brought
the best-tasting, fattiest, sweetest, tastiest food imaginable. Most of the boys ate it up, but
one day, the king’s servants received a request from Daniel and his friends to eat vegetables
and drink water.

The king’s servants were upset by this. They were responsible for keeping the boys well-fed,
and if they didn’t eat, they were failing in their duties. They and the king were surprised by
the request for healthy food. Not only was it bold to challenge the king’s rules, but also they
were asking for plain old water and vegetables. It didn’t make any sense!

Daniel convinced the servants to test them on the veggie diet. If they weren’t as healthy as
the other students in a few weeks, they would give up the veggies and eat the king’s food.
Can you guess what happened? Daniel and his friends were healthier than the other boys.
They were so healthy, the king ordered that all the students be put on the same veggie diet!

What can we learn from Daniel and his friends? One obvious lesson is to eat your veggies.
But there’s a bigger lesson to be learned here: self-discipline. The boys could have given
in and gone along with the crowd, but they wanted to stick with the healthy diet they had
always eaten. They refused to give in to peer pressure, they took the hard road, and they were
rewarded. All four of them eventually became officials in the government.

Self-discipline isn’t easy, but when it comes to choosing God’s way or the world’s way, it’s the
only way to go. It will keep you healthy, wise, strong, and better able to be used by the Lord.

 

Download this story by clicking here:  Daniel-VeggieSticks

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