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Summary: know how to live a life without compromise!

Surviving the Babylon’s of Life

Date: January 22, 2012

Scripture: Daniel 1:1-21

PP Have you ever found yourself in the midst of an UNEXPECTED time of crisis?

 One/those times when/nightmare hits/never saw it coming?

 For example, there might have been a time when you got an unexpected DIAGNOSIS from your doctor...

 Time when/deal with the unexpected DEATH of a loved one.

Perhaps you remember a horrible day when you were the recipient of an unexpected ACCUSATION.

 Someone claimed you did something wrong—and you knew were innocent.

 Maybe you know someone who was forced to deal with an unexpected DIVORCE.

 They were shocked when their spouse said she was having an affair.

 Maybe you were forced to deal with an unexpected FINANCIAL LOSS...

 Or your spouse was sent overseas in an unexpected military DEPLOYMENT.

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I bring this up because today/begin/study/truly remarkable young/man who/forced to deal/unexpected crisis very early in his life.

• I’m referring/prophet Daniel

• Taken from his homeland/captivity/Babylon/only 13 yrs.old.

• When I say REMARKABLE I mean it/Daniel --amazing guy.

• He was literally the best that Judah had to offer

• He was the cream of the crop.

The words of verses 3 and 4 of our text paint a very thorough picture of just how remarkable Daniel was.

o From a family of high social status—part of the royal family itself.

o He was also physically flawless—no doubt a consequence of the fact that his family was wealthy

o Daniel would have/good clothes/best food/a nice home

o Daniel was not only good looking—

o He was intelligent—bright—quick to understand.

Here’s another thing. The Bible says he was “qualified to serve in the king’s palace...”

Which meant he also had a high level of what we would call “emotional intelligence” — or “people smarts.”

In other words—Daniel knew how to read people—

o How to communicate with people—

o People of all temperaments.

o He had that rare kind of gracious “give and take” personality that made him very good at dealing with fallen human beings like you and me.

But, best of all—Daniel was a Godly young man—absolutely devoted to our Lord and His chosen people.

Add these characteristics together and it’s easy to conclude that Daniel was unique.

He was a very special person. “Daniel is one of the few principal characters of the Old Testament concerning whom there is not one word of criticism.”

PPP Like all young men his age, Daniel would have had dreams of how he thought his life would turn out—

Coming from nobility as he did—he would have assumed that his dreams were almost certain to come true.

 Daniel/get a great education under the best Hebrew teachers of his day...

 Go on to glittering success in whatever field he chose.

 He’d meet the right girl, build a great marriage, live in an enviable home, raise a wonderful family, and occupy a prominent place in the temple.

 In short, Daniel would be an overachiever.

 He would do great things for God and God’s people.

 He would be a leader in his homeland

 Someone who was looked up to and admired.

But—life did not turn out the way Daniel planned, did it?

No—the UNEXPECTED came—and you can almost feel the heartbreak that came with it in verses 1 and 2 where it says, “Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem and besieged it.”

PP Now, to put this/proper context, take you/lightening review of Hebrew history up until this point—and I do mean LIGHTENING—so hold on to your seats.

 The Hebrew people became a nation while/slavery/Egypt.

 They were delivered under Moses.

 They wandered/wilderness/forty years/enter/promised land.

 After a period of time they reached their peak as a nation under kings David and Solomon.

 Solomon built the glorious temple—

 in the kingly administrations that followed there was a long, slow decline

This was fueled by a cycle of rebellion then repentance then rebellion and so on.

 Soon there/more rebellion than repentance and eventually, the kingdom was divided into a northern kingdom, Israel, which was destroyed...

 All that remained was the Southern kingdom called Judah.

 Then when Daniel was a young man,

 Nebuchadnezzar came/very little effort destroyed all that was left of the nation of Israel...His holy people

 And if you’re thinking, “Why did God let this happen?”

I’d remind you that the Hebrews brought it on themselves.

 They ignored the warnings given/God’s prophets/used their God-given freedom to sin.

 “God would rather have His people living in shameful captivity in a pagan land than living like pagans in the Holy Land and disgracing His name.”

Well, because of this, everything changed for Daniel.

PPP His dreams remained just that—dreams—dreams that quickly faded away like the morning mist.

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