Sermons

Summary: Daniel & his three companions refuse to compromise. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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SERMON OUTLINE:

•Conquest (vs 1-2)

•Conscription (vs 3-7)

•Courage (vs 8-16)

•Choice (vs 17-21)

SERMON BODY:

Ill:

These are actual announcements from Church notices:

• Weight Watchers will be meeting at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church.

• Please use large double doors at the side entrance.

• A new loudspeaker system has been installed in the church;

• It was given by one of our members in honour of his wife.

• For those of you who have children and don't know it,

• We have a nursery downstairs.

• This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends of the church.

• Children will be baptized at both ends.

• At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What is Hell?"

• Come early and listen to our choir practice.

• A bean supper will be held on Tuesday in the church hall. Music will follow.

• Don't let worry kill you - let the church help.

TRANSITION:

• There was no humour and nothing funny about the announcement;

• Daniel and his people heard one morning;

• The year was 605bc;

• And the news boomed out all over the nation; “The enemy is coming!”

• This news was shocking, devastating, terrifying;

• And the people knew that the enemy;

• Would leave behind them a trail of destruction and despair.

• This foe was Babylon (modern day Iraq – near Bagdad);

• They were ruled by their new king Nebuchadnezzar.

(1). Conquest (vs 1-2)

“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”.

Ill:

• Statistics and Stuff

• Conquerors and the square miles they conquered.

1. Genghis Khan (1162-1227), 4,860,000

2. Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) 2,180,000

3. Tamerlane (Turkish Warrior) (1336-1405), 2,145,000

4. Cyrus the Great (600-529 B.C.), 2,090,000

5. Attila (406-453), 1,450,000

6. Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), 1,370,000, all of which he lost in 3 years

7. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) 720,000

• Nebuchadnezzar may not have made the top ten list of world conquerors;

• But history records him as the greatest king of the Babylonian empire

• He is credited with constructing the famous hanging gardens of Babylon;

• Which he made for his wife;

• Because she was homesick for the mountain springs where she grew up.

• But don’t think he was a softy!

• He was a cruel, brutal, powerful and ambitious king;

• He captured Judea and Jerusalem and he destroyed the temple of Solomon;

• And he started the Babylonian Captivity of the Hebrews.

Note: The backdrop to the book of Daniel is devastation!

• The unimaginable had happened…or so it seemed:

• Daniel’s country had been invaded by a military superpower.

• Babylon was a massive military power;

• And Daniel’s country Judah was small and military ineffective.

• ill: Like U.S.A. declaring war against the Isle of Wight!

• There was only ever going to be one winner.

• So Daniel’s country had been invaded;

• Daniel’s city destroyed,

• Daniel’s temple defiled.

• And evil had triumphed!

• And verse 2 tells us that God allowed it to happen:

• “And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand”

• For Daniel and his people this would not make sense!

Ill:

On February 15, 1947 Glenn Chambers boarded a plane bound for Quito,

• Ecuador to begin his ministry in missionary broadcasting.

• But he never arrived.

• In a horrible moment, the plane carrying Chambers;

• Crashed into a mountain peak and spiralled downward.

• Later it was learned that before leaving the Miami airport,

• Chambers wanted to write his mother a letter.

• All he could find for stationery was a page of advertising;

• On which was written the single word “WHY?”

• Around that word he hastily scribbled a final note.

• After Chamber’s mother learned of her son’s death, his letter arrived.

• She opened the envelope, took out the paper, and unfolded it.

• Staring her in the face was the questions “WHY?”

TRANSITION:

• There are no simple answers as to why things go wrong in life;

• No simple answers to why we experience pain and injustice and suffering.

Ill:

• “We don’t look alike, we don’t act alike.

• We don’t dress alike.

• We have different tastes in the food we eat.

• The books we read, the films we watch, the cars we drive and the music we enjoy.

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