One Faithful Man in Unfaithful Times

ENGLISH

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. — Daniel 1:1-2

Yep, same verse as yesterday. But today, I want to highlight the characters because we need to know them to understand the story.

First, we have Jehoiakim. He is the 18th king of Judah. He was not appointed by God but by the Egyptian Pharoah, who in some ways controlled Judah at the time. Jehoiakim was 25 when he became ruler and ruled for 11 years and is described by biblical authors as a horrible king. He had sex with his mother, daughter-in-law, and stepmother. He murdered men, raped their wives, and stole their property. He performed epispasm (restored foreskin) to hide that he was a Jew. And in addition, he tattooed his body which was prohibited by his religious law. But most notably, he took part of a scroll of the Bible, removed God's name, and burned it. So we might say this guy was not such a good guy.

Second, we have Nebuchadnezzar. Historically this Nebuchadnezzar is the second, also known as Nebuchadnezzar the Great. He ruled Babylon for 43 years, and they became a superpower during his time. He just kept taking over land and constructed buildings during a time Egypt and Israel, and other powers were in decline. And the city of Babylon was massive and glorious. And that's where the book of Daniel begins. Israel and Jerusalem are in disarray, and God's people are taken captive. And as we read the book, we get to know Nebuchadnezzar even more.

Third, there is Daniel. He is unmentioned here, but this book is a book about him. Daniel is a teenager when he is taken and becomes a refugee in the city of Babylon. And for the following 12 chapters, we are going to get an overview of his life and prophecies. And what is great about this book is that Daniel will tell us the story of captivity, and he will be faithful from beginning to end — all 70 years of his life.

So right from the start, we have images of three men. An unfaithful king. An enemy king. A man who worships the only King. And in Daniel, we will learn from him how to suffer persecution under the reign of not just one king but five enemy kings over 70 years and thus how we can remain faithful as we experience the same.

So fellas, if you have been looking for how to be faithful in oppressive times. This is the book. Daniel is the man. And he is going to show us how. So get ready for a great read.

ASK THIS: Are you struggling to understand how to be more faithful in faithless times?

DO THIS: Resolve to be like Daniel.

PRAY THIS: God, give me wisdom and courage like Daniel.

PLAY THIS: Casting Crowns - Courageous.

SPANISH

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One Faithful Man in Unfaithful Times

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11 thoughts on “One Faithful Man in Unfaithful Times

  1. Chris Caliguire says:

    Yes, thank you for the back story. I received a JD Greear study guide for Daniel a couple months ago and just realized I stopped at chapter 9 so this will be great to dive back in and actually use the notes section of the guide!

  2. John says:

    Vince,
    You even weave in the perfect song!!
    Courageous
    Let’s all get courageous! As we see Daniel’s life unfolds in front of us.

  3. John alderfer says:

    Love learning the history to start the book . Very relevant to the day we’re in . Looking forward to the rest of the book .

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