Summary: Opening message in Future History: the book of Daniel. The theme of Daniel 1 is how Daniel and friends become "10 times wiser than all the enchanters in the kingdom."
[This sermon is contributed by Hal Seed of New Song Church in Oceanside, California and of www.PastorMentor.com. Hal is the author of numerous books including The God Questions and The Bible Questions. If you are interested in The Bible Questions Church-wide Campaign, please visit and watch Hal’s video at www.PastorMentor.com.]
The Making of Wise Men
Future History, Part 1
(1) All capitalized words were made into PowerPoint slides for this message. If you would like a copy of the PowerPoint, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
(2)This is the first in a 10 part series which saw New Song grow by 17% during the final 7 weeks. Hal Seed promised the church he’d write a book on it, called Future History. Future History is available at www.halseed.com; it includes sermons, interactive Bible studies, and can be used as a church-wide campaign.
Good morning New Song!
This morning we are beginning an adventure in the sticky pages of the O.T. Find a Bible and turn to the table of contents in the front.
The O.T. is divided into three major sections. Gen. – Esther is the historical section,
Job – Song of Songs is the poetical section,
Isaiah – Malachi is the prophetical section.
The prophetical section is divided into two smaller sections. The first section is the Major Prophets. The second section is the Minor Prophets. The majors are called major because they had more talent and worked their way up from the minor leagues…
No. They’re called, “Major” only because the length of their books is a lot longer than their minor counterparts. There are four Major Prophets: Isaiah, Jer, Ezek, and Daniel. Isaiah is 66 chapters long. Jer is 52 chapters long. Ezek is 48 chapters long. Daniel is only 12 chapters long. So he’s kind of a minor major prophet.
But you’ll notice as you’re there that his story begins on 873. TURN TO DANIEL 1, P. 873.
Daniel’s story is the story of an exile. He was an unwilling immigrant who moved from his homeland of Israel, across almost 1000 miles of desert, probably roped or chained to several other Israeli’s, possibly after witnessing the death of his parents when the Babylonians conquered the nation of Judah in 606 B.C.
Here’s a map, for those of you who are visually oriented: SHOW MAP OF MIDDLE EAST
While you’re turning there, how many of you were born in countries other than the U.S.?
How old when moved here?
How learned English?
What did you find different about the people here?
Was it hard for you?
Did you come here against your will?)
How hard it is to succeed in life, really?
Is it easy for someone born in America to rise to the top of whatever profession or organization they join? – No. It’s not. Most of us dream of things we never attain. Dreams are good because they drive us forward and motivate us to work hard and learn more, but rarely does anyone exceed their dreams.
If it’s hard for a native born person, how much harder for an ex-patriot?
How much harder for someone who speaks the language as their second language? For whom the tastes and ways of doing things aren’t second nature? How much harder for someone who is view with suspicion because of the accent of his tongue or the background of his ancestors?
Succeeding in life is a challenge for most of us under the best of circumstance. Isn’t that true?
One reason God put Daniel chapter 1 in the Bible is so that you could study a blueprint for success.
Daniel and his buddies put on a success clinic in their day and age. We ought to learn from them.
In fact, look at this verse friends. This is from the N.T., describe the value of books and stories like Daniel from the O.T.
THESE THINGS HAPPENED TO THEM AS EXAMPLES AND WERE WRITTEN DOWN AS WARNINGS FOR US… 1 CORINTHIANS 10:11
So listen and learn, about THE MAKING OF WISE MEN.
Here’s the situation, just before we read:
Daniel and several thousand other Israelites would have traveled this direction (trace the route) because of water. If you’ve seen the movie Lawrence of Arabia, you know that it is almost impossible to come across the Arabian Peninsula because of the lack of water. Since time immemorial, troops and travelers have followed this route known as the fertile crescent.
Daniel and his friends were brought to a refugee champ on the outskirts of Babylon by a river called the “Chebar.” Let’s read the full story: Dan. 1:1
v. 5 – See what he’s doing? He’s going to call on the brightest and best from Israel to help him assimilate the Israelites into his empire. And of course, to assimilate them, he has to a-acculturate them. He has to make them Babylonian Israelites. So they must learn the language of Babylon and the customs of Babylon and the tastes and values and ways of thinking and theology of Babylon.