We are looking at the life of Daniel and his friends to see how they created a new culture of three kingdoms for God.
1. The Israel Problem
- God picked the Jewish people to be his prized possession.
- He promised he would put his spirit into them so they would love them with all their heart and soul (Deuteronomy 30: 4)
- He was going to destroy all of their enemies
- The whole world would know that God was the true God
Israel turned their back on God and ended up doing worse things than the nations that Israel drove out of the promised land.
Judgments start against Judah
- Egypt takes over Israel and they made Israel pay a heavy duty to them in Gold and silver
- Egypt installs Jehoiakim as king but he is evil Babylon conquerors Judah and takes Jehoiakim away in bronze chains (At this time Daniel is taken away0
- Two more kings before Babylon comes and destroys Judah completely
Israel which was chosen to show the world the power of the one true God had totally failed in changing the culture of its day.
Like Israel, today’s brand of Christianity is not going to touch this generation.
2. The Great Temptation
Daniel is sitting as a slave in a foreign land. The promises were not happening in his life (enemies were not scattered, didn’t feel like a prized possession)
Temptation came to Daniel You are smart, you are good looking, join us and become a Babylonian
This temptation can come in our live when:
- Marriage not great someone understands us better
- Frustrated at work promotion with compromise
- Lonely someone comes across our path and we lower our standards.
Babylon is calling us to compromise, but God is challenging us.
Nothing in me that wants to be in a position where I am nothing and I find myself looking for an easy out.
We do the same thing that the Pharisees were asking when we cry out to God to do something to prove he is God.
- I’m sick heal me
- My family is not serving you if you loved them like I do you would do something
- Can you see the financial situation I am in
We make promises “Prove your authority and do something and I will serve you forever.”
Human condition we want to use Christ for our purposes rather than us being used by him.
Jesus response Vs 39 – 40 Only sign I will give you is someone giving their lives for another.
That is why the gospel is so unattractive to so many because there is nothing in it for me.
Go to Nineveh and preach. (nothing in him that wanted to do it and there is nothing in us that makes us want to do and obey.
Hopped on a ship going the other way.
1 Corinthians 1: 21 – 23 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never find him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save all who believe. God’s way seems foolish to the Jews because they want a sign from heaven to prove it is true. And it is foolish to the Greeks because they believe only what agrees with their own wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended, and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.
Looking for a shortcut to see culture changed is like hopping on another boat to do things our way rather than serve God.
God saves us from our running by putting us into a battle were we are going to die
- Jonah ran into a great storm and fish
- Daniel beheading
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego fiery furnace
- Daniel lions den
Jonah prayed from his own death experience and worshiped God he was spit out a dead man walking.
Matthew 12: 41 What changed Nineveh? A dead man walking among them.
Nothing will create a new culture where we live than a generation of people willing to live dead
I am a person of extremes. I will sell everything and just go or I will do nothing and hope I don’t change into a Babylonian. Neither one is a right answer
John 12 woman came to pour out perfume on Jesus feet. The cost of the perfume was a years wage
Judas response was it was a waste (to those outside of Christ, anything you do is a foolish waste)
So how much should I give? A month of my time or money, a year 10 years.
If we are measuring out our offerings then we haven’t seen God’s worth.
God has given us His Holy Spirit to help us attain the balance that is required to change our culture
John 3: 34 Speak God’s words because the spirit is on me without measure.