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Daniel Blog #2

DANIEL CHAPTER 1.

In many respects what was happening in Daniels time is very similar to what is transpiring in our own time.

Let’s examine this thought by using some simple headings and asking four questions of the text.

1. WHAT WAS HAPPENING?

Verses1-2.

Tremendous change/upheaval  was occurring.
The city was being invaded, overthrown.
All Daniel had ever known was undergoing tremendous change.

Verse 2 “Vessels of the temple were carried away.”
Those things that had had long term significance and value were removed.
The temple had been ransacked and its vessels carried away to Babylon.
The old order was passing away – the established and the familiar was stumbling before the new and unfamiliar. The culture was undergoing radical change with new ideas, ideologies, and philosophies entering in.

Like Daniel, we are living in unprecedented times of change and upheaval.

Secondly, in the midst of this situation [Verse 6]  God is raising up a group of men.
God is calling to men and women – calling them out in the midst of the turmoil putting His stamp on them, imparting vision! God isn’t  inactive during this tumultuous time.

2. WHAT WAS THE BABYLONIAN SYSTEM TRYING TO DO?

It was seeking to undo; to overthrow all that was precious to this community of faith.
The Jews were, with all their imperfections, the people of God in this age.
They were taken captive and transported them off into Babylon.
It was a common tactic at that time to deport the people that were captured.
The forced change into unfamiliar surroundings disorientated them
It reduced the chance of organized resistance  and increased the chance of assimilating them into part of the empire.

It was trying to force conformity to the new order.

Verse 4.

“Teach them the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.”

It was trying to make them begin to think like Babylonians.
It sought to undermine their Jewish distinctiveness.

Verse 5.  

The system was seeking to cultivate as habit, tastes that Gods Word had prohibited.

Verses 6-7. 

It was trying to dictate their identity.
They took away their Jewish names and re-issued them with Babylonian names.
These Hebrews had names that were linked to their faith and served to remind them of their identity as God’s people. The new names were intended to change that.

3. WHAT DID THESE CALLED OUT MEN PURPOSE TO DO? 

Verse 8a. 

They purposed in their hearts not to be defiled.

4. WHAT HAPPENED?

Verses 16-21

{especially verse 20 }

They proved the wisdom of Gods ways.
They were raised in influence. {Verse 19.}
They outlasted the system. {Verse 21}
They became examples for us to follow.

Hebrew 13:7 “Whose faith follow considering the end of their conversation…”