Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Daniel - Week 1: Day 1

Week 1: Day 1 - Not Just a Tale of Two Kings

Goal of the study
Beth Moore states in the workbook that one of the goals of the first part of the series (the first 6 weeks) is to learn how to be like Daniel and "live in an extravagant, excessive culture without being poisoned by it".   And to "develop alarms for Babylon's charms".  Well, that sounds wonderful to me, how about you?

Start with Prayer
A goal of this blog is to grow spiritually through the study of the Word.  Please remember to start your study everyday with prayer! 

Two Kings
The book of Daniel opens with the introduction of two kings.
 - King Jehoiakim is the king of Judah
 - King Nebuchadnezzar is the king of Babylon

by the way, Nebuchadnezzar is much easier to say than to type correctly!  Anyway...

Daniel 1:2 The Lord gave him victory over King Jehoiakim of Judah. tells us that God allowed the capitivity of His people.   They had been warned many times to obey God and when they didn't God gave them into captivity.

Obviously we are to obey our God, but this is also a lesson in trusting God.  He follows through with His promises, all of them! We can also trust that if we are in any kind of capitivity He is with us and will deliver us in His time and for His purposes.

Mentality of Babylon

Isaiah 47:8a (NLT) "You are a pleasure-crazy kingdom, living at ease and feeling secure, bragging as if you were the greatest in the world!"

Isaiah 47:10 (NIV) You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, 'No one sees me.' Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, 'I am, and there is none besides me.'

These verses of Isaiah are speaking about Bablyon, and are a reflection of our own society.  I thought the term "pleasure-crazy" from the NLT translation was very reflective of our culture.

Verse 10 shows us the mentality of self-absorbtion - it is all about me!  That really is our culture too, isn't it!  It is all about me and what I want, so if I want it I shall have it because I deserve it.  It doesn't matter if it is not beneficial to me or others, I want it and will not give it a second thought.  It is mine, even if I cannot afford it I will just charge it! 

This culture is certainly out of control.  Bankrupty and foreclosure have become an acceptable way to get out of debt.  I read an article recently (unfortunately cannot give credit to where it was) that talked about a young woman who had managed to acculumulate nearly $100,000 in student loans.  Can you imagine!  Why does our society place such an importance on going to the very best schools.  Is she smarter or better prepared for the world than if she had gone to a less expensive school?  Obviously not, she certainly is not in a financial position to start her life comfortably and she certainly is not making a 6-figure salary or even working in her the profession she went to school for!!

But the thing about the article that really caught my attention was that she was not able to get out from all this debt because student loans are exempt from bankruptcy.  What! Our society is so out of control that bankruptcy is so common that student loans have protection.  How many people with student loans claimed bankruptcy before this type of debt was given protection?  Makes my head spin!

Friendly Captivity
In the session 1 video, Beth Moore talked about Babylon being a friendly captivity.  This reflects our society as well, we can pretty much get anything we want.  It is way too easy to become absorbed in this culture and overtaken with it.  But we can learn from Daniel because he resisted his friendly captivity on purpose!

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