Standing Strong In The Face Of Change Series
Contributed by Michael Carbaugh on Jun 11, 2009 (message contributor)
Summary: For almost 30 years after the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel is faced with much change. In order to cope with this change Daniel had to learn the biblical characteristic of steadfastness.
How Many Christians to Change a Light bulb?
CHARISMATICS: Only 1 - Hands are already in the air.
PENTECOSTALS: 10 - One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.
PRESBYTERIANS: None - Lights will go on and off at predestined times.
ROMAN CATHOLICS: None, they only use candles.
BAPTISTS: At least 15 - One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad and fried chicken.
MORMONS (non-Christian of course): 5 - One man to change the bulb, and four wives to tell him how to do it.
JEHOVAHS WITNESSES: None, too busy knocking on doors telling everyone they have the wrong lights.
UNITARIANS (non-Christian of course): We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that light bulbs work for you, you are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your light bulb for the next Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, 3-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.
METHODISTS: Undetermined - Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved. You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or a dim bulb. Bring a bulb of your choice to the Sunday lighting service.
NAZARENES: 6 - One woman to replace the bulb while five men review church lighting policy.
LUTHERANS: None - Lutherans don’t believe in change.
AMISH: What’s a light bulb?
JEWS: Where’s Jacob’s ladder when you need it?
UNBELIEVERS: None, they’d rather sit in the dark
Anyway you look at it…no on like change. In fact, one person said it this way!
"If you want to make enemies, try to change something. You know why it is: to do things today exactly the way you did them yesterday saves thinking."
Change is always difficult, but it can also be a good thing. Today in our story, Daniel faces 23 years of change. Yet in spite of fearing change or resisting change, Daniel stands steadfast, and finds out that God can be trusted and faith can be increased in these times of change.
Our Story picks up with the first change that affected Daniel’s life. We notice in Daniel 5…The Change of Time.
Dan 5:1 - Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
From the close of Daniel Chapter 4 till the open of Daniel Chapter 5 there is a gap of time for about 23 years that seems to highlight the changes going on in the life of Daniel.
Nothing changes things more than the passing of time. That is true for Daniel and it is true for us. I am reminded of the Story of Israel in Egypt. Ex 1:8 - Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. What happened here…Time. Time passed by and the story of Joseph was forgotten.
As the change in time happens, we must be careful not to forget about the Lord. This was the problem of with Israel in the book of judges. Israel would do well under the leadership of a judge, but with the passing of time, they would revert back to what was right in their own eyes.
This is exactly what happened in Babylon. At the End of Daniel Chapter 4, Nebuchadnezzar was confessing the greatness of God after being humbled by God. But 23 years later, Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson is living a life full of pride.
Which brings us to the second change we see in Daniel. There was a change in leadership. Actually there had been many changes over the past 23 years. Daniel had served under 6 different King of the Babylonian empire.
•Nebuchadnezzar 602 – 562 BC
•Amel-Marduk, 562 – 560 BC
•Neriglissar, 560 – 556 BC
•Labashi-marduk, 556 BC
•Belshazzar, 556 – 539 BC
i. He was apparently a coregent with his father Nabonius.
ii. Was actually the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar
iii. Ruled in Babylon while his father was much further south.
iv. Was elevated in pride even though he knew of his grandfather’s
pride and humiliation.
No Matter who the leader was, Daniel had served faithfully. That is apparent because later on we will see that Daniel was specifically called on to interpret the writing. This brings us to an important point…No matter who the leader is the believer should respond in a godly way.
Did Daniel agree with all the things going on in Babylon? No, of course he didn’t. But did Daniel have to participate? NO, and he didn’t! And when called on to do his job, He did it, without complaint.