“Where We Are Should Not Dictate Who We Are”
Daniel 1 How to be God’s person in an ungodly world.
The man we refer to in Scripture as Daniel, Belteshazzar, is regarded as the fourth major prophet (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel). Two of the major prophets were priests and all four were of royal or noble birth. The name itself is spelled Daniyyel in Hebrew and Daniel in Greek and of course, English. The Hebrew meaning is “God is my judge”. Daniel and his 3 friends were from the royal court of Jehoiakim and were among the 1st wave of exiles taken from Jerusalem to Babylon. Some believe that 2 Kings 20:16-18 speaks directly of this event: “Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord: Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”
How do you destroy a culture? There are two prominent ways:
1. Annihilation – _____________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Will Durant, the famous American historian/philosopher who wrote, The Story of Civilization, penned this one line warning: “From barbarism to civilization requires a century; from civilization to barbarism requires a day.”
2. Removal and Dispersion – ___________________________________________________
Daniel and his situation. He is in the Babylonian wave, the 1st wave of exile in Judah.
1. He goes from palace to palace. He has skills and the Babylonians want to use them.
2. He is beginning his indoctrination, the intentional retraining by the Babylonians. ______
3. Daniel is an Israelite so he knows the God of Israel, the one true God. They’ve given him a new name but he still has his own identity. Daniel believe the truth of Proverbs 10:27 - “The fear of the Lord adds length to life.” Verse 15 tells us the results, “At the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portions of the king’s delicacies.” _________________________________________________________
4. Daniel is holding on tight to his identity, along with his 3 friends. When we are faithful we are in position to receive God’s blessing. That’s what verse 17 is all about: “As for these four young me, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” ________________________________________
5. God moves upon men. We see this in verse 19: “Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king.” ______________________________________________________
6. What a dramatic result, verse 20: “In all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.” __________________________________________
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