Bible Lesson: Daniel 1:1-16 — Resolved to Trust God

by

Online Bible Study
3-22-20
“Resolved to Trust God” Daniel 1:1-16

How to participate (if possible do this with others so that you can have some Spirit led discussion. If you are alone, it would be a good idea to write out your answer to the questions):


A. Pray and ask God to illuminate the Scripture for application in your life.


B. Read the selected text.


C. Click the streaming audio link. Pause the audio to give yourself time to reflect on any questions. 
[If you prefer you can read the lesson outline below. Just be aware it’s just a lesson plan and not written as an essay]


D. Email or text me if you have questions and/or comments and I will try to post them and my replies in the space below.


E. Do the homework over the coming week.

 

 

“Resolved to Trust God”

  1. Nebuchadnezzar besieged and conquered Jerusalem and Judea in 586 BC.
    1. Would you consider this a good thing?
    2. Did God say anything to the nation about it?
      1. Yes, God had been warning for years against their idolatry and exploitation of the vulnerable
      2. Over the years they had both good and bad leaders and many opportunities to repent
      3. God not only told them that they would be exiled but also it would be the Babylonians
      4. God also said it would be limited to 70 years.
      5. Daniel doesn’t cover any of that but it
    3. Nebuchadnezzar the intelligent and educated to serve him
      1. This says something of his leadership
  2. Where is God involved without credit?
    1. Who was selected to serve?
    2. Stolen items and people are tracked
    3. Both are protected
    4. God is using a worldly system to invest in His servants. (Joseph and Moses)
    5. God would be with them and help them in a foreign land
  3. How are Daniel and his peers described?
    1. “Youth without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding and learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace (meaning serve as advisers).
    2. They are also able to learn the “literature and language of the Chaldeans”
    3. Did Daniel have anything to do with those aptitudes? Perhaps he and the others inclined themselves to study but their family line, appearance, intelligence tell us nothing of their character.
  4. The first comment on Daniel’s character is verse 8 “But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank.”
    1. Why do you think this mattered to Daniel?
      1. Jews observed strict dietary laws. Rather than risk eating something forbidden Daniel would stay safe and only eat vegetables/plants.
      2. This also seems to indicate that Daniel is seeking to avoid eating even clean animals sacrificed to idols.
      3. Daniel doesn’t want to offend God
    2. We are also told “Daniel resolved” What do you think this means?
      1. Committed. Settled. Concluded. Determined. 
      2. Have you ever resolved to do something?
      3. What does it take?
      4. Who can resolve something for us? No one can resolve something in our hearts. Resolution is an act of the will.
      5. It’s born out of a desire to please God and commitment to obedience
      6. Contrast it with people whose decisions are entirely based on immediate circumstances and self interest
    3. But Daniel has a problem with his resolution. He can’t make it happen. He wants to make it happen but he’s under the authority of a secular authority.
      1. When Daniel seeks permission to keep his resolution (a step we too often skip!) the chief of the eunuchs explains that  his own head is on the line
      2. But God had already softened the chief’s heart toward Daniel
      3. Daniel then makes a deal he cannot keep: test us for 10 days and see
      4. Why do you think Daniel made this deal?
      5. What kind of faith was needed to make this deal?
      6. Who could ensure that their appearance would still be robust and healthy?
      7. Too often when I resolve to do certain things, I make the mistake of thinking it’s all up to me. But God honors us when we honor God.
        1. It’s a shame how little we, who are expressly committed to following God, expect from God.
        2. God does ensure the boys health is robust in spite of their vegetable and wine free diet
  5. I want to close with one more observation. Who was supervising Daniel, Hananiah and Mishael and Azariah?
    1. Ashpenaz, The chief/warden/overseer of eunuchs
    2. What kinds of men were allowed to serve in the king’s residence?
    3. Eunuchs
    4. It’s not explicitly stated but it’s evident that Daniel and his friends have been castrated.
    5. Why do we not note this?
      1. For me, I want to see God win and His people protected
      2. I want to see God’s people spared from suffering
      3. But sometimes in our lives, when we ARE suffering, failing to note the suffering of God’s other servants can leave us feeling like we’ve done something wrong.
    6. We also may suffer difficult, painful and irrevocable damage but it doesn’t indicate God’s displeasure. 
      1. We should be like Danial and  keep ourselves committed to following God no matter what happens to us.
      2. In 2 Kings 20:18 the prophet Isaiah tells the Judean king Hezekiah this prophecy, “And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood that will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”
      3. There are things happening in our lives that we have no control over. Decisions made by others do affect us. There are forces at play that we don’t even see.
      4. But that’s not  true for God:
        1. God is in complete control (even when God allows evil to temporarily have it’s way)
          1. God is still working out His plan for humanity, nations and us as individuals
        2. God also has complete awareness of everything that goes on.
        3. What is happening in the world and in our lives may not  be a good thing. But God is still good and we can trust Him.
          1. The ones who resolve to follow Him in dark times shine like stars.

Homework:
A. List two or three tragedies in your life.

B. List a couple of things you have resolved to do to obey/honor God.
If you have never resolved to do anything consider if you have an opportunity to do so now..

C. List some of the ways you have seen God be present, move or speak to you during difficult times.
If you’ve not experienced God’s involvement in difficulty consider if your expectations of God are too low or absent.

D. Share something you’ve realized, learned or decided from this bible study with a trustworthy person.

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Comments

  1. Allison Burns : March 22, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    This is a great way to have at home bible studies!! Thank you for doing this!

  2. Angie Steele : March 29, 2020 at 5:05 am

    It’s comforting to be reminded that we can trust God to be in control and that He is with us even in these times that, for us, are uncertain.

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