“Living in Babylon & Drawing the Line”
How can I live in the world yet be free from its influence?
July 27, 2014
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
JULY MEMORY VERSE
16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you
may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
THE BOOK OF DANIEL
• Theological Theme: God’s Sovereignty
21 …the Most High God is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and sets over
them anyone he wishes.
God controls the destinies of both pagan empires and His exiled people.
• Chapters 1 – 6
– Historical narrative of experiences of Daniel and his friends in
• Chapters 7-12
– Apocalyptic (futuristic) visions and revelations of future events
Language: Daniel 1:1-2:4; 8-12 in Hebrew & middle sections written in Aramaic
Where God Was Born by Bruce Feiler, Harper Collins, 2005.
Daniel: God’s Pattern For The Future, A Study Guide by Charles R. Swindoll, 1992
Daniel: Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy by Beth Moore, 2006
2. Daniel 1:1-2
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king
of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered
Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the
temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and
put in the treasure house of his god.
Daniel 1 – The Dates & Author
• Daniel was in 1st deportation in 605 B.C.
• Ezekiel was in 2nd deportation in 597 B.C.
• 3rd deportation in 586 B.C. with Temple and Jerusalem destroyed
• Daniel is author with completion date of 530 B.C.
Daniel 1 – The Wars & Power
• Nebuchadnezzar succeeds his father as King
• Leads the Babylonians to defeat the Egyptians under Pharaoh Neco at
• Judah had depended on Egypt for protection
• Nebuchadnezzar seizes opportunity to seize Judah
• Jeremiah has prophesied all of this!
Daniel 1 – Babylon
• City in Iraq – 50 miles south of Baghdad on Euphrates River
• Surrounded by 11 miles of outer wall
• Inner wall wide enough for 2 chariots to pass
• Entered by 8 gates – famous for Ishtar Gate
• “Hanging Gardens of Babylon” – 7 Wonders of the World
• A planned community!
Babylon - A Planned City
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
4. Ishtar Gate of Babylon
5. Babylon Area in the Bible
• Garden of Eden – Where Tigris & Euphrates Rivers meet (southern
• Tower of Babel – Genesis 11:1 describes the “plain of Shinar”, known as
• Abraham – Ur of the Chaldeans (southern Babylonia) in Genesis 11:28
Tower of Babel 3500 B.C.?
Nebuchadnezzar’s god –Marduk
• Marduk (Merodach or Bel) – chief god of Babylon
• Credited with creation- reenacted each new year & celebrated with a
• Resided in temple of Esagila
Temple of Esagila for Marduk
6. Ziggurat & Esagila Temple
Prophecy Fulfilled in Daniel 1:1-2
5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the Lord Almighty: 6 The time will
surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors
have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left,
says the Lord. 7 And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who
will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the
palace of the king of Babylon."
3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the
king's service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility —
4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every
kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the
king's palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the
Babylonians. 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the
king's table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to
enter the king's service.
6 Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah,
Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the
name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to
• (Goal was to remove Jewish heritage and assimilate into Babylonia
7. Name Changes
• Daniel – God is my judge
• Hananiah – The Lord shows grace
• Mishael – Who is what God is?
• Azariah – The Lord helps
• Belteshazzar – Marduk, protect his life
• Shadrach – command of Aku (pagan god)
• Meshach – Who is what Aku is?
• Abednego – servant of Nego/Nebo
8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he
asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God
had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the
official told Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food
and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your
age? The king would then have my head because of you."
Food in the Bible
• People & animals were vegetarians until after the flood.
30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the
creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life
in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so.
• After the flood, God added meat to man’s diet, with one restriction
3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave
you the green plants, I now give you everything.
4 "But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.
8. Food Restrictions for Israel
45 I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God;
therefore be holy, because I am holy.
46 "'These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing
that moves about in the water and every creature that moves along the
ground. 47 You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean,
between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be
Why Food Restrictions for Israel?
• Kashrut – body of Jewish law dealing with dietary regulations
• Kosher – foods that meets Kashrut standards
• Health benefits – sanitation, disease, spoilage, digestion (meat & dairy
• Environmental – camel more useful as beast of burden than food source;
pig consumes a quantity of food disproportional to its value
• Short answer: “Because the Torah says so.”
• Torah does not specify the reasons
• “Chukkim” – laws for which there is no reason
• We show our obedience to God by following these laws even though we
do not know the reason
• Following kashrut reminds one of Jewishness
Daniel’s Resolve Not To Defile His Body
• Royal food & wine may have been offered to idols before serving.
• The food was not prepared according to Jewish regulations.
• Daniel demonstrated the courage of his convictions.
11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 "Please test your servants for ten days:
Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our
appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your
servants in accordance with what you see." 14 So he agreed to this and tested
them for ten days.
A Lesson from Daniel
• When faced with a seemingly impossible situation (directive) in life, pray
for an alternative plan that will not compromise your values.
• Have an alternative plan before refusing to comply.
• Some things are not negotiable.
9. Daniel 1:15-16
15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any
of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice
food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
Royal Food & Wine
• The young men had just walked 4 months from Israel to Babylon
– Minimal food and water
• 10 days of heavy foods & wine –
– Bloated, lethargic, GI distress
• Montezuma's Revenge?
17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds
of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all
• Did not refuse to learn opposing views
• God used knowledge of opposing views to enhance their service to Him.
Applications of Daniel 1:17
• Know the enemy!
• Study opposing views to confirm your beliefs
– Example: Evolution
• Daniel was 20 years old (Age appropriate)
• Teach your children a Biblical World View
– View of world based on God as creator/sustainer
– View based on God’s word as TRUTH
– God is the source of all knowledge
– God allows man discovery of knowledge
18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief
official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he
found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the
king's service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the
king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians
and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
21 And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.
• Daniel served from 605 BC to 538 BC (67 years)
10. 4 LESSONS FROM DANIEL 1
by Rev. Ray Ellis
1. When we experience inevitable interruptions in life, we should look for
- Daniel and friends accepted their situation and allowed God
to use them.
- Daniel and friends had to redefine “Normal” in their lives.
- God is present wherever we are.
2. Resist the temptation to play the blame game.
- Daniel could blame others for his situation, he was truly a
victim of war.
- Daniel chose to honor God while living in a pagan culture.
- Romans 8:28 gives a promise that God can work our situation
for good and His glory.
3. Resist the belief that you are entitled to a “The Good Life”.
- Remember this world is not our ‘home’
- The Good Life is not a promise.
- God promises to be with us in every situation.
- Thankfulness is the first step to moving away from self-pity!
4. Remember that God wants to use us in more significant ways than we ever
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all
we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work
within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
13a “You are the salt of the earth.”
Matthew 5:14a, 16
14a “You are the light of the world.”
16 “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and
praise your Father in heaven.”
11. The Plan of Hope & Salvation
Romans 3:23 NKJV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23a NKJV
23a For the wages of sin is death,
Death in this life (the first death) is 100%. Even Jesus, the only one who
doesn’t deserve death, died in this life to pay the penalty for our sins. The
death referred to in Romans 6:23a is the second death explained in
Revelation 21:8 NKJV
8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually
immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake
which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Romans 6:23b NKJV
23b but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 5:8 NKJV
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still
sinners, Christ died for us.
Revelation 21:7 NKJV
7 “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he
shall be My son.”
Romans 10:9-10 explains to us how to accept Jesus as our Savior.
Romans 10:9-10 NKJV
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your
heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with
the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession
is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:13 NKJV
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
If you have questions or would like to know more.
Please, contact First Baptist Church Jackson at
601-979-1900 or http://firstbaptistjackson.org/contact/