Daniel is between leaders. Babylon has fallen and now the Medes and Persians rule. This is Daniel’s third kingdom he has been under and 5th king. Talk about a life of chaos.
I ask myself what is the motivation that keeps Daniel going when things keep changing around him. he builds his life and everything falls apart.
He had some mentors in his life.
- The writings of Isaiah were only about 100 years old
- Jeremiah was preaching in Jerusalem when Daniel was taken captive
- Ezekiel was preaching in Babylon while Daniel was there
Daniel has this dream during the time of the Persian kings. In there is a line that gives us a secret to the strength that Daniel had.
Daniel 11: 32 He (a king of Syria named Antiochus) will flatter and win over those who have violated the covenant. But the people who know their God will be strong and will resist him.
1. Strength is knowledge
The strength that Daniel had was from a knowledge of who God (Adonai the one who is in control)was even in the midst of chaos.
Another contemporary that is starting at this time in Daniels life is Nehemiah. He is called by God to leave Babylon and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. There is a key to being strong found in the book of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah 8: 10 Don’t be dejected and sad for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
If there is a characteristic that should single out Christians over others is joy.
2. Joy and the kingdom
Galatians 5: 22, 23 fruits which are what show what we are Love….JOY
Hebrews 1: 9 Jesus anointed with oil of joy
We have pictures of Jesus
- disappointed at the faith of others around him
- Mad at Pharisees and money changers
- Sad over people not believing in Him
- Never Joy
Romans 14: 17 Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink
Creating a new culture is not about changing the behavior of those around us. (Drinking, homosexuality, pornography) It is about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
- Righteousness = made perfect in God’s sight
- Peace = not just a calm on a hectic day, but a knowledge of God’s incredible love for you
- Joy in the Holy Spirit
3. Joy is not an absence of problems
In creating a new culture, there will be resistance but this should not take away our joy
1 Thessalonians 1; 6 you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way you imitated both us and the Lord.
Message brought suffering because it is counter culture.
This did not affect their joy.
Incredible line you imitate the Lord
Christian means Christ like.
Luke 6: 22 – 23 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. When that happens, be happy! Yes leap for joy! For great is your reward in heaven.
4. Joy can be given away
Galatians 4: 15 What happened to your joy. We can lose it.
Psalm 107: 17 – 22 tells the story of people who put ourselves in an incredible horrible situation and God snatched us out of it so sing songs of joy
Key Point: Joy comes in a knowledge of who God is.
5. Sing with Creation
Psalm 148: 3 Praise him sun and moon Praise him all you twinkling stars
Vs 7 Praise the Lord you creatures of the ocean depths
Put them together to see how creation worships God.