Although the events described in this series happened over two and a half thousand years ago, they speak to our contemporary situation with striking relevance. Daniel and his friends were in an environment where the prevailing world view was antagonistic to the biblical truth of God’s sovereignty over the affairs of men and nations. They faced the question, “How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” They faced the challenge of avoiding either absorption by the culture or isolation from the culture. In following their example we discover how to live in our sometimes seductive and hostile ...
Although they were captives in Babylon, Daniel and his friends submitted to their captors through changes in location, education, and even their names. When required to surrender the dietary practices that marked them as God’s own people, however, they resisted. As Alistair Begg leads us through this passage, we see that it provides not so much a strategy to cope with trying times, but comfort and encouragement to be faithful. The focus of the story is not Daniel, but the God that he worshipped.
Nebuchadnezzar demanded that his advisors not only interpret his dream, but tell him what the dream was about. While this was impossible for humans, the God Daniel worshipped is able to reveal mysteries, and He empowered His servant to fulfill the king’s request. In this message, Alistair Begg explains that the main point of the dream is that all of human history is under God’s control. A believer’s ultimate security is in the promise Daniel conveyed and Jesus fulfilled: an everlasting Kingdom that supplants all earthly realms and overcomes death.
The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is familiar, but behind it lies the age-old conflict between men in rebellion against God and those who submit to His rule. Alistair Begg explains that the three men responded in faith because they were convinced that God had spoken, that He meant what He said, and that they could commit themselves to His care. God is able to deliver His people, and we must not compromise even if the cost is our lives.
God warned Nebuchadnezzar in a dream to repent of his rebellion and pride, but he continued in sin, placing his trust in his own kingdom and authority. Alistair Begg reminds us that it is God’s great mercy that gives each person the opportunity to repent and turn to Him, but His justice awaits if we refuse. Understanding the sovereignty of God will either provoke us to rebellion or draw us to humbly bow before Him who establishes and removes the rulers of the earth.