David C Cook COVID-19 Response

Upper Elementary

Defiance Means Trouble

Lesson 11 


Spring 2021


By: RLD Editorial Team 


May 23, 2021

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Lesson Focus:

A nation that defies God is in trouble.

Bible Basis:

Daniel 5

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will discuss defiance and learn how God deals with nations who defy Him.

Memory Verse:

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority.
—1 Timothy 2:1-2

Step 1:

Students will discuss defiance and learn how God deals with nations who defy Him.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • What does defiance mean? (Allow students to give their own definition. Help students understand the meaning as a refusal to obey.)
  • Can you give me some examples of what defiance looks like? (Answers may include: disobeying parents; talking back; breaking the rules, etc.)

Defiance means a refusal to obey; you might also say it is bold disobedience or open resistance. 

  • Have you ever refused to obey someone? Why? What were the circumstances? (Answers will vary but may include: I refused to apologize to my brother after we got into a fight; my friends and I wouldn’t listen to our substitute teacher because we wanted to fool around for the day—we got into big trouble, etc.)
  • What kind of punishment did you receive for disobeying? (Answers may include: grounded; my phone taken away; extra chores, etc.)

Rules are important! They’re made to keep us safe. When we choose to disobey, things can get chaotic. 

Over the past several years, the tiny country of North Korea has chosen to disobey rules they agreed to follow.  North Korea—a communist nation—has repeatedly tested nuclear weapons despite the fact that they have received “sanctions” from other nations. A sanction is a kind of punishment. What’s more, North Korea defiantly boasted to the whole world that they were breaking the rules and didn’t care. Recently, the nation also defied the global spread of COVID-19 by throwing a huge military parade instead of practicing social distancing.

Share this video with your students [1:14]:
“North Korea defies coronavirus with huge military parade”

  • Why do you think North Korea has decided they don’t have to follow the rules except when they want to? (Answers: They don’t care what the rules say; they only care about power; they want to do things their way; etc.)

We’ve all witnessed acts of defiance, whether in our homes or on the news. Defiance always leads to an unhappy ending, with someone being punished for their disobedience. Wouldn’t it just be easier to obey in the first place?

In today’s lesson we’re going to read about a king who had no intention of acknowledging or obeying God or His ways. In fact, this king openly and arrogantly mocked and defied God in front of thousands of people. He had no idea Who he was dealing with, until it was too late. Let’s find out how God dealt with this king’s disobedience.

Additional resources:

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • Notebook paper
  • Pens/pencils

Earlier we learned when a nation defies God, there will be consequences. God is not to be undermined! He is sovereign and will always reign supreme, no matter what year it is, who’s in command, or what the people of that time period think is okay. God’s laws and His ways never change.

We discussed earlier how North Korea has defied laws and how Belshazzar and his nation chose to defy God’s laws many years ago. Now it’s time to get personal. A nation is made up of people. We are the people of our nation, the United States of America. 

Pass out notebook paper and pens/pencils to preteens. (If your class is meeting online, invite them to have those supplies ready.) Have them create two lists, one for how the United States is defying God’s laws and the second list of ways they are personally defying God’s laws. Give them time to think and work quietly. Once they are finished, discuss what they’ve written.

  • What are some ways our nation is defying God’s laws? (Some possible answers: abortion; racism; violence/hate; ungodly television shows and movies, etc.)
  • What are ways you are personally defying God’s laws? (Answers will vary but may include: not obeying my parents; constantly fighting with my siblings; using the Lord’s name in vain; etc. Be sure to include your own experiences.)

Encourage your students to place the lists they made into their Bibles. Challenge them to pray daily for their nation; encourage them to choose obedience to God’s ways this week and to be His light.

True revival and change in our country and in us can only come from God.  Revival means a renewal; to start over or start fresh. In the Christian sense, this means to repent of our sin and make a change to obey God’s ways. 

Let’s take time to confess the ways our nation has defied God and pray for its revival. In doing that, we need to ask for revival of our own hearts. Let’s ask God for forgiveness of our sins and the sins of our nation. Ask Him for His help to show us how to be a light in this dark world.

Have students gather in a circle to pray corporately for our nation and for their personal relationship with God. (If your class is meeting online, invite students to take turns unmuting themselves to pray.) After you sense that the time is coming to an end, pray a closing prayer.

Additional resources:

Spread the word

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