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God is in control of everything! How many of you believe this??

Many of us will say this because we believe in a big almighty God. If youíre going to pick a god, pick a good one! Pick a God who is in control and Almighty!
But someone can say, ďI donít believe in God, so that proves that God is not in control of everything!Ē Pretty strong argument isnít it?

You see, this is when the Word of God is most helpful to us. We are starting a new series today. We will note from the Book of Daniel that God is in control. But we also will note that God allows people to choose. The statement we should be telling people is this: God is in control but allows people to make choices.

Please open your bibles to the Book of Daniel. But before reading Chapter 1, hereís some background information:

God chose a people, through Abraham, called Israel.
12 Tribes were established in Israel.
The Tribes divided into 2 Kingdoms (Israel and Judah)
The Babylonians captured Judah about 600 years B.C.

Read along with me Daniel Chapter 1Ö..

Along with God, let us look at the three main characters in this passage and let us ask 2 main questions: What did God do and how did the people respond?

What did God do for King Jehoiakim?
We read in v2 that God delivered Jehoiakim to the enemy! We need to pause here and also ask and try to answer the questions, ďwhy would God do that to a king of His people? Why would God take someone who represents Him to be a prisoner of Godís enemy?Ē

According to v1, how long has Jehoiakim reigned??
Do you think God had given Jehoiakim opportunities to do the right things?

And why do you think God would allow the temple articles be taken by pagans??

Nebuchadnezzar treasured those temple items! Wasnít it likely that Jehoiakim and the people of Israel treasured those articles as well rather than God Himself? God allowed those things to discipline His people!

The stories of the kings of Israel are actually written in 1st and 2nd Kings. Briefly turn with me to 2 Kings 23:36ÖÖ. Jehoiakim was actually already king for 11 years and God already told His people that they will be judged because of their sins! God is in control but allows people to make choices!

How did Jehoiakim responded to what God was doing? Letís turn briefly to Jeremiah 36; look at v23ÖÖ And can men destroy Godís Word just like that? Look at v32Ö.

And what was the final result of Jehoiakimís life? Look at Jeremiah 36:30Ö.

God is in control but allows people to make choices which leads to consequences. This is the truth that we need to grasp and share with people!

Now, what about Daniel? What did God do for Daniel and how did he respond?
Look again at Daniel 1:5ÖÖ
God allowed Daniel to be a slave! Why would God to that?? Stay tuned! We will learn a lot about Godís plan for Daniel and for the whole world as we study this book.

For now, let us answer the question, ďHow did Daniel respond to what God was doing in his life at that time?