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God Is Still on the Throne (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
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June 2, 2021 4:00 am

God Is Still on the Throne (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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June 2, 2021 4:00 am

If we were kidnapped and forced to assume a new identity in a foreign land, we might question God’s sovereignty. Discover how young Daniel continued to trust in the Lord despite experiencing this exact situation. That’s on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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After Daniel had been taken from his Babylonian captors forced him to change his name, his language and his education today on Truth for Life Alastair Begg continues a message in Daniel chapter 1 that teaches us how God works in and through such drastic measures. We know God is the creator of everyone and everything that nothing happens except through and by and according to his will and so dad once the people who were in exile to know that an actual flag behind the invading forces of Babylon, was the hand of God itself so that the people would realize that an actual fight. Although everything seemed out of control. It wasn't out of control so that the people might realize that the same God who was in charge of their blessing was the God who actually had overruled the fight of their procedure that he was in control. If you like of the defeat of his own city and of the exile of his own people, and cannot be otherwise. God is working his purpose in mysterious ways. Now the family members who were still left back in Judah would inevitably have had occasion to wonder whether these youths, particularly the cream of the crop been taken from them would actually be able to stand or whether they would fall and when we read on, we discover that these individuals championed particularly by Daniel R faced by a real dilemma and they are prepared to make a bold decision.

This is familiar material to us and we don't need to delay on it. You will notice that the strategy that the king commanded for aspirin as his chief unit was a pretty skillful one wasn't.

I want you to take charge of these characters he says we've chosen very purposefully.

We believe that we can let these people of Judah know that we really are triumphant over them taken the best from them and we have our first of all change their location. Let's be honest, the change of location is enough for some of we get out of our usual route little routine. Our favorite little place. Our favorite little gathering we find out just how much we have a love for God love for his word love for his people know we don't go why were on vacation all really God's on vacation as well.

This is no people of God in Devon are no people of God in Maine that are no people of God in whatever it is on the we just like to go where we go. I understand change of location silence your time, your praise for these files. No, which is our education give them a new language give the menu view of the world retrain their minds and engage them from the conviction that they are the product of God's creative handiwork change their diet is always assess if you can believe many diets we will get out of the Bible as well that every every sale with the greatest respect, but I mean it really is quite incredible, but is often the story change of diet and they set before them the wine and the choice foods they were giving him a special special deal. The rest of the people wouldn't of had the access to this but now they realize that the last thread that tied them to their own people needed to be cut. You move amongst acidic juice large number of them in Cleveland.

You know that these external mechanisms are key and crucial to their identity and understandably so.

Therefore, if you can cut the cord.

You have made a significant inroads into disengaging them from the very convictions which underpin the entire existence you place new school, new direct new names. The all in beautiful Hebrew names change their names all bills will give them the names Babylonian God's. That's exactly what they did.

If we can change their identity with their name, perhaps as a result of subtle coercion. We will be able to disengage them completely now I'm going to resist every temptation to go down rabbit trails. I can hear them all in the back of my head just now to go off on a whole education thing and the end of all their your sensible people. You can work this out for yourself. Presumably there were people in this context who would absorb it either.

As a result of the coercion. There are people who said you know what we there's no reason to fight this were a long way from home. You know, things are different times are changing and all convictions come, convictions go. I mean, we don't really need to hold so firmly to this do anything that doesn't really matter that much does it and so on. Their there they are alive and well in every generation, not least of all in contemporary evangelicalism, what were about to give up in the moral realm. We already gave up in the theological realm the end of the 19th century and into the 20th century all culture doesn't like this culture doesn't like the idea of a virgin birth or we can convert a secular intelligent culture doesn't like the idea of the resurrected Christ.

That's fine we can deal with that as well and so on.

Where are we now we doesn't like the idea of the marriage between one man and one woman solely and singly and only we can, regardless of whether celebs are there probably were some who just became freedom fighters.

We have learned about the book they were just cantankerous individuals and they spend all their time bemoaning and decrying the fact that they were living in a state of oppression, but here you see these individuals are quite remarkable. They couldn't prevent their capture.

The couldn't prevent the change of name they couldn't prevent the new school that they were sent to but they were not about to take part in directly in the worship of Babylonian deities by eating the food that would inevitably have first been offered to the gods of Babylon before was served to them and they said this is the point at which we can go no further. We are not going to do this with a dangerous decision as comes out when he puts it to the chief of the eunuchs who in and comes across quite memorably here when he says why, thank you for sharing that with me, Daniel, at the end of verse 10, but I'm not sure is a great idea because you would endanger my head with the key. Everybody got the point very clearly. The king really is concerned about this and if you're asking for me to go and address them on on your behalf, then that would be a pretty strong no. And despite the fact that he had been given favor and so Daniel said to his friends all well we tried it. That said, let us let it go.

This list get the food the same, but in actual fact.

Daniel then said to the steward, whom the chief of the eunuchs of the signed over them. Hey you give is a test for 10 days. I love you I love his initiative here. I love the 530 that he's not prepared to take no for an answer on while I don't think I'd like to get my head chopped off for this. Well I was okay well I'll talk to someone else so he talks to the other fellow. And here we come to our our second gave because in verse nine God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the unions so there was there was an opportunity there that he was then able to engage because presumably the fellow who reported to the chief of the stewards is not a not right to assume, so that if the chief of the stewards could get his head chopped off. Then presumably this fellow might end up in the same position, yet it happens, why because God gave favor here again you see the people reading this and there get there there now learning something there learning that in a foreign land where the people of God were among the minority, where in this foreign land and some hundred and 37 terms they had hung our hearts or hang their hearts up on the willow trees saying to one another by the rivers of Babylon.

We sat down and wax when we remembered Zion. We look back and we remember the good old days.

Some of us that's exactly where we are closer you get to yes it seems to me almost inevitable.

How can I sound so much like my grandfather well because you became a grandfather for goodness sake don't you find yourself saying there's no way in the world, the church my children or grandchildren are going to mail the deal with this or you talking about you think God is shutting everything down with your demise that it stops when you go you really are the same that I really am the center of the universe know we saw when we realized when we remembered Zion and all the good stuff.

And now look at as we have no good stuff this letter comes this book comes down on that here in a foreign land in the same way that God granted favor to Joseph with the jailer so he granted favor to his servant here in the 10 day test worked out really well because instead of losing weight. Apparently they gained weight, which makes me smile when I think about the Daniel diet. But anyway, at the end of 10 days.

It was seen that they were faster than they were when they started I don't know. That is the normal strategy. I don't know I didn't read it. I might've missed something, but apparently not. The danger was that the loop gone with drawn as a result of what they were going to eat in America is that although that would've been the normal physical eventuality if either of us was the case so that when the appeal of the end of the 10 days that looks better and more vibrant than any of the rest of the characters.

In other words, it's a miracle; and is in a very long, is a dramatic intervention on the part of God. The same God who intervened to grant them favor as intervened in the immediacy of their circumstances.

Let me say as I moved my final alteration of the conviction that gave rise to this resolution on the part of Daniel is not. I think we would agree conviction that would be hit upon in the immediacy of the challenges in other words, the intellectual, moral theological response of Daniel, has its roots, presumably in the family.

In the beginning and the ending of the day when under the tutelage of his parents. They would've said to get out here oh Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength and these things that I give you today are to be upon your hearts and you shall teach them to your children when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you get up you shall bind them around your wrists and wrap them around her for so that every movement of your body says again and again. The Lord hears God. That is how Daniel was able to go into an environment so alien to have his name changes education changes everything change, save for his diet and to come out as he came out. It is a wonder of God's dealings verse 17. As for these four youths.

Here's our third God gave God gave them first. God gave birth to God gave Joe Hayek in into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar.

Second, God gave verse nine God gave favor to his servants in that environment. Thirdly, God then gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom and Daniel had the understanding in all visions and dreams. In other words, God gave to Daniel. A supernatural ability into the realm of knowledge as we see in the chapters that follow, and when they are all brought in at the end of the three years at the end of the time which you will remember from earlier was three years and the king commanded that they should be brought in the chief of the eunuchs brought the men before Nebuchadnezzar, the king spoke with them that the top of the class were these boys stood before the king, and he found that they were absolutely top-notch can imagine all of the bureaucrats and the politicians and servants of the king all sitting around the big table of the interview process, and I'm sure you agree Nebuchadnezzar we came up with a wonderful plan didn't wait. I mean look at these voice given you names with very bittersweet school them other bright group and so on and look how wonderfully they come out, but what he didn't know them. What they couldn't know was that God was in control.

It was as a result of who God is. It was a result of what God was doing that God's name was glorified in his purpose was fulfilled and his kingdom was extended and whether it is six century BC in Babylon or 21st century A.D. in America, God is still on the throne and he will remember his own and though trials many presses and burdens distress as he never will leave us alone for God is still on the throne and he will remember his own and his promise is true, he will not forget you, for God is still on the throne.

He is the God who gives he is the God who gave to the rebellious forebears of humanity coverings for their nakedness. He is the God who given our so that Noah and his family might be rescued and redeemed.

Here's the God who is given all the way and ultimately for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son and in the same way that Daniel went down into Babylon. Jesus came down into time.

Daniel was taken away into an alien world.

Jesus came from the realm of glory into an alien environment of our world. Daniel did the father's will, in obedience, Jesus did the father's will and obedience. Daniel is a result of his obedience was exalted to a place of great authority in an alien kingdom. Jesus exalted to the place where every knee will one day the Israelites in exile who heard the story about Daniel and his friends received all the comfort they required and all the encouragement that he needed to be faithful God had not been conquered by the Babylonian deity. Therefore, although it was tough going, they could rest in God's purposes. Let me ask you how then are we to handle the onset of persecution. How then will we handle the loss of our job on account of our Christian faith.

How then will we handle the closing down of public worship in the continental United States will be having our hearts. I'm worried that some of us have already begun to do so.

Believing that somehow or another, all the good stuff is in the rearview mirror, forgetting the same God who gave Joe Hayek into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar and gave favor to his servants in an alien world is the same God who is provided for us here is Lord and Savior and Katie as I was reading this over this morning, my mind went because I saw his name the other day I can remember what I was reading but anyway, I saw I saw the name of Lord we and Lord Reese was the founder of the British broadcasting Corporation and he was a godly man from the Highlands of Scotland and as the BBC came of age and began to embrace much of the secularism of the United Kingdom which is going back now into the 60s. Maybe the early 70s. It's recorded in one of the biographies that one of the young producers of the BBC in large corporate meeting starts to the and said to the general director. The BBC Lord Reed said you know whether the world is changing and the nation's changing and we we we really do not. Certainly this religious programming on the BBC. When people are no longer interested in it and the PVC now is beginning to establish itself and show that really we have the narrative of the nation and an end and the church is pretty well obsolete and Lord reflecting was 6 foot three or 6 foot four, apparently stood up and said young man take your seat. The church will stand at the grave of the PVC and you know what the church will stand the greater the BBC and what did Jesus say and CNN and Fox as well. Why did Jesus say to his followers in his day. Do not be afraid, but it is the father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. You need not be in any doubt about this. This is not a story about yourself so you can be a good guy like Daniel.

This is a story about the fact that when everything seems to have gone completely pear-shaped God is sovereign over the affairs of time, go out and enjoy the beauty of his creation. Rest in the wonder of his Providence trust unreservedly in his desire and design for this people and will have occasion to be thankful father will bless you now for the privilege of these moments and commit ourselves afresh to you in Christ name, amen.

Bold illustration today of how one man. Daniel was willing to acknowledge God's sovereignty over the affairs of his time. This is Truth for Life with Alister Bragg the month of June is an exciting time here at Truth for Life because it gives us an opportunity to invite you to join an essential team of truth partners true partners or blisters like you who bring the gospel to a worldwide audience through Truth for Life true partners give each month and they're giving helps cover the cost of producing and distributing Alister's teaching. We are grateful for our true partners in one of the ways we show that gratitude is by inviting true partners to request both of our monthly book selections. Now, if you have ever requested one of the books we offer each month. You know, we choose these books with great care and today's book is no exception. But we have to admit, this one was a bit easier to pick than usual. It's Alister's brand-new book titled brave by faith God -sized confidence in a post-Christian world. In this book Alister explores what it looks like to live faithfully for Christ in the pagan culture.

He compares our increasingly secular society the world in which Daniel lived. This book is a perfect companion for our current series faith under fire. You'll learn how to hold the line in your faith with the lines around you are becoming blurred.

Request brave by faith today become a true partner or when you make a one-time donation to enroll or call 88858878. If you'd rather mail your donation along with the request for the book right to Truth for Life at PO Box 39000, Cleveland, OH 44139 about looking for joining us today.

Hope you can be here tomorrow as Alister explains what an insecure Kings crumbling green can teach us about our own Bible teaching of Alister Beck is furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living

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