A Line in the Sand SERIES – Fight the Power: A Study in the Life of Daniel

Daniel 1 ESV

  1. 1  In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
  2. 2  And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into
    his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god.
  3. 3  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,
  4. 4  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.
  5. 5  The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king.
  6. 6  Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah.
  7. 7  And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.
  8. 8  But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.
  9. 9  And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs,
  10. 10  and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.”
  11. 11  Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
  12. 12  “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink.
  13. 13  Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.”
  14. 14  So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days.
  15. 15  At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food.
  16. 16  So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.
  17. 17  As for these four youths, God gave them learning

and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had

understanding in all visions and dreams. 18 At the end of the time, when the king had

commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.

19 And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king.

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. Kings

1. Jehoiakim – Depravity
Jeremiah 36:20-24 MSG – 20 The officials went
to the court of the palace to report to the king, having put the scroll for safekeeping in the office
of Elishama the secretary of state. 21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. He brought it from the office of Elishama the secretary. Jehudi then read
it to the king and the officials who were in the king’s service. 22 It was December. The king was sitting in his winter quarters in front of a charcoal fire. 23 After Jehudi would read three or four columns, the king would cut them off the scroll with his pocketknife and throw them in the fire. He continued in this way until the entire scroll had been burned up in the fire. 24 Neither the king nor any of his officials showed the slightest twinge of conscience as they listened to the messages read.
1 Timothy 4:2 GNV – Such teachings are spread by deceitful liars, whose consciences are dead, as if

burnt with a hot iron.

2. Nebuchadnezzar – Cruelty
Jeremiah 52:8-11 MSG – 8 but the Babylonians were in full pursuit. They caught up with them in the Plains of Jericho. But by then Zedekiah’s army had deserted and was scattered. 9 The Babylonians captured Zedekiah and marched him off to the king of Babylon at Riblah in Hamath, who tried and sentenced him on the spot. 10 The king of Babylon then killed Zedekiah’s sons right before his eyes.
The summary murder of his sons was the last thing Zedekiah saw, for they then blinded him. The king of Babylon followed that up by killing all the officials of Judah. 11 Securely handcuffed, Zedekiah was hauled off to Babylon. The king of Babylon threw him in prison, where he stayed until the day he

died.

3. Jehovah – Sovereignty
Jeremiah 52:15-16 GNV – 15 Finally, he rounded up everyone left in the city, including those who had earlier deserted to the king of Babylon, and took them off into exile. 16 He left a few poor dirt farmers behind to tend the vineyards and what was left of the fields.

Ezra 1:1-4 MSG – 1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia—this fulfilled the Message of God preached by Jeremiah—God prodded Cyrus king of Persia to make an official announcement throughout his kingdom. He wrote it out

as follows: 2 From Cyrus king of Persia, a Proclamation: God, the God of the heavens, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has also assigned me to build him a Temple of worship in Jerusalem, Judah. 3 Who among you belongs to his people? God be with you! Go
to Jerusalem which is in Judah and build The Temple of God, the God of Israel, Jerusalem’s God. 4 Those who stay behind, wherever they happen to live, will support them with silver, gold, tools, and pack animals, along with Freewill- Offerings for The Temple of God in Jerusalem.

Things they changed

1. Their language 2. Their literature 3. Their lifestyle
4. Their Lord

Daniel – God is my judge – Belteshazzar – belt protects life
Hananiah – God is gracious – Shadrach – The man god Aku

Mishael – Who is what God is – Meshach – Who Aku is
Azariah – God will help – Abednego – Servant of Nebo

5. Their loyalty

Roman 12:2 KJV – 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.

I. Don’t give in – be resistant a. Political pressure

b. Peer pressure
c. Promotional pressure d. Private Pressure
e. Preferential pressure

Hardest things teens face

1. Step outside your comfort zone
2. Go beyond what is expected and required 3. Do the things that don’t pay off

immediately
4. Go against the crowd

II. Don’t give up – be consistent Proverbs 16:7 NLT – When people’s lives please the Lord, even their enemies are at peace with them.

III. Don’t give out – be persistent
The teens years are the training ground for future

leaders

God is the first cause
God is the final cause
God uses different causes to advance God’s cause

There is no great blessing without great testing

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