by: Cindy Rolenc
In the book of Daniel, we are going to encounter our hero Daniel living in a society much like our own. The world wants God's people to conform to its standards and follow its practices. Daniel stands strong. Why? Because Daniel's God is the Sovereign God who rules the world. God is sovereign over the big things like international powers and God is sovereign over small things like the apparently insignificant lives of teenagers. God is sovereign over history and God is sovereign concerning the future. Our God is sovereign over all things.
As we begin our study of Daniel, I want to be clear that the main point of all this isn't just "Be Like Daniel!" The book of Daniel is about our sovereign God while looking forward to the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Named after its writer, Daniel's book is a product of his time in Babylon as a Jewish exile from Israel. While still a young man, Daniel travelled to Babylon with a group of young Israelite men whom the conquering power felt could be of use in service. Once Daniel arrived, the leadership in Babylon renamed him Belteshazzar in an effort to more closely identify him with his new home. Daniel lived there throughout the Jews' seventy-year captivity, eventually rising to become one of only three administrators over the provincial governors throughout the kingdom.
Daniel's faithful service to the Lord in a land and culture not his own makes him unique among almost all the people of Scripture - Daniel stands as one of the only major figures in the Bible to produce a completely positive record of his actions.
I encourage you to read Daniel chapter 1 before diving into the questions.
Plan to join us this Sunday morning at 10:30 a. or go to our FB page to link to YouTube live on Sunday mornings or anytime on our website redoakpresbyteriandchurch.com
Questions to Ponder:
1. In what ways do you see the sovereignty of God on the big stage of world history? In what ways do you see His sovereignty in your own life?
2. In the story of Daniel, God is working even through the sins of His people. Where else in Scripture can we see God work despite or even through great sin?
3. Think about your own worldview. What beliefs or assumptions characterize how you view the world? Now think about your culture as a whole. What characterizes the general culture's worldview?
4. What does it mean to be defiled by the world? What defensive measures can you take to protect against being defiled? Is is possible to be too protective? Explain.
5. How have you experienced the challenges of isolation, indoctrination, assimilation, and confusion? How did you fight to remain faithful to Christ?
6. How did God use Daniel's health to witness to the king? What does this story teach us about hte unique ways in which believers can witness to others?
7. Warren Wiersbe says, "Each believer is either a conformer or a transformer. We're either being squeezed into the world's mold or we're transforming things in the world into which God has put us. Transformers don't always have an easy life, but it's an exciting one and it gives us great delight to know that God is using us to influence others. What are some of the trials Daniel endures in Daniel 1? What specific clues does he give to suggest he is not a conformer?"
8. How does Daniel's journey mirror the life and ministry of Jesus? How does Jesus fulfill the work done by Daniel?