Summary: God calls us all to something within the body of Christ. Do we listen and respond to God or go spiritually deaf?
When God Calls
Griffith Baptist Church – 1/27/08
Text: Daniel 1:1-4
Key verse: Daniel 1:3 – “And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel . . .”
1. Some quick historical background:
A. Jehoiakim is king of Judah after his father (good king Josiah is killed in battle – 2nd Kgs. 23-24)
B. Jehoahaz (son of Josiah) reigns for 3 months and is deposed by Pharaoh Neco
C. Eliakim is renamed Jehoiakim by Pharaoh Neco and placed upon the throne of Judah
D. In the meantime Pharaoh Neco meets Nebuchadnezzer on the battlefield at Carchemish and is soundly defeated
E. Judah (Jehoiakim) become a vassal state to Babylon
F. Jehoiakim rebels and Nebuchadnezzer reigns him in.
2. Sometimes we don’t understand how or why God chooses to do certain things.
A. Certain information is not open to our scrutiny - Romans 11:33-36 - 33O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
B. God does not check with us to see if it is okay to take a course of action - Ephesians 1:11 - In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
3. Such is the opening story of Daniel.
A. Daniel and company were taken to Babylon to be indoctrinated in the culture and wisdom of the Babylonians.
B. They were stolen from their homeland to live in a strange place and learn strange ways
C. They were to live in a godless environment
D. They were chosen because they were special (verse 4)
E. They were given different names so that even their identity would be lost (verse 7)
F. The end result was to be brainwashed and converted to another lifestyle.
4. What happened to Daniel and his friends often happens to us:
A. We are in this world and allow ourselves to be thrown into its philosophy and ways
B. We feel we have to have a measure of acceptance or else we will be looked down on
C. If we don’t conform, we may even lose chances for promotions and success and honor
5. Only four here distinguished themselves out of many who were brought to this land; Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being a monarch. He made application to Prior Richard at a local monastery, asking to be accepted as a contemplative and spend the rest of his life in the monastery.
“Your Majesty,” said Prior Richard, “do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That will be hard because you have been a king.”
“I understand,” said Henry. “The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.”
“Then I will tell you what to do,” said Prior Richard. “Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you.”
When King Henry died, a statement was written: “The King learned to rule by being obedient.”
Steve Brown, Key Biscayne, Florida
There are three activities of God’s working and calling that we can see in the events in this passage and in our lives.
1. When God Calls You, He Prepares You
A. He prepared Daniel for such a time and ordeal as this.
i. He had all of the qualifications of verse 4
ii. God has so much prepared and is preparing for us – He prepares our hearts (Ps. 10:17), He prepares the light and the sun (Ps. 74:16), the rain (Ps. 147:8), the heavens (Prov. 8:27), and judgment for scorners (Prov. 19:29). In Jonah He prepared a great fish (1:17), a gourd for shade (4:6), a worm to destroy the gourd (4:7), and a hot wind (4:8). In Matt.25:34 He tells us He is preparing a kingdom, in Matt. 25:41 He has prepared hell for the devil and His angels, in John 14:2-3 He tells us He is preparing a place for us, His bride, the church, and in Rev. 21:2 he has prepared the New Jerusalem and gives it to His bride.
iii. I think God knows how to prepare
B. Prepare means to make ready beforehand for a specific purpose.
C. God calls us to a purpose