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Faithlife
Faithlife

Ten Times Greater

10 Times Greater  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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10 Times Greater
(NRSV)
17To these four young men God gave knowledge and skill in every aspect of literature and wisdom; Daniel also had insight into all visions and dreams.
18At the end of the time that the king had set for them to be brought in, the palace master brought them into the presence of Nebuchadnezzar,
19and the king spoke with them. And among them all, no one was found to compare with Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they were stationed in the king’s court.
20In every matter of wisdom and understanding concerning which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
Faithfulness in an Alien World
PREVIEW
In a skillful way, the first chapter of Daniel brings together an immense amount of material providing background information and theological insights necessary for understanding the stories to follow. is in Hebrew, like chapters 8 through 12, while are in Aramaic. The two languages suggest that the book of Daniel is addressed both to Jews and to all peoples and nations of the world. Aramaic in the time of Daniel was the international language of commerce, much like Koine Greek in the time of Paul and English today. The Hebrew beginning and ending enabled the book to speak authoritatively to the Jewish community.
The first chapter makes these contributions:
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1. It ties the book of Daniel to history. The names of rulers and specific dates are recorded. This suggests that the narratives to follow are not fairy tales, beginning with “once upon a time.” They are to be considered as stories of real people in difficult situations.
2. The God of the Hebrews is more than a tribal deity. God oversees history; this prepares for the later teaching that even though evil has sway for a time, God’s reign will ultimately prevail. God’s activity is not limited to Palestine, and his concern is broader than the Israelites. Thus God let Jehoiakim fall into the power of Nebuchadnezzar at Jerusalem. In Babylon, God allowed Daniel to receive official favor and gave knowledge and skill to Daniel and his companions.
3. explains how the vessels from the temple in Jerusalem came to Babylon. This is important for the story in chapter 5.
4. It tells how Daniel and his companions arrived in Babylon.
5. It provides biographical information about Daniel and his companions. They meet the qualifications Nebuchadnezzar established for persons to be trained for civil service.
6. The chapter accepts selected changes in lifestyle as right and necessary in order to live and serve in another culture.
7. It introduces the theme, developed in the rest of the stories, that allegiance to God takes precedence over all other commitments. Changes in lifestyle dare not frustrate or jeopardize that primary allegiance.
8. anticipates conflicts to follow. When aliens outdo natives in tasks for which the latter feel especially competent, hostility erupts. The king observes that the captives are ten times more competent than the magicians and enchanters in Babylon. That judgment will be tested!
9. It notes the lengthy span of time in which Daniel serves in Babylon, making the point that Daniel, a representative of the people of God, continues in positions of power and responsibility until the end of the exile.[1]
GREAT LEADERSHIP DESERVES A CLIMATE
1. A leader will attend to task and to people
2. A leader must have a vision that he or she can express and implement
3. A leader must be able to establish a constructive climate for the people there working with
4. The climate refers to the atmosphere of the team or the church
5. In the climate there are rituals, values, procedures, and the assumption of the church
6. He constructive climate is an atmosphere that promotes group members satisfaction and achieving their personal best
7. To establish a constructive climate demands that a leader provides structure, clarify norms, build cohesiveness, and promote standards of excellence.
8. By establishing a constructive climate for the group leader ensures that members work more effectively together.
9. When a leader creates a constructive climate, he or she helps church members perform at their highest level of excellence.
[1] Paul M. Lederach, Daniel, Believers Church Bible Commentary (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1994), 30–31.
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