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RESCUED FROM DEFILEMENT - written by Tanis Harms

TOPIC:        salvation, obeying God
SCRIPTURE:    Daniel 1:1-21, 6:27
Style:        drama/conversation:  Daniel tells his story
.             about when they were taken into captivity
.             and he determines to remain obedient to God
.             and undefiled from the diet of Babylon
Cast:         NARRATOR, DANIEL/a (adult), DANIEL (youth),
.             SHADRACH, MESHACH, ABED-NEGO;
.             KING, OVERSEER
Set & Props:  crown, whip

SCRIPT:

(NARRATOR enters.)

NARRATOR   Ever wonder why we are here?
.          Or why there are problems in the world?
.          Well, the world was created for us,
.          and we were created – because God wants
.          to have a loving relationship with us.
.          But we were all given a choice,
.          and mankind chose to sin.
.          So now there is sin in the world,
.          with problems and dangers.
.          But no matter what the circumstances,
.          we can choose to look to God, because
.          “He delivers and rescues” (Daniel 6:27).
.          Today we are going to hear a true story
.          from the Bible, which happened
.          a long, long time ago – -
.          The story is about Daniel.

(NARRATOR exits.  DANIEL/a enters and stands
to the side.)

DANIEL/a   My name is Daniel.  I was born in Judah,
.          in the land of Israel.
.          During that time, when I was really little,
.          we had a good king, King Josiah,
.          who chose to have a relationship with God
.          and wanted to obey God.  Because of this,
.          things in the land were peaceful,
.          and God blessed us.

(DANIEL/a becomes sad in his story telling.)
.                                                      2
DANIEL/a  But, when I grew a little older,
.         the good king died, and his son was made king.
.         King Jehoiakim was not like his father.
.         He chose not have a relationship with God,
.         and chose to do evil in the sight of God.
.         Because of this, our land was taken
.         into captivity by the king of Babylon.

(KING enters at center stage.)

KING       Where is my overseer?  (look at congregation)
.          If you happen to see my overseer – tell him
.          that the great king of Babylon
.          has demanded to see him.

(KING exits.  Carrying a whip, OVERSEER enters,
ushering in DANIEL, SHADRACH, MESHACH AND ABED-NEGO.
NARRATOR steps in to get OVERSEER’S attention.)

NARRATOR   Ah, excuse me, are you the overseer?

OVERSEER   Me?  Ah, yes, I am the overseer.

NARRATOR   I think there was a message for you.
.          from the king of Babylon.
.          Now let me see, what was it again?
.          (give congregation kids a chance to answer)
.          Ah yes, the king demands to see you.

OVERSEER   I hope I’m not in trouble.

NARRATOR   He did not say.

OVERSEER   Did he seem angry?

NARRATOR   Not that I could tell.

OVERSEER   Come on boys, off we go.

(NARRATOR exits as OVERSEER ushers BOYS off stage.)

DANIEL/a   And there we were.  In a strange and
.          dangerous land, taken away from our families,
.          not knowing if they were alive or dead.
.          We felt very alone, and unsure.
.          We did not know what was going to happen to us
.          but we were going to trust God to protect us,
.          because He delivers and rescues.

(KING enters.  OVERSEER approaches KING with a bow.)    3

OVERSEER   Oh great king of Babylon.  You demanded
.          to see me?  I hope that you are pleased
.          with my service.

KING       I want an update of what you have
.          been doing.

OVERSEER   We have brought over the captives
.          from the land of Judah.

KING       Wonderful!  I need more people serving me.
.          How about - bring me some of the young boys
.          from the royal family and the nobility!
.          I only want those who are good-looking,
.          strong, and smart.

OVERSEER   Right away, oh great king of Babylon.

(OVERSEER bows and exits.  Then returns with DANIEL,
SHADRACH, MESHACH and ABED-NEGO.  DANIEL/a points out
the young DANIEL as he enters.)

DANIEL/a   I was one of the boys that the overseer
.          selected to be brought to the king.
.          That boy over there - was me.

(OVERSEER makes sure that the BOYS are lined up
in front of the KING, who first studies them,
and looks at their teeth.  Finally...)

KING       They show promise.  What are their names?

(OVERSEER puts a hand on Shadrach’s head.)

OVERSEER   This one is named Hananiah,
.          which means “Yahweh is gracious.”

KING       He will now be called... (thinks) Shadrach,
.          which means “command of Aku” - the moon god.

(OVERSEER puts a hand on Meshack’s head.)

OVERSEER   This one is named Mishael,
.          which means “Who is what God is.”

KING       No-no-no, he will now be called Meshach,
.          which means “Who is what Aku is.”

(OVERSEER puts a hand on ABEDNEGO’S head.)              4

OVERSEER   This one is named Azariah,
.          meaning “Whom Yahweh helps.”

KING       I do not like that.  He will now be called
.          Abed-nego, meaning “Servant of Nebo.”

(KING sees DANIEL and steps up to him.)

KING       And this one?

(OVERSEER puts a hand on Daniel’s head.)

OVERSEER   And this one is named Daniel,
.          meaning “God is judge.”

KING       We cannot have that.  He will now
.          be called Belteshazzar,
.          meaning “May Bel protect his life.”

DANIEL/a   Because I chose to have a relationship
.          with God, I knew that only God protected me!
.          And because God is judge,
.          I chose to obey God – no matter what -
.          because He delivers and rescues.

(KING addresses BOYS with firm orders.)

KING       Now that you have been given different names,
.          you will now forget where you come from.
.          You will no longer speak Hebrew.
.          You will learn to speak our language,
.          and take courses in every subject.
.          Once you have proven yourselves,
.          you will serve me.
.          (address OVERSEER)  Make sure that you
.          feed them well- from the royal food.

(KING exits.  OVERSEER stands facing forward as
BOYS line up with their backs to the congregation.
As DANIEL/a speaks, DANIEL moves arms as if speaking.)

DANIEL/a   But the king’s meat was not prepared properly
.          and the drinks were sacrificed to pagan idols.
.          Eating this would be disobeying God.
.          I was not going to defile myself.  I wanted
.          to obey God!  And I told the overseer this.

OVERSEER   But what will you eat?
.                                                      5
DANIEL/a   I asked the overseer to only give us
.          vegetables to eat and water to drink.

OVERSEER   But – if the king sees that you are looking
.          tired and weak – the king will surely
.          put me to death.

DANIEL/a   I asked the overseer to let us have
.          ten days, as a test!

OVERSEER   Let me see if I understand this correctly:
.          for ten days, you only want me
.          to feed you vegetables and water.
.          Then after ten days, I will see
.          if you are looking healthy and strong
.          compared to all the other boys your age.
.          But if you look tired and weak,
.          then you will do as I say?  And -
.          you - are even willing to die for this?

(BOYS nod.  OVERSEER ushers BOYS out.)

DANIEL/a   During this time, I prayed and asked God
.          to deliver and rescue us from this problem.
.          And God found favor and compassion with us,
.          because He delivers and rescues.
.          So after only having vegetables and water
.          for ten days, the overseer saw that we were
.          healthier and stronger than all
.          the other boys our age
.          who had been eating the king’s food.
.          And so, we were allowed to keep eating
.          only vegetables and water.

(KING enters.)

KING       Where is my overseer?  Overseer?
.          (look at congregation)
.          If you happen to see my overseer – tell him
.          that the great king of Babylon
.          has demanded to see him.

(KING exits.  OVERSEER enters.
NARRATOR steps in to get OVERSEER’S attention.)

NARRATOR   Ah, excuse me!  Overseer!  Yoo-hoo.

OVERSEER   Me?  Ah, yes.  You again.

NARRATOR   I think there was a message for you.         6
.          from the king of Babylon.
.          Now let me see, what was it again?
.          (give congregation kids a chance to answer)
.          Ah yes, the king demands to see you.

OVERSEER   I hope I’m not in trouble.

NARRATOR   He did not say.

OVERSEER   Did he seem angry?

NARRATOR   Not that I could tell.

(NARRATOR exits as OVERSEER rushes off stage.
KING enters and OVERSEER approaches KING with a bow.)

OVERSEER   Oh great king of Babylon.  I hope that
.          you are pleased with my service.

KING       How is the training of the Hebrew boys?

OVERSEER   Very well, oh great king of Babylon.

KING       Out of all the boys in the kingdom,
.          who do you see as showing the most promise?

OVERSEER   The four Hebrew boys that you met.
.          They are the smartest and wisest of all.
.          And the boy, Daniel, even understands
.          all kinds of visions and dreams.

KING       Let me see them.

(OVERSEER goes to usher in the BOYS.  
KING walks back and forth, miming conversations
with them.  DANIEL mimes answering questions.)

DANIEL/a   After the three years of school and training,
.          we were brought before the king,
.          who asked us all sorts of questions.
.          And we were able to answer all of them.

(KING steps away and talks to OVERSEER.)

KING       Out of all the boys in my kingdom,
.          these boys are ten times smarter and wiser!
.          It is time they enter into my service.

(OVERSEER bows and ushers BOYS out.  KING exits.)
.                                                      7
DANIEL/a   And so, even though we were in a strange
.          and dangerous country, with no family,
.          God was with us and protected us,
.          because He delivers and rescues.

(DANIEL/a exits as NARRATOR enters.)

NARRATOR   As you could see, Daniel had
.          some serious challenges in his life.
.          But Daniel chose to trust
.          in his relationship with God,
.          and Daniel chose to obey God no matter what,
.          because “He delivers and rescues.”
.          And one day, God was going to send someone
.          to deliver and rescue people
.          from something even bigger –
.          so that we can choose to have
.          a relationship with God – forever.
.          So no matter what the circumstances,
.          we can know that God is greater than anything,
.          and we can choose to trust in God,
.          because “He delivers and rescues” Daniel 6:27.

(These skits can stand alone, or be used in a series.  
The next skit is “
Rescued from Destruction”.)