On the way to becoming one of the world's wisest men, the boy Daniel faced three big tests. The first and most important was a matter of taste, the second required him to learn all the wrong things and the third demanded answers where there were no questions.
Pictures: These are displayed during the narration of the story at appropriate moments.
Introduction: Show locations of Jerusalem and Babylon. Introduce Daniel (a young boy) and Nebuchadnezer (the Great King). Daniel taken to School with other boys, including his 3 friends.
The efforts to make them idol-worshipers: changed names, wonderful food (offered to idols)
The temptations: Parents far away - who will know, Delicious foods. Many of the other boys ate, it would be so easy to go along and give in.
The Eunoch (schoolmaster) was worried about their health (and his head). To obey God meant taking the hard way - eating only vegetables. (Meat were all sacrificed to idols). Wouldn't they become weak.
Only Daniel and 3 friends refused - Four chose to obey and serve God even if it was hard to do. And living in obedience to God - they were healthier than the rest.
Test # 2: To Test all he is taught by God's truth in the Bible and be wise before God as well as the King.
Going to School in Babylon meant learning new a language, studying Babylonian science, and Babylonian literature, also dream inter-pretation, pagan myths and astrology.
Daniel read and memorized his Bible and questioned everything he was taught by its truth.
They graduated with honors. Even the king found the boys 10 times wiser than his own wise men.
Test # 3: To trust God and look to him for protection and guidance.
The King was frightened - he is having bad dreams about his kingdom. He is demanding to know answers from his wise men - but he refuses to tell them the dream. He was smart. Babylon's Astrologers could have faked answers, but can't fake the dream. They tell the king only the gods can reveal such secrets. Nebuchadnezer orders all wise men to be put to death.
Now Daniel and his friends are in in great danger. Daniel knows His own wisdom is not enough. He knows only God can reveal the dream. The friends pray hard. God answers their prayer by giving Daniel the dream and its meaning.
So the King honored Daniel, but really it was God honoring him. Because he had chosen to love God as a boy, now God has made him an important man in the Kingdom of Babylon. He can tell God's truth to the King.