• Our culture has changed immensely in a short period of time.
• We are called to live wisely in any and all situations.
• To do so we must understand what God says is true about our circumstances and what God says wisdom is in them.
• In this series, we will look at the story of Daniel and how he had wisdom even under fire.
THIS WEEK: MAKE ROOM FOR GOD’S PEACE
Daniel’s Circumstances – Daniel Chapter 1
• Jerusalem has been besieged by Babylon and Israel is now in captivity (v.1)
• The Lord gave Judah and it’s possessions into the hand of Babylon (v.2)
• Daniel and others have been taken into the King’s service (v.3)
• Daniel is indoctrinated into the language and literature of Babylon (v.4)
• Daniel is given a new Babylonian name by Ashpenaz the King’s chief official (v.6)
• Daniel may have become a eunuch
HOW IS THIS GOD’S WILL FOR DANIEL AND FOR HIS PEOPLE?
Acts 17:24-31 (NIV) – 24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
• God is creator, sustainer, and Lord of all things at all times
• God has through one man (Adam) made all nations and has marked out their reign and run in history according to his will.
• God has done this so that all would see, reach out and find him
• God overlooked ignorance in the past, but now he commands repentance in accordance with justice through the person and work of Jesus.
God used Babylon as His agent of judgment against Israel for their sins of idolatry and rebellion against Him. This historical account demonstrates God’s faithfulness to His people, His judgment of sin, and the surety of His promises.
REGARDLESS OF OUR CIRCUMSTANCES, GOD CALLS US TO LIVE WISELY
James 1:19-20; 26 (NIV) – 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires…26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
James 3:17 (AMP) – But the wisdom from above is first pure [morally and spiritually undefiled], then peace- loving [courteous, considerate], gentle, reasonable [and willing to listen, submissive(niv)], full of compassion and good fruits. It is unwavering, without [self-righteous] hypocrisy [and self-serving guile].
Proverbs 17:27-28 (NIV) – 27The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. 28Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.
Proverbs 29:11 (NIV) – 11Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.
IS GOD IN CONTROL OF OUR CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES? ARE YOU LIVING WISELY IN OUR CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES?
QUESTIONS TO REFLECT AND DISCUSS:
Passages to consider: Daniel 2; James 3:13-18; Acts 17:22-31
Icebreaker: Have you ever been rafting or been caught in a strong current or flood? Share about your experience. What insights did you glean from the sermon?
1. From the sermon, what did you discover about Daniel and how the Hebrew people got where they were?
2. Read Acts 17:22-31. What does this passage tell you about God, history, and the purpose of people? What is encouraging? What is challenging? What questions do you have?
3. What has been your view of the course of history and God’s involvement in it? If you could have dinner with Daniel what would you ask him? What do you think he might tell you about being in the midst of a challenging situation?
4. How would you define wisdom? Take a look at James 1:2-8 & James 3:13-18. What are the significant elements of wisdom from these passages? What makes this biblical wisdom different from other perspectives of wisdom?
5. What aspect of wisdom do you need as you navigate through this time in our world?
6. What is God showing you about wisdom under fire? How can that affect how you approach this coming week?