Friday, September 12, 2014

Daniel Chapter 1 Lesson 2

Welcome back from your first Core Discussion. Hopefully everyone had a chance to contribute. We want you to be comfortable, cared for and confident. Let us remember as we pray to Our Father God those who have died in defense of our freedom. Let us Pray
Ladies, I was a bit nervous when I realized the many authors who had written a study on Daniel and Revelation. History was not by best subject, but God gave me affirmation in my morning devotions from Isaiah 50:4
The Lord God has given me
    the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain
 with a word.. him who is weary.
Morning by morning He awakens;
    He awakens my ear to hear
as those who are taught.
1 Thessalonians 2: Who God calls he equips. When we were children our parents often warned us what would happen If:
·        If you keep crossing your eyes, they will stay like that.
·        If you're too sick to go to school, you're too sick to play outside.
·        If you don’t finish your dinner, you won’t get dessert.
·        If you keep climbing, you are going to fall.
Our parents were trying to teach us proper manner and good habits for living.  We know there are consequences for the things we do.
Think about the consequences of sin. The people of Israel had been warned by many prophets.  God promised blessing for obedience and curses for disobedience. In Deuteronomy 28, He warned very specifically that if His people rebelled against Him, He would allow them to be defeated by their enemies and become subjects of a foreign king. God warned about the desecration of the temple.
“Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the Lord, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. 
Did they believe Him?
DANIEL Chapter 1
·        Charms of Prosperity
·        Living with Integrity
·        Blessing and Longevity
Circumstances will not determine my obedience.
How many of you have a teenage son or grandson? Can you imagine these young men being gathered up and taken to a foreign land while you stay behind in your homeland? Only the brightest and the best were chosen to live in the palace of the king and be groomed and educated in the culture of their captors.
Deported to Babylon
V. Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king's palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.
Why did they allow others to remain in Jerusalem as a province with a king of his choosing Zedekiah? (Perhaps to free Jeremiah from the dungeon.)
They had taken the cream of the crop of the nobility. The plan was to submerge these Israelites in the culture, language, and history of Babylon so they had no time to think of Jerusalem and their LORD God. 
Charms of Prosperity
This is the same way the enemy distract Christians today! Athletic events, televised entertainment, possessions, gadgets, worldly pleasures, draw our focus away from God and the study of His Word. Do you think teenagers today would be impressed with rich food, fine clothes and wealth beyond measure?
Don’t we today still applaud beauty! Every year there are lists of the most beautiful women and the most eligible bachelor. Those that were best looking were not necessarily endowed with knowledge, and competent to stand in the king’s palace.
Thank goodness that is not how Jesus chose us to be His!
3 times in Deuteronomy God proclaims- For you are a people holy to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 14:7
The Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider how handsome or tall he is... I do not look at the things people look at. Man looks at how someone appears on the outside. But I look at what is in the heart."- 1 Samuel 16:7
 Ladies God loved us on our worst day. Jesus came not just to die for you but to suffer shame and agony and pain that should have been for us. He loves us with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3
Don’t let circumstances determine your obedience.
 In Babylon Daniel and his friends complied with their names being changed, their dress and their education. Most of Daniel's outward life was changed. They could his name but they couldn’t change his heart.
What is in a name? Do you know what your name means? How many of you think that definition fits you?
These Hebrew boys were named after Yahweh their one true God.
·        Daniel ("God is judge") become Belteshazzar ("May Bel protect his life")
·        Hananiah ("Yahweh is gracious") becomes Shadrach ("command of Aku")
·        Mishael ("Who is what God is") becomes Meshach ("Who is what Aku is")
·        Azariah ("Whom Yahweh helps") becomes Abed-nego ("Servant of Nebo")
Their captors changed their names to honor the Babylonian gods: Bel, Aku, and Nebo.
Your commentary and your study questions gave many Old Testament references to the laws forbidding eating certain food. When faced with the prospect of eating food offered to idols, Daniel knew he had to draw the line.  Circumstances did not determine his obedience.
Living with Integrity
But Daniel resolved ESV  or KJV But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank. Therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
Daniel was seeking to honor God, now God honored Daniel by shaping the heart of the chief eunuch and the steward.  
Circumstances will not determine my obedience.
11 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah-test us for ten days then look at our appearance. We know the end of the story. But for a young man in a precarious position his integrity and faithfulness to the LORD God was rewarded with blessings.  
“When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7
Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He will.” God turns hearts.
I love how God guides my teaching. A popular Christian author and pastor shared on a Christian broadcast when my ears perked up at the mention of Daniel and Babylon. “Daniel and his friends were taken out of a godly environment and had to learn to live in a secular society. We are living in secular society a post-Christian era that no longer respects a Christian values. We contributed to it the same way that Judah contributed to their captivity.”
Ladies will you agree this is true by raising your hand. Politics has no place in CBS, but we can all see our Christian values are no longer respected. And we have let it happen by not taking a stand. What are we teaching our children? How are they going to react to peer pressure in the secular world?
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.KJV
I worry about my grandson attending his first year in middle school. A sweet lady sent her evening devotion from Spurgeon. He calls them wolves. Isn’t that what Satan is like a lion or other predator seeking to steal, kill and destroy.  Yet he is cleverly disguised as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  If we have taught him well… Circumstances will not determine his obedience.
Blessings and Longevity
Psalm 13:18 But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.
v. 17-God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
20 And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom. 21 And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus.
The word Babylon means 'confusion' and represents the worldly way of life. In many ways, the Christian's life is one of exile similar to Daniel and his friends. We are strangers in this world. We are just travelling through.
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
So think about the effect that the world has on your life? Is there a difference between the desires of your life and of those who don’t know the Lord? Because it is fair to say that non-Christians watch you a lot more than you think. And they watch and are interested in your deeds more than your words. So be aware of your actions!
Circumstances will not determine my obedience.
9-11 brings these thoughts to mind. 2 Chronicles 7:14(ESV)
 If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Do we believe Him? If we, like the Israelites, continue in our sin, we shouldn’t be surprised if God allows us to experience painful consequences of sin. But we should know that even then He loves us, and He is waiting for us to repent so He can restore us.

Will you choose to obey God in spite of your circumstances?