Although they were captives in Babylon, Daniel and his friends submitted to their captors through changes in location, education, and identification. 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.
1In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god. 3Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family1 and of the nobility, 4youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king's palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. 5The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king. 6Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah. 7And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.
8But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. 9And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, 10and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” 11Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12“Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king's food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” 14So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. 15At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king's food. 16So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.
17As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king. 20And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom. 21And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus.
How has God been speaking to you through His Word in the past year? In Encore 2010, we’re highlighting some of the most requested messages from the past 12 months. With topics such as fear and anxiety, giving, attitudes, family, the church, and faith and salvation, there is encouragement from God’s Word for everyone.
|So Do Not Fear||Isaiah 41:10|
|A Biblical Approach to Anxiety||1 Peter 5:7|
|On Death and Dying||Ecclesiastes 12:1-14|
|Contentment or Corruption, Part Two||1 Timothy 6:6-10|
|Overflowing with Thankfulness, Part Two||Exodus 35:1-35|
|Asking God for Wisdom||James 1:5-8|
|The Goodness of God, Part One||Nehemiah 9:6-15|
|Redirecting Our Families||Nehemiah 9:38-10:39|
|Nature and Meaning of the Lord's Supper||Luke 22:17-20|
|The Baptism Debate||Acts 16:11-15|
|Three Facts True of Every Christian||1 Peter 1:1-2|
|Why God Sent His Son||Galatians 4:4 - Lamentations 4:5|
|Be Like Jesus|
When you teach a small child a new skill, it’s helpful to repeat it over and over. Likewise, as adults, we often learn best when we hear and apply a lesson or truth multiple times.
This compilation of our most popular messages of the year, chosen by our listeners, is designed to do just that: repeat the truths of God’s Word to us so that we can more fully understand the Bible and apply it to our lives. With messages on the meaning of the Gospel, God’s nature, spiritual warfare, trials and sufferings, and wisdom in relationships, this series will challenge all who listen.
|What is the Gospel?||Romans 1:16-17|
|The Power of the Gospel||Romans 1:16|
|About 12 Almost Christians||Acts 19:1-10|
|Are We Blind Too?||John 9:39-41|
|The Age of the Spirit||Acts 2:1-13 Acts 2:32-33|
|The Paradox of Christian Freedom||Romans 6:15-23|
|Spiritual Warfare||Ephesians 6:10-12|
|The Advantage of Weakness||2 Chronicles 20:1-19|
|Why Suffering||Job 16:7-17|
|The Biblical Role of Women||Titus 2:4-8|
|Teach Your Children Well, Part Two||Proverbs 22:6|
|Relationships||1 Peter 3:1-7|
Our most popular messages of 2012 are rich in both instruction and inspiration. For those seeking to strengthen their understanding and walk of faith, this series of messages from Alistair Begg points time and again to the One who provides both. Encore 2012 contains essential messages on the characteristics of true discipleship, the model for fatherhood, navigating life's difficulties, what it means to be a committed follower of Christ, and how Jesus fulfills God's purpose finally and fully. This series offers clarity and guidance to those desiring to live according to the will of God.
|A Christian Manifesto, Part One||Luke 6:20-27|
|A Christian Manifesto, Part Two||Luke 6:20-27|
|Divorce, Part One||Mark 10:1-9|
|Responding to Persecution, Part 1||Romans 12:14|
|Attitude Is Everything||Genesis 39:16-23|
|Prophet, Priest, King||Hebrews 1:1-4|
|One Thing You Lack||Mark 10:17-22|
|After Darkness, Light||Romans 3:21-26|
|The Calling of Committed Followers||Luke 5:1|
|And When I Come to Die||Hebrews 11:22|
|About Times and Dates, Part One||1 Thessalonians 4:13-18|
Once God rescues us from our sin, we can come to know Him more deeply by learning from His Word again and again. Encore 2013 presents a diverse collection of listener favorites from the past year. Spanning a variety of topics including the relevance of the Bible, church ministry, Christian character, and the biblical record of Jesus’ ministry, this series contains essential teaching that will navigate believers further down the road of their spiritual journey.
|The Bible: An Overview||Luke 24:27|
|Why Bother With The Bible?, Part One||2 Timothy 3:14-17|
|How to Ruin a Church's Effectiveness||Ephesians 4:25|
|The Pulpit: Its Powers and Pitfalls||1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5|
|Characteristics of Christian Love, Part Two||1 Corinthians 13:4-7|
|The Weakness of Power||2 Chronicles 26|
|A Warning Against Laziness||Proverbs 24:23-24 Proverbs 26:13-16|
|Holding Firmly to the End, Part One||Hebrews 3:1-19|
|Grace and Forgiveness||Mark 2:13-14|
|Sabbath Controversy||Mark 2:23-3:6|
|That's What Friends Are||Philippians 2:19-30|
|Compassionate Shepherd||Luke 7:1|
Does the Gospel speak to all of life? Our compilation of listener favorites from 2014 answers that question with a resounding “Yes.” In these messages, Alistair Begg explores God’s power to redeem and keep His people, His faithfulness in good times and bad from generation to generation, and the clarity with which His Word speaks into all of our circumstances and relationships. This series provides essential reminders that the basics of the Christian faith are the foundation upon which all of life is built.
|The Use and Abuse of Words||James 3:1-12|
|Alienation, Reconciliation||1 Peter 3:18|
|Becoming A Christian||Luke 5:12-13|
|The Biblical Basis For Baptism||Acts 2:36-47|
|The Patience of God||2 Peter 3:1-18|
|The Faithfulness of God||Lamentations 3:1-24|
|God's Faithfulness in Affliction||1 Peter 4:12-19|
|The Full Armor of God||Ephesians 6:13-18|
|True Living||Ecclesiastes 1:1-2:11|
|A Memorial Forever||Joshua 3:1-17 Joshua 4:1-24|
In triumphs and trials, in strength and weakness, in the smallest of details and in His eternal plan – God is always at work in and through the lives of His people. Encore 2015 collects listener favorites from the past year that provide Gospel insights from both Old and New Testaments in messages from Alistair Begg. Whatever circumstances we are facing, the messages in this series will remind us that God’s Word gives guidance for all people everywhere, calling us to develop our relationship with Him.
|The Priority of God's Word||1 Thessalonians 5:27-28|
|Passing on the Truth, Part Two||2 Timothy 2:1-2|
|When Trials Come, Part One||James 1:1-3|
|The Power of Weakness||2 Corinthians 12:1-10|
|Gideon, The Weakest & The Least||Judges 6:1-40|
|Mindful, Mighty, Merciful||Luke 1:46-56|
|Zechariah’s Song||Luke 1:67-75|
|Happiness Revisited||Psalms 32:10-11|
|The Unseen Hand of God||Esther 6:1-14|
|Seeing, Caring, Thinking, Praying||Matthew 9:35-38|
|The Other Man's Grass||Exodus 20:17|
|Good News for Lawbreakers||Romans 3:20-21|
Turning from sin and turning to Christ are marks of a converted life, but what does life look like after conversion? Encore 2016 brings together a collection of listener favorites from the Old and New Testaments to answer this question. In these messages, Alistair Begg explores how knowing God changes everything. Our relationships, words, deeds, and even our private thoughts are affected by accepting the truths of the Gospel. In addition to Gospel narrative, this compilation provides Biblical guidance on topics such as marriage, longing, submission, discipleship and church membership, showing us that a commitment to follow Christ is a commitment to bring all aspects of our life under His loving authority.
|I Take You||Genesis 2:24|
|How To Avoid Marital Failure|
|A Word to the Wise||Ecclesiastes 1:1-18|
|Eternity on My Mind||Ecclesiastes 3:1-15|
|Look and Be Amazed!||Habakkuk 1:5-2:1|
|The Fatherhood of God|
|The Birth of Jesus Christ, Part One||Luke 2:1-5|
|Preaching the Gospel from Ruth||Ruth 1:1-22|
|Submitting to God, Part One||James 4:7-10|
|Saying No to Slander||James 4:11|
|An Ill-Conceived Rebuke||Mark 8:31-9:1|
|Membership Matters||Romans 12:4-5|
|A Call to Commitment||Romans 12:1-2|
At a time when truth seems increasingly difficult to find, the 21st-century Christian must look to one place for guidance: God’s Word. Encore 2017 brings together a collection of listener favorites that point us to the Bible as we seek to connect with a lost and broken world. Whether we’re facing anxiety, struggling with laziness, or simply trying to be a better spouse, God’s Word offers a wealth of wisdom and encouragement. In these messages, Alistair Begg emphasizes the centrality of Scripture as it reveals God’s character, purpose, and plan for the lives of His children. With an identity rooted in what Christ accomplished on the cross, believers can confidently share the Word of God and help the perishing come face-to-face with their Savior.
|Bring Out the Book||Nehemiah 8:1-12|
|The Genealogy of Jesus||Matthew 1:1-17|
|No Place For Truth||Acts 17:16-34|
|The Danger of Deception||2 John 1:7-13|
|The Baptism Debate||Acts 16:11-15|
|Being a Wife-God's Way||1 Peter 3:1-6|
|Being a Husband-God's Way||1 Peter 3:7|
|A Warning Against Laziness||Proverbs 24:23-24 Proverbs 26:13-16|
|All Your Anxiety (The Cove)||1 Peter 5:7|
|An ART Lesson||Colossians 1:21-23|
|God of the Exiles||Daniel 1:1-21|
|Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God||John 6:35-40|
|Evangelism-Dealing with Difficulties, Part Two|
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,” the Bible tells us. Only by opening the pages of Scripture and allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through its words can we be certain that we stand on solid ground.
With that aim in mind, Encore 2018 gathers a selection of listener favorites from the past year, presenting an essential sampling of clear, relevant Bible teaching grounded in the authority of God’s Word. Drawing on both the Old and New Testaments, Alistair Begg guides us through the Bible’s counsel on wisdom, love, suffering, providence, and right living, as well as on everyday matters such as keeping the Sabbath, God’s design for men and women, and the raising of godly children. As we listen, we are reminded of the centrality of the cross of Christ—our surest hope in this life and in the next.
|The Beginning of Wisdom||Proverbs 1:7|
|Walk in Light, Part One||Ephesians 5:8|
|It Is I Myself||Luke 24:36-49|
|How Long 'Til The End?||Daniel 12:5-13|
|All The Lonely People||Mark 10:46-52|
|Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective, Part One||1 Corinthians 11:2-3|
|The Delight of the Sabbath||Luke 6:1-11|
|A Trustworthy Saying||2 Timothy 2:11-13|
|The Chain of Salvation||Romans 8:28-30|
|Here I Stand||Romans 3:21|
|A Woman with a Jar||Mark 14:1-11|