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Studies in Daniel Presentation 01. The Table of Contents Chapter 1v1-21 Compromise or Else Chapter 2v1-49A Disturbing Dream Chapter 3v1-30 Dare to be.

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Presentation on theme: "Studies in Daniel Presentation 01. The Table of Contents Chapter 1v1-21 Compromise or Else Chapter 2v1-49A Disturbing Dream Chapter 3v1-30 Dare to be."— Presentation transcript:

1 Studies in Daniel Presentation 01

2 The Table of Contents Chapter 1v1-21 Compromise or Else Chapter 2v1-49A Disturbing Dream Chapter 3v1-30 Dare to be Different Chapter 4v1-37God Humbles the Proud Chapter 5v1-31The Destiny of Man Chapter 6v1-28 Finding Yourself on the Menu Chapter 7v1-28 The Four Beasts Chapter 8v1-27 The Little Horn Chapter 9v1-27Daniels Prayer Chapter 10v1-11v1Spiritual Conflict Chapter 11v2-35Historys Pattern Chapter 11v36-12v-13 The End Time Presentation 01

3 Compromise or Else! Chap 1v1-21

4 Presentation 01 While reading a book, have you ever wished you could be like one of its characters and possess his strength, courage, wisdom, or resourcefulness? Gods heroes are not born heroes. Nor do they wake up one morning and find themselves to be heroes. Before heroism becomes observable on the public stage, it must first take tiny baby steps in private. Heroism does not originate in a Walter Mitty world of day-dreams but in the furnace of harsh historical realities. Daniel and his friends provide us with working examples of how heroes are made. Introduction

5 Presentation 01 In the C6th B.C. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, successfully laid siege to and captured Jerusalem, Israels capital. He was a wily character, who was determined to employ the skills of his subjugated people to advance his own kingdom. Unlike Pharaoh he intended that his captives should, as much as possible, be oblivious to their slavery. Nebuchadnezzars Plan The Babylonian Empire Carchemish Niniveh Babylon Susa Tyre Samaria Jerusalem Cyprus Persia Egypt Syria Judah Elam Babylonia Assyria

6 Presentation 01 The cream of Israels youth were transported to Babylon to undergo a course of preparation and indoctrination. What flattering words Nebuchadnezzars administration must have used, Youve been chosen out of all the young men in your land and are destined for greatness in my Empire How would these young Israelites respond? Nebuchadnezzar is a decent old man. What a great opportunity he has given us. Life here is going to be far better than back home in Israel. Nebuchadnezzars Plan

7 Presentation 01 Today Christian people are also subjected to subtle pressures that are opposed to God and intent upon enslaving them. Friendships are cultivated, egos are massaged as they are told, what a wonderful contribution they can make in the workplace, in society, and in politics. Sign up to our value system and a person of your calibre you will climb the ladder of success. Now, whenever people feel devalued or have a low self-esteem, all of this flattering speech is eagerly lapped up. Without being aware of it, their hearts affections can be weaned away from both Christian values and God himself. Nebuchadnezzars Plan

8 Presentation 01 A Christian girl, we will call Jennifer, wasnt physically attractive nor did she have much of a personality. Her parents had little time for her and none of the boys in church gave her a second look. Some of them pitied her. Then she met a boy, who told her she was beautiful. He made her feel good about herself in a way that no one else had ever done. Her church commitment fell away as she spent more time with him. Jennifer got pregnant. The boy disappeared. His protestations of love had been a means of securing his own selfish ends. Jennifer experienced a profound sense of hurt and shame. She had been offered personal and emotional enrichment, but instead experienced great emotional turmoil and impoverishment. Nebuchadnezzars Plan

9 Presentation 01 The method Nebuchadnezzar used to reroute the heart affections of Gods people from God to himself and his empire has much to teach. First, the use he made of isolation. Daniel and his friends were removed from the home influences that had shaped their character. They were taken to Babylon, where there was no public worship, or instruction and no mature godly counsel. Nebuchadnezzar must have thought, The young men will soon forget Israels God. This kind of isolation from family, friends and church can make us much more vulnerable to compromise. Nebuchadnezzars Plan

10 Presentation 01 And so began a course of indoctrination. Cf v4 they were instructed in the language and literature of the Babylonians. Secondly, we need to recognise that Education is not neutral. It invariably communicates cultural and moral values. It trains students to think in a particular way. It makes assumptions about life and reflects a particular world view. The youngsters from Jerusalem were constantly exposed to a godless world view. Think of what is happening in parts of western civilisation today with the influence of scientific materialism, which continues in its attempts to displace God. Nebuchadnezzars Plan

11 Presentation 01 Many young people are taught that the world in which they live is the result of a cosmic accident and not the product of creation or design. When you build a world view, as Darwin did, which rests on the principle of the survival of the fittest, then do not be surprised if there is increased pressure to discriminate against the weak and the elderly in society. When we stop valuing people as those, who are made in the image of God, then compassion begins to evaporate, caring is no longer a calling and euthanasia is hailed as a practical solution to the demands of a burgeoning health service. The morality of nations is being remoulded and many remain oblivious to that fact. Nebuchadnezzars Plan

12 Presentation 01 Thirdly, Nebuchadnezzar attempted to involve Daniel and his friends in compromise. He made available to them a daily provision of delicacies v8. Either this food had been offered to idols so that eating it would be seen as participation in idolatrous worship? Or they were being seduced by a luxurious lifestyle? High living can so easily master the senses and blunt our Christian commitment. Paul said of one of his co-workers, Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me. 2 Tim 4.10. Nebuchadnezzar knew enough about the human nature to recognise that having a good time, living in the lap of luxury, with the prospect of position in society are often enough to turn mens heads. Nebuchadnezzars Plan

13 Presentation 01 The final element designed to remove all trace of God from the blackboard of the captives minds was to change the captives names. Why? The names of Daniel and his friends, incorporated Hebrew name for the God of Israel. The name Daniel means God is my judge. And so whenever the word Daniel was spoken he was immediately reminded of the God to whom he belonged and to whom he would one day answer. Now the new names given to Daniel and his friends incorporated the names of Babylonian deities - Bel and Nabo. Nebuchadnezzars Plan

14 Presentation 01 Are you familiar with the story of the ugly duckling? He was the unhappiest and most depressed of a family of ducks. He did not seem to fit into the family environment. He had a clumsy waddle and looked quite different and this drew out the ridicule of others. Then one day he made a remarkable discovery. He was not a duck after all but a swan with all the grace of movement that this bird possesses. The consciousness of his true identity caused his depression to lift and it was replaced with unspeakable joy. Nebuchadnezzars Plan

15 Presentation 01 The pressure to conform to the alien environment in which we live is as real for Christians today as it was in Daniels day. There is increasing pressure to merge into the moral and cultural landscape of society. The fear of being different is a very real pressure. We are discouraged from standing up and standing out. If we succumb to these pressures we can lose sight of our true identity as children of God to whom we owe our heart-allegiance. Daniel provides us with a scriptural model of how to respond to such pressure. Nebuchadnezzars Plan

16 Presentation 01 First, Notice that the behaviour of Daniel and his three friends was not influenced by the majority view. Most of the Jews decided to go with the flow but Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself1.8. He dared to be different. He swam against the stream not because he was a truculent adolescent but because he recognised that what was at stake was his allegiance to God. His relationship with God was being challenged and he refused to capitulate. His future usefulness to God would rest on this crucial decision. Think about it! By nailing his colours to the mast, over an issue others called trivial he discovered the provision of Gods grace and strength under trial. Daniels Response

17 Presentation 01 Daniels response was immediate. He knew he was Gods man and therefore there was only one way to act. Many Christians in new situations argue that they will not take a stand for God until they have become known and valued by those around them. They will confess Jesus from a position of social strength. But by the time they are accepted as one of the boys they have made so many compromises that they have no moral strength left to confess Christ. It is best to take an early opportunity to identify yourself as a Christian, it becomes more difficult the longer you wait. Daniels Response

18 Presentation 01 Daniels response is also marked by grace. He did not chain himself to the palace railings in order to register his disgust at the kings orders. His request to the chief eunuch was polite and respectful. Please test your servants for 10 days - give us some plain food v12. It is possible to affirm Christian convictions without being obnoxious. The manner in which we say no o the world is very revealing. We can sometimes be so concerned that we have a reputation for standing up for God that it is we who receive all the attention and not God or his truth. A gracious word will open more doors than a flailing sledgehammer. Daniels Response

19 Presentation 01 But by far the most important aspect of Daniels resolve is his faith. He expected God to honour his stand. He believed that the ten day trial would have positive results because he saw to the heart of the issue - Gods glory was at stake and so he believed that God would vindicate his stand and that of his friends. Their faith fed on the knowledge that God was jealous for the glory of his name. We too must allow our faith to feed on this knowledge. If we do we too will be strengthened to say No over and over again to all of the worlds compromises. Daniels Response

20 Presentation 01 When the results of the final examination were posted, Daniel and his friends who took a risk of faith, came top of the class and were promoted in the kingdom. God honours those who honour him. This stand of Daniel and his friends lade down a foundation upon which future stands for God would rest. Note the Israelite compromisers are bypassed for promotion. Here is the paradox of Christian living, in losing our life we find it, in seeking first Gods kingdom we discover other things are added to us Matt.10.39, 6.33. Success does not come through compromise but through an undivided commitment to God. The Result of Obedience

21 Presentation 01 Its easy to persuade ourselves that life would be much easier and we would shine more brightly for God if we lived in a different less exacting situation and to argue that, I am the product of my circumstances. God dares us to be different! He wants to teach us how to stand alone. Will we be more than day-dream heroes and so make an impact for God in our generation? The way to begin is by taking baby steps of faithfulness as they present themselves. Conclusion

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