But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. (Daniel 1:8)
DANIEL AND HIS FELLOWS WERE 14-20 YEARS OLD when they asked their Babylonian caretaker, “if you don’t mind, we would like just some vegetables to eat. What you gave us offends our God and we belong to Him.” They were not ugly about it and they were not on a fad diet. It had deep roots to it. Their convictions were based on the Word of God (Leviticus 11:44-47) like Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms (court proceeding) who declared: “My conscience is bound to the Word of God. Here I stand, so help me God, I can do no other.”
MANY PEOPLE HAVE DIED WHOSE CONSCIENCE WAS BOUND to the Word of God. In our day, we watched on TV while ISIS paraded a group of men dressed in orange, and as the men in orange kneeled, ISIS took a sharp knife and cut the heads off each man kneeling in the row. The four Hebrew teenagers might have suffered a similar fate except for the hand of God and His plans to use them in this foreign place.
50,000 JEWISH CAPTIVES WERE IN BABYLON who had thought that their feast visits to the Temple in Jerusalem would protect them from Babylon. But, they were wrong. Some came in 604 B.C., some in 598 B.C. and the rest came in 586 B.C. at which time the Temple was destroyed, and the city laid on the ground. Altogether, some historians estimate that about 50,000 Jews were deported to Babylon.
GOD BROUGHT THEM TO BABYLON BECAUSE HE HAD RATHER FOR THEM to be inside a pagan nation, going through God’s correction than to be in Israel and living like pagans against the Word of God. They were in Babylon for 70 years of “time out” while they thought about their rebellion against God and their love for idols. God’s intent was to purge Judah of its idolatry. When the ten tribes were taken into Assyria 134-150 years earlier, various fragments of aliens were gathered up and sent into the captured land and intermarried with the poorest of the land who had been left behind.
IN THE PROCESS, THEY ADOPTED A PERVERTED VERSION OF JUDAISM and the “Samaritans” were hated by the southern two tribes in Judah that retained the Temple in Jerusalem. The southern Jews would not even travel through Samaria and if they had to, they would stomp the dust off their feet when they crossed the border back into their own territory.
OF JESUS, IT WAS SAID THAT “He must needs go through Samaria.” That’s where He met the woman at the well in John 4. When the Babylonians captured Judah 134-150 years later, they did not repopulate it. They left the poorest of the people to take care of the land which lay empty for 70 years.
JUDAH HAD HEARD PLENTY OF PREACHING FROM GOD'S PROPHETS but turned a deaf ear to God’s message. They could have repented and could have avoided this upheaval in their lives. God knew what they needed. So, in mercy, He let them think about it for 70 years.
THE 10-TRIBE NORTHERN NATION WAS CALLED ISRAEL and the southern two-tribe nation was called Judah. Hosea was an earlier prophet to the northern ten tribes. He was to them what Jeremiah was to the southern two tribes known as Judah. Hosea’s really bad experience with an adulterous wife was a picture of his nation’s adulterous rebellious practice with Jehovah. …And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD. (Hosea 1:2)
HOSEA COMMENTED: MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (Hosea 4:6)
SOUTHERN JUDAH KNEW ALL ALL ABOUT HOSEA'S BAD EXPERIENCE and certainly knew all about their northern sister being sacked and hauled off. Judah had grown used to her idols and paid no attention to the fate of her northern sister. How dense can a nation be? Perhaps as dense as present-day America, when we assume there is no connection between God and the prosperity of the nation. Our elected government has sanctioned the Supreme Court’s wild permit to slaughter 60 million innocent babies in the womb and sanctioned the Supreme Court’s wild permit for the of marriage of homosexuals.
WHEN THE BABYLONIANS CCAPTURED A NATION, they made a practice of bringing in the royal seed, the best and the brightest, to help govern the captured territory. The captives went through an intense program of brainwashing. They were supposed to eat like Babylonians, dress like Babylonians, and think like Babylonians.
McGEE WRITES: “Daniel knew nothing of the opportunist's policy of "When in Babylon, do as the Babylonians do." Daniel was not conformed to this world, but he was transformed by the renewing of his mind, and the will of God was the all-absorbing purpose of his life. “Daniel and his friends represented in their day that Jewish remnant which God has had in all ages. This is the remnant of which Paul spoke in Romans 11:5—"Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace."
THE BOOK OF DANIEL OPENS THE DOOR WIDE for us to see what is coming down the road. It displays the fallen, self-centered nature of human beings and shows how they are even worse when they have political power and money power and social power. It also shows the power of an all-knowing and all-powerful God who interacts with His creatures. God’s work has always been done through a faithful remnant because a remnant is all there has ever been.
NOAH'S BOAT HAD ROOM FOR HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE but only only eight human passengers got on board before God shut the door. When God burned Sodom and Gomorrah, only Lot and his two daughters made it out alive. Even his wife didn’t make it out. When Elijah was preaching and calling down fire from heaven in the northern kingdom of Israel, he thought he was the only one living for God. But God told Elijah that he had 7,000 that had not bowed their knee to Baal. (1Kings 19:18) Elijah didn’t know it ‘till God told him. Still, Elijah stood for God when he thought he was the only one.
HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE TO STAND FOR GOD BEFORE YOU STAND? Does Political Correctness work on you? Political Correctness didn’t work well on Elijah, nor on Noah nor on these Hebrew teenagers. How old do you have to be before you stand for God? I thought it was important the week I got saved when I had been nine for one month. I had been practicing cussin’ for over a year so I would fit in with a rough bunch of boys. God transformed me in one hour.
ISAIAH COMPLAINED TO GOD, But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. (Isaiah 64:6-7)
ISAIAH DIDN'T KNOW OF ANYBODY CALLING ON GOD. He must have felt alone, but he stood for God alone and at last was put in a wooden box and sawed in half. A.T. Pierson said: “History is His story.” God writes history in advance of its unfolding.
WE MAY NOT KNOW WHO WE REALLY ARE UNTIL THERE'S A LOT ON THE TABLE to gain or lose. There were more than four teenagers of the royal seed taken captive into Babylon, but only four of them showed their stuff for God. This was a test and it was an example for all of God’s people who would come after them. Peter ran into this when he warmed by the fire of Jesus’ enemies and said: “I don’t know Him.” After Jesus rose from the dead, He confronted Peter and said: “Peter do you love Me?” That was the issue.
THAT'S ALWAYS THE ISSUE. All the disciples followed “afar off.” After Jesus was dead, they hid. They refused to believe He had risen from the dead. Mary Madgalene had more faith in His resurrection than the disciples. Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. (Mark 16:9)
WE CAN "DO A LOT OF THINGS FOR GOD" WITHOUT LOVING HIM. Jesus asked Peter: “do you love Me?” three times. Perhaps it was because Peter denied Jesus three times. Is the Word of God your authority? Is Jesus your authority? Our culture has been persuaded that there are no absolutes and that the Bible is an old, irrelevant book.
MANY AMERICAN CHURCHES HAVE ADOPTED THAT IDEA and have become institutional churches that house traditions, perform marriages and funerals and keep the building looking respectable. But, the Bible is no longer the authority. The Spirit of God is no longer welcome. Their message is inclusivism. That is, because God is love and Jesus preached love, come in and love with us and we won’t talk about repentance. You can live your own lifestyle as long as you talk a lot about love. It is a perverted gospel. John the Baptist, Jesus and all the disciples included repentance in their preaching. Paul preached repentance.
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (1Corinthians 6:9-11) (They had repented.)
PAUL CONCLUDED BY GIVING THE REASON WHY WE SHOULD NOT BE LIVING like the rest of the world. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1Corinthians 6:19-20) “Which are God’s.” God owns you. You don’t belong to yourself. Because God owns you, do what He says for you to do. I think that about covers it. Bloom where you’re planted. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
SEPTEMBER 19, 2018 – WEDNESDAY
A.M. Ecclesiastes 7-9 P.M. 2Corinthians 11:1-15
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Good Verse to Memorize:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16) (Write verse on scrap of paper and put in your pocket to memorize.)
Song for Today:
Standing on the Promises (1:49) (Calvary Christian School -Repeating this one more day – Very good!)
Please Note: When the video opens, under the picture push the time bar back to the left, to the beginning. The time line is flawed.
Give it a little time – You may need to adjust the sound.