Be a Daniel (Choices)
Be a Daniel (Choices)
In life we all have choices. We all make many choices every day that we live. We choose what time to get up in the morning, we choose what food we will eat, we choose what we will wear and we choose what we will spend our time doing in the course of the hours. Life is made up of choices. There are good choices and bad choices. In this lesson of this series, we look at the choices that a man named Daniel and three of his friends made in a time that was difficult. I hope that we can begin to see through the eyes of The Holy Spirit inside us that we can make the right choices when we are lead by Him, and we can make good choices no matter what our circumstances may be. It is my prayer that you are encouraged and enlightened as you read for The Glory of GOD.
Handout: Be A Daniel (Choices)
Teacher's Guide for this lesson
This brings us to point 1 of this lesson, and that is:
A. We All Have Choices To Make
Does reading this account in Daniel seem or feel familiar? Just like in the lives of Daniel and his friends, have circumstances come upon you that you did not sign up for? Do you feel as if you are held captive, imprisoned by the events that have taken place in your life? Do you feel heartbroken by what has happened, even hopeless? Dear one let me reassure you today, if you are walking in the will of GOD, life may have recently turned upside down but KNOW that your GOD is faithful and HE has a plan. Now you, just like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, have a choice to make. Will you allow yourself to be controlled and taken over by your circumstances, getting angry, and bitter at GOD, or will you trust HIM and know that HE always does the right thing, and surrender in obedience to HIM? The choice is yours…what will it be? Maybe this will help you in your decision making…
I Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; HE will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, HE will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in THEE.”
Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our LORD.”
I John 4:4 “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
Romans 8:28 “ 28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to HIS purpose.”
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
So what will it be? You can purpose in your heart to Trust yourself and this unstable world, or you can purpose to Trust your FAITHFUL, ALMIGHTY GOD. I propose that you choose in your minds and hearts the choice of Joshua recorded in the book of Joshua 24.
Joshua 24:15b“but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
So we have learned from the book of Daniel that like he and his friends we all have a choice to make. Now let’s look further at what this chapter is trying to teach us at point two of this lesson:
Now it is extremely important to note that it is the Babylonians have taken the children of Judah captive. When we look at the word Babylonia in Hebrew, we see Shinar. Shinar was the name of this very place before it was known as Babylon or Chaldea. Let’s look at how the name was changed from Shinar to Babylon.
In the book of Genesis, chapter 11
Genesis 11:1-4 “1And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 4And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”
Let’s look again at verse 4. Let us build up a tower whose top may reach unto heaven, and let us make a name! In other words, let’s make a name for ourselves, raising ourselves up like GOD. What a dangerous and foolish thing to do. What does Proverbs tell us?
Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
This territory, Babylon was founded upon making a name for one’s self, pride and haughtiness. This is the Babylon mentality. Please keep this in mind.
(skip to verses 8-9 of Genesis 11)
Genesis 11:8-9 “8So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”
So we see here that this territory, Shinar was now known as Babel, or Babylon. Now let’s move on further to Genesis 12.
Genesis 12:1 “The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.”
We know that the land The LORD showed Abraham was Caanan, but what country did GOD tell him to leave? Let’s look back at Genesis 11 verse 31.
Genesis 11:31 “Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.”
They set out from Ur of the Chaldeans. We just learned that Chaldea, the land of the Chaldeans was Babylon! GOD told Abraham to leave that place, a place of idols, and paganism, and to go to Caanan the land GOD had planned for him to live. It is so significant that the children of Judah (Descendants of Abraham) were taken captive by the Babylonians and brought back to the land in which GOD told them to leave to begin with!
It was the plan of the enemy all along. To try to undo everything that Abraham and those after him had accomplished. To steal what GOD had given this people. God had told them, I AM YOUR GOD, THERE IS NO OTHER! HE promised that if they would obey Him, and not turn their hearts to worship other gods, He would give them a land flowing with milk and honey. He promised them homes they did not build and vineyards they did not plant. That He would set them high above all the nations of the earth. He promised that they would be the head and not the tail, and that HE would bless them and everything that they did, if they would follow Him and love Him. (Joshua 24)
But He also told them that if they turned away from HIM, serving other gods and not obeying and trusting Him, they would be in a world of trouble. After all the victories they had and finally through much pain reaching Caanan the land of promise, they did eventually forsake GOD and they turned to other gods defiling themselves with sin, and just as GOD promised, they brought judgment upon themselves through these acts of defiance. They found themselves being carried off in captivity of the Babylonians, carried back to the very territory that they were told to leave!
How heartbreaking this must have been to those who were serving GOD. It was as if everything their people had been through, all the progress the LORD had given them, was now reversed and they were right back where they started…now in captivity. They were away from their promised land, the home that GOD had built for them, in a strange land with strange gods. Think about that for a moment…How hopeless that must have felt.
It is really more than we can comprehend, to be right back at the place where we began, in the same pit of sin, after all we have been through, all the battles we have fought, all the prayers prayed and tears shed…to turn from GOD and find ourselves bound down again in a pit of sin and captive of the enemy. Let me tell you today that this is satan’s motive! This is what drives him. He knows once we are born again that he cannot gain our souls, but he desires to sift you as wheat. He desires to turn you away from GOD and to turn you again to the idols that you once lived for. He desires to have you make a name for yourself, living for self and abandoning The GOD of Heaven who loves you and who sent HIS Only Begotten Son for you. He desires to take you from your Caanan, your promised land, to bind you and bring you back to…Babylon.
GOD is still GOD no matter where we are! We can rejoice in that truth! HE is still in control, the Supreme Authority even in our captivities! Let’s go back to Daniel chapter 1 verse 1.
Daniel 1:1-2a “ 1In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
2And The LORD gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand,
Who gave Jehoiakim into Nebuchadnezzar’s hand? THE LORD DID!
In God’s Sovereignty He is ALWAYS Master. HE is ALWAYS LORD OVER HIS PEOPLE and yet He handed over His people into the hand of the enemy.
God had warned them, and warned them over and over not to turn away from Him. He had warned them not to worship false/other gods. He was plain about what would happen to them if they did this. This was no surprise. They knew VERY WELL what would happen if they continued to do this. Still down they went, down, down, down until they were in the very place they did not want to return to, captives in a strange land.
How many times had God warned us that if we keep playing around in sin that it will lead to destruction? He tells us in His word very clearly, His Holy Spirit on the inside of us let’s us know when we are doing wrong and urges us to repent and turn back to GOD. He has told us in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” However how many of us have at one time or another found ourselves doing the very things HE has told us not to do? How many warnings have we received of The Holy Spirit telling us not to flirt around with sin because we are flirting with disaster? How many times has satan chimed in that whatever we are doing isn’t so bad and that we are in control, we have a handle on things and that we won’t let it get out of hand only to one day wake up in enemy chains because we would not heed the warnings of The HOLY SPIRIT of our FATHER? It’s in those times when we are behaving foolishly that sometimes GOD will allow the enemy to overtake us because it’s the only way we seem to learn. It is then that we begin to understand that YES, GOD is GOD and He means what HE says and when we try to put our own desires, our own ways above HIS we go down. It is only in our rebellion against our creator that the enemy can overtake us so that in the end we know that we were very wrong and that GOD is ALMIGHTY and HE is to be revered and respected the way HE deserves to be. HE ALONE IS GOD! What HE says, He means and does whether we like it or not.
Proverbs 14:27 “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.”
Sometimes GOD turns us over to captivity to show us where we do not want to be! He does it to get us to return to Him in the refuge of HIS wings!
Psalm 91:4 “He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”
Be warned Dear One, if you are playing around with sin, flirting with it you still have a choice. Listen to the warning and turn around! Stop! Repent and turn back to The GOD of Heaven, yes you have a choice to make now but if you continue to play around and dabble in sin, it will take you captive and then it will be harder to escape and make those good choices. GOD is not kidding when He tells us to stay away from sin, it’s not a joke. HE MEANS WHAT HE SAYS. Be wise Beloved, Turn around before it’s to late and you are held prisoner. The LORD is your refuge if you will only run to HIM.
Now you may be someone who has not heeded the warnings of GOD, maybe you are held captive already in a pit of deep despair and sin. To you I remind, that GOD is still GOD and HE wants to free you! His grace is everlasting and His compassions never fail and they are new every morning! (Lamentations 3:22)
2 Chronicles 7:14 “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Don’t listen to the enemy when he tells you that you have been to bad, that your sin is to great, because it’s a lie. This promise in 2 Chronicles does is not limited to specific sins, it means any and all sins no matter how great or small we might think they are. Repent and turn from them and GOD will forgive you and help you get back where you need to be! It’s a promise! The Choice is yours. GOD Bless You All. :O)
Dear Righteous, Heavenly Father…
Thank You for yet another beautiful day. Thank You for Your written word! Father I am thankful that You have given Your people choices. LORD I pray today and ask that You give us wisdom and knowledge and understanding so that we will continue to seek You and to follow You and to stay away from sin and the temptations of this world. Help us to live a life of integrity and moral character unto You for Your Glory alone. Thank You LORD for dying on the cross for our wicked sins and for being a GOD of mercy that will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness when we turn to You. Help us to be wise and always Love You as You deserve to be loved….In the mighty, lovely, all powerful name of JESUS I pray…Amen.
October 19, 2014