Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 2:5-12.
Read: Daniel 1 - As you read in the Message paraphrase, note 1-3 insights/questions that arise.
Reflect: There are two styles of writing that dominate the whole book of Daniel, stories and visions. For this series, we opted to use the stories as the foundation and insert the visions as they appeared in the life of Daniel. Connecting the context with the visions brings us closer to the tension of life. Daniel grew in patience. Daniel 1 covers his entire life and ends with the reality that Daniel was going to live past Nebuchadnezzar and also never return home. That is a helpful insight for us to know, that the book wants us to stay in a place of hope from the very beginning. No matter how hard something may seem, or no matter how bleak the current setting may be, God is in control and will help you.
This was not an easy time for Daniel, arriving in Babylon and joining the “boot camp” system of the King, meant at least three things personally. First, he would become a eunuch, second, he would have to change his diet, third he would no longer be able to celebrate Sabbath as a community. Daniel chose to draw a line in the sand over the diet. He first approaches the Chief of Eunuchs Daniel 1:10, who leaves him with a dilemma. Daniel, still determined reaches out to the steward (1:11) and has the 10 day test set in place.
Respond: Pray for the insight to see what area in your life, do you need to focus on.
Research: Google - “Creation Health,” “resolved.” Re-read Genesis 39-50 and refresh yourself in the story of Joseph. Compare Daniel 1:1 with Jeremiah 25:1 —how to do you reconcile these texts? Explore the Hebrew word “śîm,” which means “to place” or “to appoint,” translated as “resolved” in Daniel 1:8. See Isaiah 39:7 with regard to the eunuchs in Babylon. Note how the Apostle Paul has to address diet in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 10 - it was life or death.