Lessons from the Book of Daniel, Part 1b When Culture Shifts, Sept 28, 2014

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.


II.            It will try to tame you


Food used in idol worship and was not kosher


It was to get you to where you have no convictions.  To eat from it’s table.  The main thing Empire wants to feed you is Fear! And it feeds a constant diet of fear through: consumerism-it’s the economy stupid and protection- If you don’t have us in power you won’t have a job and you won’t have protection from the bad people.


It tries to lure and tame us constantly.


One of the distinctions of  Israel was their Monotheism vs. the polytheism of most of the cultures of ancient Israel.


Only One God! Most important prayer and creed: The Shamah


Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad


Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God; The Lord is one


Is the central prayer in the Jewish prayerbook and is often the first section that a Jewish child learns. During its recitation in the synagogue, Orhtodox Jews pronounce each word very carefully and cover their eyes with their right hand. Many Jews recite the Shema at least twice daily: once in the morning and once in the evening.


The Jews could not switch gods or add to gods. If one nation defeated another then their gods were more powerful so we will just switch or add them to our gods.


Nebo was a Babylonian God


Today culture is offended when we claim the exclusivity of Jesus


*When culture shifts don’t lose your convictions!


When you decide to live according to God it will give you greater influence.


Daniel 1:9-14

10 is a number for testing:

*10 commandments testing out faith in God

*The tithe is a test. Malachi test me in this.

*The Disciples were in the upper room 10 days before Pentecost

When they were being hunted down. Would they stay together in unity and wait for the promise Jesus said would come?

*The church in Smyrna in Revelation 2 was tested for 10 days


When culture shifts you will be tested.  There will be a moment of pressure, it may be prolonged pressure.  What are you going to do?  Will you be tamed by it?


III.           It will try to claim you


·         Never Give into the pressure


Come on you parents won’t know. Bow down just this one time, cheat just this one time, What’s wrong with a little sin now and then?, It’s no big deal, don’t be so old fashioned, everyone has a vice, it’s no big deal………


Daniel 1: 15-20


 You think God’s way isn’t better but it is better!


 God is ten times better than anything the world would have to offer you!




Will I change the world or will I let the world change me?


If culture shifts will I?


Am I going to set the culture or reflect the culture?


Will my Identity come from God or from the world?