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RESCUED FROM HAND OF GOD - written by Tanis Harms

TOPIC:        salvation, obeying God
SCRIPTURE:    Daniel 5:1-31, 6:27
Style:        drama/conversation:  Daniel tells his story
.             about when they were taken into captivity
.             and he determined to remain obedient to God
.             and interpret the handwriting on the wall
Cast:         NARRATOR, DANIEL (adult),
.             DANIEL (option, if you are using puppets
.               otherwise you can have DANIEL/s step
.               into place during the dramatic parts),
.             KING, OVERSEER, MAN 1 and 2
Set & Props:  crown, whip


(NARRATOR enters.)

NARRATOR   Ever wonder why doing the right thing
.          can sometimes feel so difficult to do?
.          But after doing the right thing,
.          you can see why it was all worth it?
.          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.
.          When I was young, my people were captured
.          and taken to a strange, and dangerous country.
.          I was also taken away from my family,
.          and made to serve the king of Babylon.
.                                                      2
(KING enters at center stage.)

KING       Where is my overseer?

(KING looks at congregation.)

KING       If you happen to see my overseer – tell him
.          that the great king of Babylon
.          has demanded to see him.

(KING exits.  OVERSEER enters and looks around.
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   I better get going then.

(NARRATOR exits as OVERSEER hurries off stage.
KING enters.)

DANIEL/a   Now, this new king of Babylon just saw
.          something very disturbing, and was afraid
.          to know what it meant.

(OVERSEER enters and approaches KING with a bow.)

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

KING       I just saw something very upsetting. So I want
.          you to gather all the magicians, conjurers,
.          sorcerers and priests, and bring them to me.
.                                                      3
OVERSEER   Right away, oh great king of Babylon.

(OVERSEER bows and exits quickly.)

DANIEL/a   I had not yet met this new king of Babylon,
.          and even though I was still in the king’s
.          service, people had forgotten about me.  They
.          had also forgotten about the mighty things
.          that the one and only God could do.

(OVERSEER approaches KING with a bow.  MEN 1 and 2
enter and stand before the KING, but not too closely.
These two men are to represent a large group,
so when KING speaks to the “GROUP”, KING looks around
the room as if speaking to a huge amount of people.)

KING       I just saw something very upsetting.
.          And I want to know what it means.

MAN 1      What did you see, oh great king of Babylon?

KING       I was having a great feast for all the
.          leaders of our country.  And while we were
.          eating and drinking, I had a crazy idea.
.          Back when my father was king, he had
.          captured the people of Israel, and took
.          their precious gold and silver vessels
.          from their temple of God.  Well, I asked
.          the servants to bring me those vessels.
.          I wanted to show off.  And take those vessels
.          which were made for the God of Israel, and
.          use them as common cups and plates.  I thought
.          it would be funny.  So instead of using
.          those vessels to honor the one and only God,
.          we used them to honor all sorts of other gods.
.          Like the gods of gold and silver, of bronze,
.          iron, wood and stone.  But suddenly - -
.          the fingers of a man’s hand appeared –
.          in the air - and began writing on the wall –

MAN 1      Who was there?  What was it?

KING       Just – a hand – writing on the wall.

MAN 1      Without a body?

KING       As I said, it was very upsetting to see.
.          We were all very scared.

MAN 1      I can only imagine.  So, what was -          4
.          written on the wall?

KING       This is what I need to know.  It’s-
.          it’s up there, there - on the wall.
.          (points offstage to the side)

MAN 1      I have never seen this language.

KING       It was so scary.  My knees were – knocking
.          together in fear.  I thought I would faint.
.          Now, whoever can read what is written
.          on the wall, will be given royal clothes,
.          and have a necklace of gold around his neck,
.          and be given one third of the kingdom to rule.

(MEN 1 and 2 take some time to study the “writing” that
is offstage to the side, finally shaking their heads.)

MAN 1      We are sorry, oh great king of Babylon.
.          We cannot tell you what the writing says.

OVERSEER   Excuse me, oh great King of Babylon.
.          The queen, your mother, says she remembers
.          someone from when your father was king.
.          The queen remembers a man named Daniel,
.          who has a spirit of the holy gods.
.          Apparently your father had put Daniel
.          as ruler over all wise men, because
.          he had an extraordinary spirit, with
.          knowledge and insight, able to interpret
.          dreams, and solve difficult problems.

KING       Go!  Find this man named Daniel!

(OVERSEER bows and exits quickly.)

DANIEL/a   It had been a long time, and by now,
.          I was a fairly old man.

(OVERSEER returns with DANIEL, who can be DANIEL/a.)

KING       Are you that Daniel who had been captured
.          many years ago and taken from the land
.          of Judah, from the country of Israel?

DANIEL     I am.

KING       And you are the one who has great insight
.          and wisdom from some higher power?
.                                                      5
DANIEL     Yes.  The one and only living God
.          is able to do great and might things
.          for those who obey and serve Him.
.          And I trust in God for everything,
.          because He delivers and rescues.

KING       Well, I hear that you are also able
.          to interpret great mysteries.
.          There appeared a hand – writing on the wall.
.          I need to understand what was written.

(KING leads DANIEL to where he can point out the spot
which is offstage.  KING speaks as DANIEL studies it.)

KING       If you are able to tell me what it says
.          I will dress you in royal clothes,
.          and give you a necklace of gold!  And you
.          will be given a third of the kingdom to rule.

DANIEL     Keep your gifts for yourself or give
.          your rewards to someone else.

KING       You cannot do it?

DANIEL     I can, and I will.  The message on the wall
.          says that God gave your father a great
.          kingdom to rule.  But when your father
.          became too proud and acted arrogantly,
.          God allowed your father to lose his mind,
.          and lose his kingdom for seven years.
.          And he lived like a madman, like an animal.
.          Then after seven years, your father
.          realized that the one and only living God
.          is ruler over the entire realm of mankind
.          and controls everything.

KING       But - how is this message for me?

DANIEL     You grew up hearing your father tell these
.          stories, but yet you do not humble yourself.
.          In fact, even though you have known
.          all of this, you have exalted yourself
.          over the God of heaven;  and you used
.          the vessels of God to drink from, and
.          used them to praise other gods –
.          who are only made of silver and gold,
.          bronze, iron, wood and stone – these god
.          which cannot see, hear or understand.

KING       (joking)  It says all of that?  Who is       6
.          this God that thinks He can judge me?

DANIEL     Do you still act arrogantly toward the God
.          who has power over whether you live or die,
.          rule or fall?  Because you do not glorify Him,
.          God sent this message to you.
.          You have been found unworthy, and your kingdom
.          will be taken from you, divided, and given
.          to the countries of the Medes and Persians.

(There is silence.  MAN 1 and 2 look at each other,
worried.  MAN 1 comments to DANIEL.)

MAN 1      That took some nerve.  Do you WANT to die?

KING       Daniel has told me the truth and told me
.          what the message said.  (to OVERSEER)
.          Please, bring Daniel some royal clothes,
.          the necklace of gold, and tell the nation
.          that Daniel now rules a third of the kingdom.

(KING exits, worried.  MAN 1 and 2 follow behind.

OVERSEER   Why did you not want the rewards from
.          the king?

DANIEL     There is not much point getting those
.          rewards, for the enemies are ready to
.          take over.  We will very soon be under
.          the rule of another king.

OVERSEER   Are you not scared of what will happen?
.          If that actually happens –
.          everything could change.

DANIEL     Over all these years, I have learned,
.          and I have decided that I will always put
.          my trust in the one and only living God.

(OVERSEER nods in partial understanding.)

DANIEL/a   And so, even though I was in a strange
.          and dangerous country, with no family,
.          God was with me and protected me,
.          because He delivers and rescues.

(DANIEL/a exits as NARRATOR enters.)

NARRATOR   As you could see, Daniel had                 7
.          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 Lions”.)