Sunday Sermon 7.25.20
Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.George Santayana
And, those who learn history will often see close parallels between ancient days and modern days. (Debbie Chaney – :-))
Take the prophet Daniel for example. Let’s look at him today and notice the modern day parallels.
Daniel lived some 2,500 years ago, as a member of the noble family of Judah, and was taken captive to Babylon by its king Nebuchadnezzar. He and his family and friends found themselves placed in a re-education program there.
They were now in the minority in the midst of a religiously hostile nation and being pressed upon by the customs of that nation to reshape their values and ideas.
Daniel was a godly, obedient and courageous believer in Jehovah and had even earned the respect and admiration of non-believers.
That’s the backstory, now we enter chapter 1 of Daniel where you will find –
Daniel RESOLVED, Daniel REQUESTED, Daniel was REWARDED
In Daniel’s re-education program, he resolved to not compromise his values. Although being told he has to eat certain things, his heart and values said he would not and he set himself to stay true to Jehovah and his personal beliefs.
He did take action however, and requested to be given certain acceptable foods. That took courage and faith. He had and demonstrated both.
In fact, his faith and courage were rewarded with favor and compassion from Jehovah. He was allowed to eat his suggested foods and in the end, he and his friends were better off in every way than the others in the re-education program with him.
Chapter 2 of Daniel presents us with –
DREAMS, DEATH, and DANIEL
King Nebuchadnezzar had a bad dream and because his wise guys couldn’t interpret it, he ordered them all to be put to death. As his servants were rounding up the wise guys, they came to get Daniel too, for he was now a part of king Neb’s wise guy council. Daniel, inquiring what was going on, was told and responded with “wisdom and tact”. Short story, guess who was able to interpret king Neb’s bad dream?? Yup, Daniel.
Yay Daniel, right??
Things were good, for a while. Daniel was promoted, and His God – Jehovah was lauded in the kingdom. Yay!
Enter chapter 3, here we see –
3 I’s and a double I
IMAGE, IDOLARTY, INSOLENCE and an INCREDIBLE INCIDENT!
King Neb got pretty full of himself and had an enormous self image (selfie) built in the center of town. But as if that wasn’t enough, he then made an executive order that everyone had to bow down and worship the selfie. Everyone was to practice idolatry by worshipping him.
Enter principled, god-fearing, non-compromising, wise man – Daniel and his friends In a full out act of insolence, His friends refused to follow the executive order or worship the image of the arrogant king.
Their response was – we do not need to defend ourselves, if the God we serve doesn’t help us, we will still will not serve or worship the empty orders of man. We serve and worship Jehovah only. We will take our chances by standing with him and his favor, not man. Do what you will, oh king Neb.
The king was hot and so he heated up the fire. His men tossed the three men into that fire and lost their lives doing so.
And then the INCREDIBLE INCIDENT!
In the fire, appeared a fourth figure. Looking through the fireproof window, Neb was petrified. How could there be 4, he threw in 3? Again, short story – Jehovah God showed up to defend his wise, faithful and courageous followers. Daniel’s friends not only survived the incredible incident, but demonstrated God’s deliverance and power to a heathen king, palace and kingdom. Yay Daniel and friends. Yay Jehovah!
We are living in the days of Daniel with some exceptional parallels for you and I. Let’s be learners of history.
- It’s not easy to follow Jesus in today’s culture, but it can and must be done.
- The re-education program has begun. How are you doing with maintaining your values, and godly obedience?
- In the midst of the re-education program, what is your resolve? What is your request? How will you be rewarded?
- Wisdom and tact are hallmark needs in the midst of these bad dreams and death. How are you doing there?
- Executive order after executive order, idolatry, arrogance – when will it be time for you to respectfully display your insolence?
- Courage and faith are needed and to those who walk in them, they will be shown incredible incidents! Miraculous events. Unbelievable power of God. Mighty deliverance.
I challenge you, I challenge myself, let’s be like Daniel. Let’s let God be our judge in these days, and see if He doesn’t use us to do something earth shattering.
We are living in the days of Daniel.
Go with God.