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Audio Sermons

Daniel 1:1-7

God Is Still On The Throne

Text: Daniel 1:1-7

Life B-P Church Worship Services 8am & 11am,

8 January 2017

 

In 605 BC, when the Jews in Jerusalem were attacked by the powerful Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, many asked ‘where was Yahweh, our powerful Creator God and Saviour when we needed Him?’   Among the first batch of Jews deported to Babylon were Daniel and his friends. Although it might appear to the world that the enemies were more powerful than Yahweh, yet God will prove through all the historical events and prophecies that He is still on the throne. God will accomplish His will through His faithful servants. He will punish sin, progress His salvation plan and preserve His saints, while bringing all events of history into a climax as we await the return of Christ. 

 

1.         God is Punishing His People for their Sins.

a)     God punished His people for their sin of idolatry

•    God had warned the nation that if they worshipped other gods, the Lord would drive them out of the land and scatter them among nations ((Deut 28:1-2, 14-15, 63-64).

•    Did the people of God heed the words of God and the prophets? No. Wicked kings, priests and people defiled worship and temple (2 Chron 36:5,8; 2 Kg 21:4-7; 23;11).

•    Despite Nebuchadnezzar’s superior army, it was the Lord (adonai, v.2) who gave Jerusalem into his hands as God’s instrument to judge Judah (Hab 1:6, 12). “Adonai” - God the absolute owner and master of all creation with kingly authority and power.

•    Sin deserves God’s chastening (Heb 12:5-7).

 

b)     God sent His people under Babylonian Captivity

•    Prophet Isaiah foretold that the descendants of Hezekiah would be captives at Babylon (2 Kgs 20:18; Isa 39:7).

•    Babylonian Captivity of the Jews lasted 70 years (605 BC to 536 BC). Nebuchadnezzar continued the Assyrian policy of deportation. The first wave occurred in 605 BC (Daniel was part of this), the second wave occurred in 597 BC and the third in 586 BC (Jerusalem temple & city destroyed).   

•    Elite youths (Daniel and friends) awarded 3-year civil service scholarship for Babylonian administration (Dan 1:3-5).

 

2.      God is Progressing His Salvation Plan.

a)     God intended Babylon to sanctify saints

•    The world (Babylon, Satan) will change your culture, beliefs, diet, even your name, identity and god, if you allow it.

•    They changed names of Daniel "God is my Judge" to Belteshazzar "Prince of Baal"; of Hananiah "Beloved of the Lord" to Shadrach “Illumined by the Sun God"; of Mishael "Who is as God" to Meshach "Who is like the Moon God"; of Azariah – "The Lord is My Help" to Abednego "Servant of Nego”

•    They may get Daniel into Babylon, but they cannot get Babylon into Daniel. We must live holy in an unholy world (Jn 17:15-19). “eunuchs” refer to officers.

 

b)     God sent His saints to witness to Babylon.

•    Don't run or rebel; seek the peace of Babylon (Jer 29:7).

•    Daniel & his friends shine for God and witness to the Babylonians by their loving service (Mt 5:16, 44; 28:18-20).

 

3.    God is Preserving Suffering Saints.

a)     God provided daily needs of suffering saints

•    Free education, room & board (Dan 1:4-5);

•    God will multiply their family even in exile – food, fruit, gardens, house, wives, children, grandchildren (Jer 29:4-6).

 

b)     God strengthened the faith of suffering saints 

•    Despite sufferings, exiled saints can still trust their faithful and just God (Ps 137:1,4, Isa 43:2; Hab 2:20).

•    As Daniel trusted in God, God strengthened his faith through miracles, wisdom, prophecies and dreams.

 

We enter the new year 2017 with our impounded Terrex vehicles still in Hong Kong - with fears and uncertainties, economic woes and political instability due to Brexit, Trump twitters, and flexing of China muscles. Yet, let us remember that God is sovereign and rules over all people and kingdoms. Although the world leaders seem to control the world, the message of Daniel proclaims that God is still on the throne and progressing His loving plan of saving sinful men.

 

 

Meanwhile, God’s will for us is to shine for Him where we are. We can endure suffering knowing that God will ultimately bring history to a climax in the establishment of the kingdom of Christ.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

December 3 & 10 - Holy Living

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 2 Peter 3:11