Lessons from the Book of Daniel, Part 1a When Culture Shifts, Sept 21, 2014

Background of the Book
Made up of 2 sections, historical and prophetic
4,000 years from Adam to Jesus. 400 silent years.
Lived around 600 years BC then Nehemiah and then silent

Daniel was taken into Babylonian Captivity and Babylon is Modern day Iraq
Brought into Captivity, the Exile by the Babylonians

The People of Israel was always living under the pressure of Empire. The Threat of another nation to rule over them. Sometimes as  captives as in Egypt and Babylon and sometimes the constant pressure mostly from the North, Assyria, Persia, Greece, The Seleucid empire.

The Book of Daniel became very popular among the Jewish people around 150bc during the Seleucid reign of the King Antiochus Epiphanies.  He embarked on a forced Hellenization program. Everyone was going to eat Greek, speak Greek, act Greek, worship Greek.

Jews were not going to eat Kosher, not circumcise their children, keep the Sabbath etc. They were not to be Jewish at all.

The Book of Daniel was important to Jesus in 3 main areas:
1. The Son of Man whom Jesus identifies Himself
2. The Kingdom of God-the rule and reign of God will encompass the world
3. Resurrection-the after life

When Culture Shifts
Living godly in an ungodly culture

The law of the land was asking them to live a different way.

What are you going to do when culture shifts?
When culture changes God doesn’t

68% of people on Christian Mingle who were surveyed said they would engage in pre-marital sex if given the opportunity

Our Culture Today is pressuring us to not live godly, if we call anything they allow as sin. Then it is hate speech! The symbol of the cross is offensive and must be taken down. Scripture is offensive, The Ten Commandments are offensive.

The NFL makes a Christian player turn his shirt inside out to give and interview.

A jr. High boy is told he is not allowed to have his bible in a classroom to read during free reading time.

We could site case after case after case.  From music videos, to news, to entertainment, media, raido, books, universities. The evidence is everywhere.  Prevailing culture wants to dominate and shape your life, views, habits.

Three Things Culture will try to do with you: (Daniel 1:1-7)

I. It will try to rename you.

Change the labels

The very fact that someone can assign a name reveals the authority of the name-giver over the recipient (Gen. 2:20-23).1 When the assigned name is in the same language as the original name, it may reflect a new role or purpose for the individual (Gen. 17:5, 15; 32:28).2 Here, the new name is in a different language than the previous name, which may indicate a desire to give the individual a new identity in order to forget his past.3 The practice of a foreign king assigning a captive a new name may have been familiar to Daniel from the Scriptural account of Pharaoh with Joseph (Zaphnath-Paaneah, Gen. 41:45).

There is considerable uncertainty concerning the meanings of the newly assigned Babylonian names.4 Whereas the names of the young men previously bore testimony to the God of Israel, their new names incorporate the names of gods of Babylon. In each case, the Hebrew appellation contains a reference to the true God but the Babylonian counterpart involves an allusion to a pagan deity.5 Thus, whenever the Babylonians used the young men’s newly assigned names, it would serve as an unpleasant reminder of their captivity and service within the pagan culture of Babylonia.6

Daniel means: God is my judge, I answer to God & God alone
Belteshazzar Bel’s prince (that is, he whom Bel favors)
lady [Sarpanitu, wife of Marduk]12 protect the king
Move the Focus from God to Man

Let God name you not Culture

Hananiah: “Yahweh has been gracious”
Shadrach: “I am fearful of God”
Focus: From God is Good to God is bad.
You don’t want to serve God, you will be bored, God is not for you He is against you.

Mishael- “Who is what God is” “Who is Like God?”
There is nobody like my God! A great confidence in God!
Meshach- “I am despised contemptible & humiliated”
Focus from confidence to cowardice
You Christians need to hush, you need to take your business somewhere else, you need to be quiet.
I am part of  “We the people” too!
I am not going to be afraid to live what I believe.
I am not going to be a coward because it is the enemies label he is trying to put on us!

Azariah- “Yawheh has helped” 
Abednego- “Servant of Nebo”
Focus from Son to Slave

*When Culture Shifts you better know who you are!
Be secure in your identity in Christ

Daniel 1: 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.