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Daniel 1 - Going Rogue

Going Rogue  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  49:29
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Those who go rogue to remain allegiant to God’s even-if-sovereignty will see clearly, act with fidelity and walk humbly. Without even realizing what they are doing and quite apart from trying to start a rebellion, on allegiance alone, they push against conformity and cross-pressures and do not become fragilized in the face of different options, where people who lead “normal” lives do not share their faith (and perhaps believe something very different).

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Notes & Transcripts
Introduction to Series
I. Introduction to Series
When I made this video for the series I wanted to capture the darkness and terror of this time that Daniel the prophet lived through. When we hear about the Babylonian exile, the capture and ransacking of Jerusalem and all that happened to Daniel and his friends we tend to do what we do with all ancient warfare.
B. The Background of Daniel
Ancient Warfare
1. When I made this video for the series I wanted to capture the darkness and terror of this time that Daniel the prophet lived through. When we hear about the Babylonian exile, the capture and ransacking of Jerusalem and all that happened to Daniel and his friends we tend to either:
Glamorize It, fictionalize It, sanitize It.
ii. Fictionalize It
iii. Sanitize It
That is not how Daniel and his friends encountered the Babylonian Empire and its military hoards.
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The siege of Jerusalem was not glamorous, nor was it sexy. When the Babylonian forces started a policy of state-sanctioned kidnapping, what we call exile. The Jews in Jerusalem were not thinking to themselves, “Hey we could turn a profit on this whole war thing and print up shirts with slogans like, “Gone Fishing in Babylon.” They were not looking for the next “tweetable” moment or instagram post.
Have you ever met a parent that has felt the pain of a child dying in their arms. There is nothing glamorous about that. Have you ever met a parent whose child was kidnapped and taken from them. There nothing glamorous about that. The streets of Judah, Jerusalem were filled with it. Daniel would have been a teenage of 13-15 when he was kidnapped, forcibly taken from his family, friends and home.
The loss of their homes, families, and temple was not fictional. The Babylonian exile was not a myth to Daniel, to the Jews living in Jerusalem any more than ISIL is a myth to Christians living in Iraq, Syria and Northern Africa. The Scroll of Daniel is not a bunch of cute bed-time stories, veggie-tales for kids. This scroll is true history and real history.
The death and mayhem and violence could not be sanitized in their eyes. Perhaps the words of Jeremiah’s weeping could remind us of this catastrophic event, and
Jeremiah 31:15 TLV
Thus says Adonai: “A voice is heard in Ramah —lamentation and bitter weeping— Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.”
Jeremiah 9:1 TLV
If only my head were water and my eyes a fountain of tears, then I would weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!
Lamentations 1:15f TLV
The Lord has rejected all the mighty ones in my midst. He has summoned an assembly against me to crush my young men. In a winepress the Lord has trampled the virgin daughter of Judah. Over these things I weep. My eyes overflow with water. For far from me is a comforter, who might refresh my soul. My children are desolate, because the enemy has prevailed.”
Jeremiah 9:1 TLV
If only my head were water and my eyes a fountain of tears, then I would weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!
Jeremiah 31:15 TLV
Thus says Adonai: “A voice is heard in Ramah —lamentation and bitter weeping— Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.”
If you don’t take seriously the backdrop of Daniel’s life. If you don’t try for a moment to feel the pain, suffering and darkness that Daniel saw and experience you will miss the heart of the stories of Daniel, you will miss what makes the prophecies of Daniel so powerful:
Proposition of Series: We can face any monstrous empire the future may give birth to because God’s sovereignty is an even-if-sovereignty. Even if Daniel’s city, home and family is lost to the Babylonians God is still sovereign. Even if Daniel’s hopes and plans for the future are permanently altered by Babylonians, Medes or Persians God is still sovereign. Even if the future gives birth to a empires of gold, silver, iron, bronze or clay God is still sovereign. Even if a little-horn rises up to destroy God’s people and challenge God Himself. God is still sovereign.
The hero of Daniel is not Daniel; rather, the coming Son of Man, the Messiah who is given sovereignty over the earth is Daniel’s hero.: –
Daniel 7:13–14 TLV
“I was watching in the night visions. Behold, One like a Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days, and was brought into His presence. Dominion, glory and sovereignty were given to Him that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will never pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.
The hero of Daniel is not Daniel; rather, the coming Son of Man, the Messiah who is given sovereignty over the earth is Daniel’s hero.
Daniel is not just a vertically oriented book it is a horizontally oriented book. It is a book about an Israelite, Daniel, living through an apocalypse so that in the future other faithful Israelites and the non-Jews who will join with them can also live and thrive during the apocalypse.
Daniel 12:1–2 TLV
“At that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has never occurred since the beginning of the nation until then. But at that time your people—everyone who is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake—some to everlasting life, and others to shame and everlasting contempt.
Daniel is a book about an Israelite living through an apocalypse so that in the future all who share Daniel’s allegiance to the sovereign Son of Man will also have allegiance to the sovereign Son of Man.
Throughout this series we will stay tethered into these three things:
Daniel is true history.
Daniel’s hope was in the sovereign Son of Man during an apocalypse.
Daniel message is a call to remain allegiant to the sovereign Son of Man.
Today, we are going to see from Daniel that: Sometimes the only way to stay true to “who” we hope in and “what” we hope for is to go rogue.
1. The Right Time to Go Rogue
2. The Reason For Going Rogue
3. The Risk of Going Rogue
4. The Reward of Going Rogue
Ha-Foke-Ba
The Right Time to Go Rogue ()
The Right Time to Go Rogue ()
The historical veracity of Daniel has always had its challengers. One of the first, a man named Prophyry (Prore-fur-ree), in the 250s C.E., argued with Jerome - a biblical scholar and linguist - that there was no way the book of Daniel was real history. Rather, he said it was just a bunch of allegories and old-wives tales. He said the prophecies and predictions were too accurate to have come from the pen of a Jew living in 586 BCE. So he proposed that the writer of Daniel must have been living well-beyond the events recorded and was just making this whole prophecy thing up.
For at least a 1800 years the Jewish community and body of Messiah rebutted the charge of Prophyry and so-called “scholars” today saying: Daniel’s use of Aramaic, Hebrew, Persian and Greek only fits that period of time, his knowledge of events is too intimate to have been written by a later writer, his prophecies were taken out to Alexander the Great according to Josephus, Qumran had multiple copies of the scroll of Daniel. But for me, the one clincher is that Yeshua said, “when you see the abomation of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel...” Yeshua did not say the book of Daniel or scroll of Daniel, no, he said there was a person, a real person who lived when he said he lived and his office was “prophet” and his name was am always going to side with that guy Yeshua.
What was the Historical time Daniel went Rogue? He tells us in
Daniel 1:1–2 TLV
In the third year of the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. God gave King Jehoiakim of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the House of God. He brought them into the land of Shinar to the house of his god and put the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
Insert the Timeline of Daniel here.
It is not just historical time. What was the Biblical time?
i. The Time of God’s Judgment (, ).
ii. The Time of Israel’s Exile ().
iii. The Time of an Apocalypse for Daniel.
Why mention these two ways of understanding time?
A modern historian would say that Judah fell because it was overpowered by the most powerful nation on earth. A Babylonian priest would have said that the powerful gods of Babylon simply overpowered the God of Israel.”4 But notice what the biblical author says in : “God gave...”
Daniel 1:2 TLV
God gave King Jehoiakim of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the House of God. He brought them into the land of Shinar to the house of his god and put the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
Daniel 2 TLV
In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams. His spirit was troubled and sleep escaped him. So the king issued an order to summon the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and Chaldeans in order to explain to the king his dreams. When they came and stood before the king, he said to them, “I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit is anxious to understand the dream.” Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic, “May the king live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will declare the interpretation.” The king answered the Chaldeans saying, “I firmly decree: If you do not make the dream and its meaning known to me, you will be torn limb from limb and your houses reduced to rubble. But if you tell the dream and its meaning, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. So tell me the dream and its meaning!” They responded a second time, saying, “Let the king tell his servants the dream and we will declare the interpretation.” The king replied saying, “I know for sure that you are buying time since you see that I have firmly decreed that if you do not reveal the dream to me, there is only one verdict for you. You have conspired to say something false and fraudulent, until such a time as things might change. So then, tell me the dream and I will know that you can tell me its meaning.” The Chaldeans answered the king saying, “There is no man on earth who can meet the king’s demand. For no great king, however great or mighty, has ever asked such a thing from any magician, astrologer or Chaldean. What the king asks is too difficult. There is no one who could declare it to the king, except the gods whose dwelling is not with mortals!” Because of this, the king became furiously angry and gave orders to execute all the wise men of Babylon. So the decree went out that the wise men were about to be slaughtered. They also sought Daniel and his companions to execute them. Then Daniel spoke with tact and discretion to Arioch, who was captain of the king’s guard and who had set out to execute the wise men of Babylon. He spoke up and said to Arioch, the king’s captain, “Why is the king’s decree so urgent?” Then Arioch informed Daniel about the matter. So Daniel went in and asked the king to grant him time, so that he might disclose the interpretation to the king. Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah about the matter so they would request mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not perish along with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven and answered, saying: “Blessed be the Name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. He changes times and seasons. He removes kings and installs kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things. He knows what lies in darkness and light dwells with Him. To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise! For You gave me wisdom and power. You have made known to me what we asked of You. You revealed to us the word of the king.” Then Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon and said to him, “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon. Bring me in before the king and I will declare the interpretation to the king.” So Arioch quickly ushered Daniel into the king’s presence and said to him, “I have found a man among the sons of the exiles from Judah, who can make known the interpretation to the king.” The king then asked Daniel (who was renamed Belteshazzar), “Are you able to reveal to me the dream that I saw, as well as its interpretation?” Daniel answered the king, saying: “The mystery about which the king inquired is such that neither wise men, astrologers, magicians, or sorcerers can disclose it to the king. But, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar the things that will happen in the latter days. The dream and the visions that went through your head as you lay on your bed are these. “To you, O king—as you lay on your bed—came thoughts about what will come to pass in the future. The Revealer of mysteries has made known to you what is going to happen. But as for me, this mystery is not revealed to me because I posses more wisdom than any other living person, but in order that the king may know the interpretation and understand the thoughts of your heart. “You looked, O king, and behold, there before you stood a huge statue—an enormous and dazzling image, whose appearance was awesome. The head of that statue was of pure gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, and its feet partly iron and partly clay. While you were watching, a stone was cut out, but not by hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from summer threshing-floors that the wind blows away. Not a trace of them could be found. Then the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. “This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. You, O king, are the king of kings to whom the God of heaven has given sovereignty, power, might and glory. Wherever mankind, beasts of the field, and fowls of the heaven dwell, He has given them into your hand, and made you ruler over them all. You are the head of gold. “Now after you another kingdom will arise, one inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over all the earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron shatters and breaks everything—and just as iron smashes everything, so will it shatter and crush all the others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly potter’s clay and partly iron, so this will be a divided kingdom. It will have some of the strength of the iron, for you saw the iron mixed with clay. As the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. Just as you saw iron mixed with clay, people will mix with one another, but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. “Now in the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will this kingdom be left to another people. It will crush and bring to an end all of these kingdoms. But it will endure forever. For just as you saw a stone cut out of a mountain, yet not by hands, crush the iron, bronze, clay, silver and gold, the great God has made known to the king what will happen in the future. Now the dream is certain, and its interpretation is trustworthy.” Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and paid homage to Daniel and gave orders that an offering and incense be provided for him. In response the king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and the revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this secret!” Then the king promoted Daniel and lavished on him many marvelous gifts and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief over all the wise men of Babylon. Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained at the royal court.
“A modern historian would say that Judah fell because it was overpowered by the most powerful nation on earth. A Babylonian priest would have said that the powerful gods of Babylon simply overpowered the God of Israel.”4 But notice what the biblical author says in verse 2: “The Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand.”
Daniel Records True History. He is no more making up this story than me making up the story of 9/11 and the hi-jacking crashing of American planes by terrorist fighters. We know the names of all the places are accurate, the timing is accurate. This is not a bedtime story, this is true history.
Daniel Records True Value Statements about History. This is the land of Shinar were the second apocalypse took place on the people of earth at Babel. Daniel lets us know that this land is a godless, god-forsaken land though it claims to be filled with gods. He also tells us that God did these things not a pagan deity, not a powerful army against a least powerful army, not by a coincidence of history. The God of Abraham’s seed kept covenant and sent his people into exile according to covenant but He also went with them.
Daniel Records True Value Statements about History.
The Reason for Going Rogue ().
B. The Reason for Going Rogue ().
Daniel 1:3–8 TLV
Then the king told Ashpenaz the chief of his officials to bring in some of the sons of Israel from royal descent and nobility— youths without any defect, handsome, proficient in all wisdom, knowledgeable, intelligent and capable of serving in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. The king allotted them a daily portion from the king’s delicacies and from the wine that he drank. They were to be trained for three years, and at the end they were to stand before the king. Now among them were some from the sons of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief officer gave them new names: to Daniel, Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-nego. But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the king’s delicacies or with the wine he was drinking, so he entreated the chief official for permission not to defile himself.
The account of Daniel and his friends makes it clear that when allegiance to “who” we hope in and “what” we hope for is challenged our only option is to go rogue.
Let me define going rogue: To remain allegiant to God’s even-if-sovereignty. Quite apart from trying to start a rebellion, allegiants push against subtractions stories, cross-pressures and fragilization, any place where people who lead “normal” lives do not share their faith (and perhaps believe something very different).
Let me define going rogue: To remain allegiant to God’s even-if-sovereignty. Quite apart from trying to start a rebellion, allegiants push against subtractions stories, cross-pressures and fragilization, any place where people who lead “normal” lives do not share their faith (and perhaps believe something very different).
1. Subtraction Stories ()
Daniel 1:3–5 TLV
Then the king told Ashpenaz the chief of his officials to bring in some of the sons of Israel from royal descent and nobility— youths without any defect, handsome, proficient in all wisdom, knowledgeable, intelligent and capable of serving in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. The king allotted them a daily portion from the king’s delicacies and from the wine that he drank. They were to be trained for three years, and at the end they were to stand before the king.
Explain Subtraction Stories - Accounts that explain “the real world” as merely the subtraction of your faith in God, as if the "real world” is what’s left over after we subtract out our faith.
2. Cross-Pressures ()
Daniel 6–7 TLV
It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the whole kingdom with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. These satraps were accountable to them so that the king would not be troubled. Now this Daniel was distinguishing himself among the supervisors and satraps because he had an extraordinary spirit in him. In fact, the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom. At this time the supervisors and satraps tried to find ground for a charge against Daniel regarding the kingdom. But they were unable to find fault or corruption, because he was trustworthy and no negligence or dishonesty could be found in him. Finally these men said, “We’re not going to find any basis for charges against this man Daniel, unless we find something against him regarding the law of his God.” So these supervisors and satraps went in to the king as a group, and said to him, “King Darius, live forever! All the supervisors of the realm, the magistrates and satraps, ministers and governors, have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce a decree that anyone who prays to any god or man for 30 days other than you O king, will be cast into the lions’ den. Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it may not be altered, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” Thereupon King Darius issued the written decree. Now when Daniel learned that a written decree had been issued, he went into his house, where the windows in his upper room opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt down, prayed and gave thanks before his God, just as he did before. Then these men came as a group and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. So they approached the king and spoke to him about the royal decree: “Didn’t you issue a written decree that anyone who prays to any god or man for 30 days—except for you, O king—shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king replied, “The decree stands, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” Then they answered and said to the king: “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the decree that you put in writing. He still prays three times a day!” When the king heard this report, he was deeply distressed, and he set his mind on how he might rescue Daniel. Until sunset he struggled to find a way to save him. Then these men came as a throng in to the king, and said to the king: “Remember, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no decree or edict which the king issues may be altered.” So the king gave the order and Daniel was brought and thrown into the lions’ den. Now the king spoke to Daniel saying, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” A stone was brought to block the mouth of the den. The king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet of his nobles, so that nothing could be changed regarding Daniel. Then the king went to his palace and passed the night fasting—no entertainment was brought before him. He was unable to sleep. At dawn the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. As he reached the den, he cried out to Daniel with a voice of anguish. The king spoke out to Daniel saying: “Daniel, servant of the living God, was your God, whom you serve continually, able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel spoke to the king: “May the king live forever! My God sent His angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they haven’t harmed me, because I was found innocent before Him. Nor have I committed any crime against you, O king.” Then the king was overjoyed, and ordered Daniel taken up out of the den. So Daniel was lifted out of the pit. No injury of any kind was found on him because he had trusted in his God. At the king’s command, those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and thrown into the lions’ den—they, their children, and their wives. They had not even reached the bottom of the pit before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones. Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages dwelling in all the earth: “May your peace be abundant! I issue a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom people are to tremble with fear before the God of Daniel. “For He is the living God, enduring forever! His kingdom will never be destroyed, His dominion will never end. He delivers and rescues. He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions!” So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian. In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was on his bed. He wrote down a summary of the dream. Daniel said: “I was looking in my vision at night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were churning up the great sea. Four huge beasts came up from the sea, each different from the others. “The first was like a lion with eagle’s wings. As I watched, its wings were pulled off and it was lifted off the ground. It was made to stand upon two feet like a man, and the heart of a human was given to it. “And behold there before me was another beast, a second one, like a bear. It raised itself up on one side; it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’ “After that I looked, and behold, there was another one like a leopard. On its back it had four wings like those of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and it was given authority to rule. “After this in my vision at night, I looked and behold there was a fourth beast—terrifying, frightening, tremendously strong, with large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed—and anything that was left it trampled with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that came before it; it had ten horns. “While I was pondering the horns, behold, another horn, a small one, sprang up between them, and three of the first horns were uprooted from before it. And behold, this horn had eyes resembling human eyes and a mouth speaking boastfully. “While I was watching, thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His garment was as white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, its wheels a burning fire. A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him. Thousands of thousands attended Him and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. “I kept watching because of the boastful words that the horn was speaking. I continued watching until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion had been taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. “I was watching in the night visions. Behold, One like a Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days, and was brought into His presence. Dominion, glory and sovereignty were given to Him that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will never pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed. “As for me, Daniel, my spirit was disturbed within me, and the visions of my head alarmed me. I approached one of those standing nearby and asked him the true meaning of all this. So he spoke with me and revealed the interpretation of these things: ‘These large beasts, four in number, are four kings that will rise from the earth. But the kedoshim of the Most High will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever—yes, forever and ever.’ “Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast that was different from all the others, exceedingly terrifying with iron teeth and bronze claws, which broke in pieces and devoured and then stomped with its feet anything that remained. Of the ten horns on its head, the other horn that sprang up before which three others fell—that horn eyes and a mouth speaking arrogant things, and its appearance was more imposing than its companions. As I was watching, that horn was waging war against the kedoshim and overpowering them, until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was rendered in favor of the kedoshim of the Most High—when the time came and the kedoshim possessed the kingdom. “Thus he explained: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on earth that will be different from all the other kingdoms. It will devour the whole earth, and trample it and crush it. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise. Another will arise after them, but he will be different from the previous ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak words against the Most High, and will continually harass the kedoshim of the Most High, and will try to change the appointed times and law. The kedoshim will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. But the court will sit and he will be stripped of his power to be destroyed and abolished for all time. Then the kingdom, power, and greatness of the kingdoms under all heaven will be given to the people of the kedoshim of the Most High. Their kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions will serve and obey him.’ This is the conclusion of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly troubled me and the color drained from my face. But I kept the matter in my heart.”
Daniel 1:6–7 TLV
Now among them were some from the sons of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief officer gave them new names: to Daniel, Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-nego.
I was taught like most of you that....

Daniel, whose name means “God is my judge,” becomes Belteshazzar, which means “may Bel, (the chief Babylonian god) protect his life.” Hananiah, whose Hebrew name means “the Lord has been gracious,” becomes Shadrach, which means “the command of Aku,” the Babylonians’ moon god. Mishael, whose Hebrew name means “Who is like God?” becomes Meshach, which means “Who is like Aku?” And Azariah, whose Hebrew name means “the Lord is my helper,” becomes Abednego, which means “servant of Nebo,” the Babylonian god of wisdom and agriculture

But I was reading in the Scroll of Daniel and it struck me that something was wrong with this line of thinking.
All of the names are spelled wrong!!!!
Not just these names. John Walton, a leading scholar said this,
Jeremiah and Ezekiel it is usually spelled Nebuchadnezzar the correct way in Babylonian Aramaic as “Nebuchadrezzar” (nabû-kudurri-uṣur) which means “Nabu protect(s) the offspring.” But Daniel deliberately shifted the “r” to an “n” nabû-kudanu-uṣur, meaning “Nabu protect(s) the mule.”
I still was not convinced that just me and Dr. Walton were privy to this information. We know it takes at least two-witnesses. Well there are more than two and one of them Dr. William Shea, a Babylonian expert said, “The principle that appears to have operated here is that the writer found it unacceptable to use the names for Babylonian gods in the personal names of the exiles from Judah who worshiped YHWH. - Shea, William H. “Bel(te)shazzar Meets Belshazzar.” Andrews University Seminary Studies 26 (1998): 67-81.
Most people only see Daniel resisting the food but he did more than that. He was resisting the cross pressure of assimilating into Babylonian culture. One of the first thing you must compromise under cross-pressure is your identity. What makes you who you are and who you are ultimately are allegiant to.
You have to almost image Daniel having to hold back a little laugh every time he writes out or says these Babylonian names.
nabû-kudanu-uṣur, meaning “Nabu protect(s) the mule”
Nebuchadnezzar“Nebuchadrezzar,”
(nabû-kudurri-uṣur
3. Fragilization ()
Daniel 1:8 TLV
But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the king’s delicacies or with the wine he was drinking, so he entreated the chief official for permission not to defile himself.
Daniel would be redeemed by the King’s food.
This has nothing to do with Kosher laws.
This has nothing to do with Idolatry.
This has everything to do with covenant allegiance.
Daniel knew the time he was living in and was determined to stay allegiant to his God (, )
Leviticus 26:40–41 TLV
“But if they confess their iniquity and that of their fathers, in the treachery they committed against Me, and how they walked contrary to Me —in return I walked contrary to them and brought them into the land of their enemies—and if at that time their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled, so that they accept the punishment for their iniquity,
Leviticus 26:44 TLV
“Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I hate them into utter destruction, and break My covenant with them, for I am Adonai their God.
3. Despite the pressure of caving Daniel would not be fragilized.
The King was fragilized but Daniel was not.
Daniel 1:8 TLV
But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the king’s delicacies or with the wine he was drinking, so he entreated the chief official for permission not to defile himself.
The reason Daniel and his friends went rogue with respect to both Israel’s king and Babylon’s king was because allegiance to “who” they hoped in and “what” they hope for was challenged.
This was not just about the food that went in their mouth this was about the allegiance of their heart. When our allegiance to our God is put to the test by this world’s subtraction stories, cross-pressures and attempts to fragilize our faith we will not stand if we think it is just about keeping kosher. Good doctrine from the wrong text. This text is about allegiances. It is about remaining allegiant to God sovereignty “even-if”....
One of the most celebrated speeches in history was that of Elizabeth I of England at Tilbury in 1588. She was addressing her troops massed against an expected sea invasion from Spain, she dispelled the soldiers’ concern that, as a woman, she was not up to the rigors of battle: “I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a king, and a king of England, too!” It is reported that so long and loud were the cheers after this pronouncement that officers had to ride among the men ordering them to restrain themselves so that the queen could continue.
I wonder if you can hear Daniel saying in his heart, “I know I have the body of a weak and feeble Jewish exile; but I have surrendered my heart to the King, the King whose dominion knows no boundary.”
C. The Risk of Going Rogue ()
The account of Daniel and his friends makes it clear that there are risks to holiness. The Bible is practical enough to tell us to play “heads-up baseball.” Get prepared. Pay attention. You cannot do what your position in the culture requires if you do not know what is likely to come your way. And what is likely to come your way as a faithful believer is risk.
Daniel 1:9–14 TLV
Now God caused the chief official to show mercy and compassion to Daniel. But the chief official said to Daniel: “I fear my lord the king, who allotted your food and your drink. Why should he see your faces looking poorly, unlike the other youths your age? Then the king would have my head because of you.” Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days, giving us just vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s delicacies, and treat your servants according to what you see.” So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days.
1. What are the Risks?
i. Personally, it could mean everything.
ii. Relationally, it could mean their everything.
2. Why mention the Risks?
i. If you decide to become allegiant I don’t want you to think it is without consequence.
ii. It has well been said that faith is not believing in spite of evidence—that’s superstition—but obeying in spite of the consequences, the risks.
It would be easy to think that Daniel made this risk because he knew the outcome would be great.
Daniel never knew the end of his own story. He only knew the next choice he was going to make.
Last Week: First Time you Tithed and You Took a Risk
Students Going Back To College: Remaining Allegiant Going Rogue
Singles Hunting for a Mate: Risk of saying “no” to good to wait for “great.”
At Work Every Day: Just to pray over a meal.
At Home: To organize your house around the word.
Here: to be at CBM. I know I may not have the fatherly heart of Richard Freeman, the pastoral heart of Ron Aaronson but I hope you will see in me the heart of a man called by God and your Rabbi also.”
D. The Reward for Going Rogue ()
1. Welfare ()
Daniel 1:15–16 TLV
At the end of ten days their appearance looked better and their bodies healthier than all the youths who ate the king’s food. So the guard took away their delicacies and the wine they were supposed to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
2. Wisdom ()
Daniel 1:17 TLV
Now as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and proficiency in every kind of wisdom and literature, and Daniel could understand all sorts of visions and dreams.
In the classic film The Wizard of Oz (1939), Dorothy is accidentaly transported from her home in Kansas to the magical Land of Oz, where she encounters man fantastical characters, like the cowardly Lion, the Wizard, and Glinda the Good Witch. While a little girl from Kansas may seem young and weak compared to characters like Glinda who can use powerful magic, Dorothy’s persistence and use of basic wisdom guide her on her journey and her to defeat the Wicked Witch of the West and return home. How much more the gift of God’s wisdom he gives to his faithful servants.
3. Witness ()
Daniel 1:18–21 TLV
At the end of the time set by the king to bring them in, the chief official presented them before Nebuchadnezzar. When the king spoke with them, he did not find among all of them anyone like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers throughout his realm. Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.
Talk about his witness and promotion for His people’s sake.
III. Conclusion
III. Conclusion - Fisherman illustration
A story is told of a businessman. He was in Mexico on some business. He went to a little fishing village to kind of get away from the crowd a little bit and wind down. He made his way to the dock and noticed a fishing boat coming in with a big yellow fin tuna hanging on the hook. So he went over to the fisherman and said, “Man, you had a great catch today.”
A story is told of a businessman. He was in Mexico on some business. He went to a little fishing village to kind of get away from the crowd a little bit and wind down. He made his way to the dock and noticed a fishing boat coming in with a big yellow fin tuna hanging on the hook. So he went over to the fisherman and said, “Man, you had a great catch today.”
“I sure did. It was a wonderful catch and I’ve got enough to feed my family and sell a little bit to make a little money.”
The businessman asked, “Are you going to go back out today?”
The fisherman chuckled, “No, I’m through for today.”
“Well, what are you going to do with the rest of your time?”
“I’m going to go home, play with my kids, and take a siesta with my wife. Then, I’m going to go out to the town tonight and get with my amigos. We’re going to fellowship tonight. I’ll probably go out tomorrow for a couple of hours and get some more tuna.”
“Oh,” said the businessman. “Look, I think I can help you. I’m an MBA from Harvard. Just looking at what you’ve got here, you’ve got something that can grow. If you work a little bit longer and catch some more fish, then you can sell it for a higher profit. When you sell it for a higher profit, you can buy more boats. When you buy more boats, bringing in more fish, you’ll be able to afford to skip the middleman and become your own cannery. When you become your own cannery, then you can expand your business so that other fishermen will have to bring their fish to you. Now, you’ll probably have to move, probably to Mexico City. If things continue to expand, you’ll have to then move to L.A. or maybe New York. If your cannery gets to the place where things really explode, then you can take your company public on the New York Stock Exchange. You’ll be a multimillionaire.”
“Sounds great, Señor, but how long will this take?”
“Oh, about twenty years.”
“Señor, after I become a multimillionaire, what happens next?”
“Oh, that’s the best part. Then you can retire.”
“What do I do when I retire?”
“Well,” the businessman said with a slow realization coming upon him, “then you can go to a small fishing village, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and hang out in the evening with your amigos.”
Feeling a bit foolish, he continued, “Well, it was just an idea.”
Daniel is writing for a future audience. He is writing for you and for me. People who may be coming upon dark times. He is saying each believer is either a conformist or an allegiant to the sovereign Son of Man, going rogue.
We’re either being squeezed into the world’s mold or we’re allegiant to the God even-if.... Allegiants don’t always have an easy life, their are lots of risks involved but it’s an exciting one, a faith-filled one and it gives you great delight to know that you are standing on God's side in this fight against the corrupting evil that is so pervasive in this world.
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