Daniel 1.1-21 – September 17, 2020

Daniel 1:1–21

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.
Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility—young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.
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. Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”
11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
21 And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.
 (Daniel 1:1–21, NIV)

“It is hard to pick one, but I’m currently reading Daniel. That’s not necessarily why I chose it, but I love and am inspired by the faith and complete confidence Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had in God.”

Thought Questions:

How do you think you would have reacted if you had found yourself in the position of Daniel?

Daniel and friends had plenty of reasons to be bitter about being in exile or upset that he was being asked to go against what he believed. What gave Daniel the power to persevere in faith in spite of his circumstances?

How can you foster a dependence on God that proves faithful regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in?

Daniel 3.1-30 – April 23, 2020

Daniel 3:1-30

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16–18, NIV)

How would you respond to your challenger if you faced a threat that you absolutely, 100% knew you would overcome? What about it if you did not know with certainly you would succeed? How would you respond then?

Thought Questions:

As you read through Daniel 3, what moments stand out to you as nothing you could ever imagine facing? How do you think you would respond if you were these three?

How certain are you that God will rescue you, no matter the challenge you face?

Describe a time when you had to have the biggest amount of faith to stand up to something, while also facing the biggest risk, or at least perceived risk, that you might fail? How did God help you remain faithful to this challenge?

What specific things can you do to help you become the kind of person who, no matter the challenge or the results, will NOT back down from a faithful response? Share it and help others by clicking on “Leave a Comment” below…

Daniel 9.9 – January 10, 2020

Daniel 9.9

“The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him…” (Daniel 9.9, NIV)

It’s one thing to be forgiven for doing something accidentally, but to have the Lord be merciful to us even when we willfully rebelled against him? That’s an amazing statement about who God is and his love for us.

Thought Questions:

You hear people say that God could not forgive them for what they had done. Have you ever felt this way? Why is it so easy for us to assume we are “too far gone” for God’s love?

Describe a time when you felt like you most needed God’s forgiveness and he gave it.

How does God’s mercy and forgiveness affect how you love and love for him?