Summary: This Wednesday Evening message looks at the first Chapter of Daniel, exploring the issue of purity and service for God
God’s Remnant in a Pagan Society
Daniel Chapter 1
INTRODUCTION: It would be difficult to look back into the biblical history of Israel and not find a more tragic time than the captivity of the nation. At the time of the captivity, the Nation of Israel had disobeyed God, foolishly thinking that God would never assert his rights as He had outlined to them in the books of the Law, yet God would do just that. In the book of Jeremiah the prophet we read,
Jeremiah 25:8-13 Therefore the LORD Almighty says this: "Because you have not listened to my words, 9I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon," declares the LORD, "and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. 10I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp. 11This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
12"But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt," declares the LORD, "and will make it desolate forever. 13I will bring upon that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations.
Jeremiah warned that there would be a judgment for sin. God would connect this judgment with the Sabbatical years Israel had refused to honor. They had ignored God’s word regarding this matter for some 490 years. They were about to learn that one cannot ignore God and prosper, and as Harry Ironside wrote, “God is going to square the account.”
The book of Joshua records the opposite for us regarding prosperity, making it abundantly clear that prosperity is not in what we are doing, but in who we are serving:
Joshua 1:7-9 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
As we come to this first chapter of Daniel, we are faced with the pronunciation of God regarding activity and service for God!
I A TIME OF GOD’S OWN CHOOSING – Daniel 1:1-2
A Nebuchadnezzar’s besieging of Jerusalem took place during the reign of Jehoiakim, the 17th king of Judah.
1 Jehoiakim’s younger brother Jehoahaz had been placed on Judah’s throne after Pharaoh Neco killed King Josiah in 609 B.C.
2 But Neco dethroned Jehoahaz and placed Jehoiakim on the throne (2 Chron. 36:3-4).
B Jeremiah had warned Jehoiakim of impending invasion by Babylon.
1 Jehoiakim had heard of the prophet’s instruction to God’s people to submit to Babylon without resistance.
2 little or no resistance was offered
3 Jehoiakim was captured and taken to Babylon.
4 Judah came under Nebuchadnezzar’s authority.
C Fulfillment of Prophecy
1 With this incursion by Nebuchadnezzar an important prophetic time period—the times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24)
a an extended period of time in which the land given in covenant by God to Abraham and his descendants is occupied by Gentile powers and the Davidic throne is empty of any rightful heir in the Davidic line.
b The times of the Gentiles, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Jerusalem in 605 B.C., will continue till the Messiah returns. Then Christ will subdue nations, deliver the land of Israel from its Gentile occupants, and bring the nation Israel into her covenanted blessings in the millennial kingdom.
D The removal of the articles of the temple
1 All were not removed – original desire was to make Judah a Tributary of Babylon
2 Items deposited in the “temple of his God”
II A REMNANT OF GOD’S OWN CHOOSING – Daniel 1:3-16
A Important to note the importance of the moral conditions of God’s remnant
1 Morality matters where God is concerned
2 God is always looking for faithful men
3 God is always looking for separate men
a Separate from the wrong things
b Separate to the right things
4 God is always looking for men subject to God