Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Wake Up Call

By Peter Belchamber

Read Jere.22:6-9 (serving other gods)

Dan.1:1 "In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim" = 605 BC historically verifiable!

Spiritually Israel was as low as it could go. Dan. 1;1-2 gives us an historic milestone as to how bad things had become. In Jeremiah chap.21 we read of King Zedekiah's request to God. but it proves to be too little too late. Answers to prayer can be: WAIT; NO; OR YES Someone asked the question, "If we do not listen to God's Word why should he listen to our pleas? In Jere. 22;3 we read of how the civil and social structure had devolved into cruelty and injustice.

The leaders of this devolution were the religious leaders of the day:/ and who demanded that Jesus should be Crucified? The religious leaders of the day!

In Jere 23:9-14 their "prophets" had become corrupt and were teaching falsehood.

Then in Jere.25 the prophet Jeremiah (the weeping prophet) (BAD NEWS PROPHET) reminds the Israelite of his preaching over preceding years but they had not listened (25:3) The battle Jere. had with the prophet Hananiah in Jere.28 is amazing to behold and I recommend that you read Jeremiah chapters 21 to 28 to see how difficult it was for Jeremiah and Daniel and his friends at the time of Daniel chapter 1

Daniel chapter one--The time is 605 BC, and at this time about 3000 Jews were deported to Babylon. This catastrophe was not UNexpected by those who heard God's Word. It was a terrible time of destruction and suffering and separation. No one should have been surprised. Jere had said it would happen. Can we: do we accept it when God says NO? Prayer could not change the situation but prayer was the tool that equipped and enabled them through this catastrophe. Daniel's life changed dramatically: he was torn from his family and friends (living comfortably) and put in chains and made to walk many miles (about 1000kms) as a prisoner. Jeremiah was about 50 years old and Daniel a young man (20+ years?) This is how Daniel found the center of God's will for his life.(and embraced it) God called D to Babylon but the king, Neb took him by force to Babylon. What is happening in Syria and Jordan today would be similar to what happened on the day Neb. attacked Jerusalem and looted it.. that was the worst humiliation The golden furniture from the temple of Solomon was taken by a Pagan nation and refugees fled in all directions.

THE POWER OF PRAYER AT WORK during a crisis, for this is when we pray earnestly (hard/) and often

Daniel 1:3-4 Ashpenaz... the right man in the right place (answered prayer) "showed favor"

The choice as to who would go into the palace to serve the King(answered prayer)

Learning new ways, language and literature,culture ( prayer for enabling)PATIENCE

Training for three years. I can imagine how the four friends prayed together.(prayer for perseverance.)



No resolve means no direction, aimlessness

SIN WAS THE CAUSE OF THE DISASTER, SIN IS THE CAUSE OF THE PROBLEMS IN THIS WORLD AND SIN IS "THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM" Nobody seems to want to talk or think about it. But faced with death people hope it will just go away!

Daniel was not prepared to pay the price of DEFILEMENT (v.8) It would put a barrier between him and God. We need to IDENTIFY sin in our lives, We need to deal with it and break free

It was a matter of principal for Daniel: it was a matter of life and death for all involved

Daniel was determined not to SUBMIT (John 8:34)(Rom.6:16)to a lesser power than God. He did not want to be a slave of this world.


(V.9) The official (Ashpenaz) showed favor and sympathy (and that is amazing)

He was possibly a slave and a eunuch

But he was afraid of the King (and rightly so) He did not know God

They relied on God to sustain them (vs 12-13) they were not afraid! NO FEAR

God honored their faith and obedience to Him. Heb.11


PROTECTION (Ps. 34:7 "The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him.") Mention break in at Seguela.

Daniel was esteemed highly: 9:23; 10:11+ 19

(V.17) God distributes gifts

Knowledge and understanding to all three(NO jealousy between them)

For Daniel understanding of visions and dreams.

They were ten times better than all the others serving Neb.

A long life (Dan.1:21 Daniel lived to the age of 90years, 70 of them in Babylon & he never saw Jerusalem again.

Matt. 6:33 tells us "To seek first His kingdom and his righteousness and all the things that you need will be supplied." (Lk.12:31)

Heb. 11:6 " And without faith it is impossible to PLEASE GOD, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."

Today things are different but the same. Our world is unraveling and in some parts of the world today, God's people are suffering abuse, persecution and death. Will you, this morning, take the resolve that Daniel had and apply it to your own lives?

My family and I identify with Daniel and his friends in this story, not in theory but in practice.

Story of Stephy God takes us through hard times

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