Summary: We are going to learn through this study how we can live for the Lord in a culture that is hostile to our beliefs and we will see the incredible sovereignty of God through many of the prophecies that are spoken to us through Daniel. This morning we will
When in Babylon…?
Daniel 1 – Standing Strong against Satan’s Schemes
Satan is seeking to destroy our faith
By indoctrinating our minds (1:4)
By stealing our identity (1:6-7)
By feeding our flesh (1:5)
God enables us to stand strong in our faith
By knowing the Truth(1:8a)
By remembering our Identity (1:19)
By exercising our faith (1:8b-16)
Good morning. I am excited you are here this morning. We are beginning a new series for the summer called, “When in Babylon…?”
You may have heard the saying When in Rome, do as the Romans. Well this title ends in a question mark, because we are going to find that, as Christians, we are not called to follow the ways that the world acts. We are called to follow the Lord, in all situations, even when we live in environments and cultures that are hostile towards those who are followers of the Lord.
And the society we live in today, while it is much more advanced technologically, is similar to Daniel’s in that it is not very supportive toward those who are followers of the Lord.
This is why I think studying the book of Daniel this summer will be good for all of us, to encourage us to live for the Lord and remind us that even in a culture that is opposed to following Him, we do follow a God that is completely in control of all things, things in the political realm as well as the future. They are all completely in His hand.
And even for those of you here today who are young, this is a great book to learn and know, because when Daniel and his friends were taken captive to Babylon, they were just teens who were separated from their family, but God used them mightily to bring glory to Him.
He can do the same thing through you, no matter what your age.
So before we get started, I want to give you a little background of the book of Daniel.
Daniel lived approximately 400 years after David and 600 years before Jesus. The book covers about a 75 year period from 605 BC to about 530 BC. In the beginning Daniel is just a teenager, maybe about 15 years old. When the book closes, he is about 90 years old. Over the course of his life, Daniel goes from prisoner to serving as a trusted counselor to a succession of Babylonian and Persian rulers.
As we begin the book of Daniel this morning, we are going to learn how the Lord enables us to stand strong against Satan’s Schemes as we get a glimpse of Satan’s playbook for turning God fearing believers away from Him.
So turn with me to Daniel 1.
If you don’t know where Daniel is, open to the middle of the Bible and then go to the right. Go past Isaiah, and past Jeremiah and past Ezekiel. If you get to a guy’s name you don’t recognize, it is probably one of the minor prophets and you have gone too far. Go back to the left. It is right after Ezekiel.
So beginning in Daniel 1, we read:
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.
3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
6 Among these were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.
Let’s pause here and pray
Ok, in these first 7 verses of Daniel, we find that things are not going so well for Israel.
Jerusalem has been besieged and prisoners are taken.
One of the first things we learn here is that it is not Satan who is behind Jerusalem’s fall, but the Lord.
It tells us that “the Lord delivered Jehoiakim, the king of Judah into” the hands of Nebuchadnezzar (1:2).