Who do you consider to be a successful person?
How do you decide whether you are succeeding or failing in life?
How do you think God measures whether or not we are succeeding or failing?
Read Daniel 8:1-4 (the ram is representative of the Medo-Persian empire which was soon to come).
The ram was able to "do as he pleased" and it "became great." Do you think God considered the Persians to be successful? Why or why not?
Why do you think God allowed the Persians to have great success for several centuries? Can you think of ways in which God used the Persian empire to accomplish His will?
Read Daniel 8:5-12 (the goat represents the Greeks, and the four horns represent the four generals who divided Alexander the Great's empire).
Verses 9-12 tell of another horn that came from one of the four. Based on these verses would you describe this king/kingdom as good or bad? Why?
Verse 12 says that this king/kingdom "prospered in everything it did". Why do you think God would allow someone like this to prosper?
Read Luke 13:1-5. The Roman ruler, Pilate, had put down a Jewish rebellion by killing several men and mixing their blood with the sacrifice. Jesus compared their deaths to the deaths of eighteen people who died when a tower fell.
Did Jesus think these people died because they were worse sinners than others? How do you know?
Why does God not always reward the righteous and punish the sinners immediately? What is the implication of Luke 13:5?
If you aren't "successful" in life does that mean you aren't living right? Why or why not?
Does material success indicate that someone is living right? Why or why not?
What do you need to change about your life in view of this discussion?