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God Is Still on the Throne (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
June 1, 2021 4:00 am

God Is Still on the Throne (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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June 1, 2021 4:00 am

In a culture that’s increasingly hostile towards Christianity, how are we supposed to live? Is it enough to remind ourselves that this world isn’t our home? Alistair Begg addresses these concerns on Truth For Life as we begin a study in the book of Daniel.



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The as believers we know that this is not his knowledge enough to stay in a culture that seems increasingly hostile toward Christianity today on Truth for Life.

Alister Beck begins a new series called faith under fire in the book of Daniel. Learning that no matter what we face.

God is still Daniel chapter 1 are read it in your hearing in the third year of the reign of Joe hired him king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged the Lord gave you hired him king of Judah into his hand with some of the vessels of the house is gone and he brought them to the land of Shinar to the house of his God and place the vessels in the treasury of his car.

Then the king commanded Ashburn as his chief eunuch to bring some of the people of Israel. Both of the royal family and of the nobility youths 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 Cobian king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate end of the wind 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. Among these were Daniel and I are Michelle and Azariah, of the tribe of Judah and the chief of the eunuchs gave them names Daniel. He called Delta Shatzer Hannon. I called Shadrach Michelle. He called me shack and Azariah, he called avid needle but Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself of the king's food or with the wind that he drank, therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself and God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, I fear, my lord the king assigned your food in your drink for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths were of your own age so you would endanger my head with the king. Then Daniel said to the steward, whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel Hannah and I are Michelle and Azariah, test your servants for 10 days. B given vegetables to eat and water to drink, then let our appearance in the appearance of the units meet the king's food be observed by you and deal with your servants according to what you see.

So we listen to them in this manner and tested them for 10 days the end of 10 days. It was seen that they were better in appearance and factor in flash and all the youths with the king's food so the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and given vegetables. As for these four youths. God give them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. The end of the time when the king commanded that they should be brought in the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar and the king spoke with them among all of them. None was found, like Daniel and I are Michelle and Azariah.

Therefore, they stood before the king and in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them he found them 10 times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom, and Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus. This is the word of the Lord I thank you for the Anglicans there. Here I wanted to give your voice the super time. I'm glad of that annular would be some of the elect here where you can see that this is clearly more than history, but it is history.

The way in which it begins in the third year of the reign of King Kendra Heineken and it ends as Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus. If Daniel was in his late teens or early 20s at the beginning of this book. By the time you get to the end he must've been in his 80s or in his 90s life of peculiar faithfulness lived in the service of God and so often the studies in the book of Daniel, end up being just that kind of thing. Story of a great man and the way it is taught is sorry he was a great man and there's an opportunity for you to be a great man or a great woman. So why don't you buck up and try and be a good man and a good woman, which of course is a great idea and very necessary, but is not the reason that we have the book of Daniel.

A lot of people have turned the book of Daniel into a gigantic comic book and some other explanations are as comical as any of the books that I've ever read. Fortunately most of that comes after chapter 6 when I will belong on my way back to Ohio and the rest of you can enjoy yourselves with the remainder on but this morning, and in these mornings I want to tackle it in a different fashion, I think I regarded as a great privilege to spend over half of my life as a resident of the land of the three in the home of the brave and for about 50% of our time and our as a citizen of this country and for the first time since I've lived here that isn't since 3 August 1983. I sense a significant shift in the mentality of the people of God use the phrase the people of God purposefully to distinguish between just the general populace of religious interest, or perhaps church attendance to designate those who would name the name of Christ who would be committed to the Bible and committed to living for, and following Jesus in the months that are group of people I wouldn't want to overstate this but I don't understand it either.

There is, I sense a definite shift in their perspective in our perspective, and it goes along these kind of lines I'm not going to spend time on it, but I have four people are beginning to say for the first time I feel like were part of a minority. We are long removed from the days of the moral majority. Jerry Falwell is gone and Pat Robertson will be following him. I would imagine at some point and those heady days. If you regard them as such are certainly in the rearview mirror and the people of God now are living with the awareness of the flag that we are being pushed back in the words of the psalmist and in the words of the psalmist about to fall.

The encroachments of secularism and all that goes along with that paganism is beginning to take its toll and I find that American Christians are now looking over the Atlantic Ocean in a way that they haven't done previously.

Routinely they would say what a wonderful place. It is to visit and then they would ask and inquire about the emptiness of the church is not least of all in my own homeland of Scotland Wheeler team just come by from Scotland are young people who were there said that it is the most secular place that they had ever visited in their entire lives and they speak truth. But what is happening now is that American Christians are beginning to realize that we are starting to look ourselves a lot like your and the notion of a persecuted church which we have always understood theoretically and prayed for at a distance now is beckoning ever closer it's finally beginning to dawn on American Christianity of the things that we've sung about many of us since we were teenagers are actually true. We didn't really know we were on about when we send this world is not my home, I'm just a passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue I and a clue what that was about and finally I was remotely interested in but I say right now along with you and many others. We are finally facing the fact that this broken sinful world in which we live is not actually our home and what the Bible says concerning the believer in the world is really true that we are aliens and that we are strangers, and so that when James open Peter begin their letters in the New Testament.

As we have them begin them. Along those lines, their writing to those who are aliens and strangers in the world. I think for many years because of the way in which American life is been formed.

American Christians are said I wonder what that's like to be an alien and a stranger in the world. The fact of the matter is, it is always been true, it is just been clouded.

It has been obscure and the obscuring elements of popularity and of societies are beginning to be stripped away, and in being stripped away. There is the awareness that when Jesus addresses his followers in John chapter 15, it had relevance beyond his immediate disciples remember what he said if the world hates you, you know that it is hated me before it hated you.

If you are all the world, the world would love you as its own, but because you are not all of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you is are dramatic words and they're not difficult to understand how we could spend time and were not going to seek and to devise a strategy for how to deal with our new lack of status were going to do is were going to look at these chapters in Daniel in which we find comfort and challenge by considering just how incredibly relevant the message of Daniel is for the church in every generation and the message of Daniel is essentially this that God is our sovereign and all-powerful God and he is in control of the world and the nations of the world and in spite of the present conditions. Our gaze must be upon his kingship and labor 5 Will Make Our Way through chapter 1 recognizing that in verses one and two we have the scene set for us. The prevailing peace of Jerusalem had been destroyed by the invasion of the Babylonian forces the arrival of a foreign power. Some of us are old enough to remember the scenes. I remember seeing them on the BBC. When the tanks when the Russian tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia. I think I was the first time that I as a youth I thought in those terms at all has some of your course are able to remember when the tanks in which you were a rolled into other places of the world you tell me about that afterwards, but for now, the notion is simply that the dramatic impact of the invasive forces crushed the people of God. In those days.

It'd been prophesied by both Isaiah and by Jeremiah and what had been prophesied became a reality and the extent of the victory of these Babylonian forces is revealed in the way in which the vessels of the house of God were snatched up and taken away vessels both inanimate, as is referenced here and animate insofar as these young men are representative of the nobility of the time, and as a result of the head, almost inevitably, the people would be asking where is God. Apparently we have been called to serve God we serve a powerful God, and now this powerful God of ours, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has apparently been defeated by the guards with a small G of the Babylonians is this guard actually in control of his people is he trying God and if he is a kind guard. Why then would he allow our children to be snatched up and taken away. We didn't raise our children, they might've said to one another to be repatriated to be dislocated to be taken away from us and under the rule of a foreign power that women never had occasion to say that many of our brothers and sisters in the world today have and will be alarmist in any sense at all the generations that come behind us and perhaps not too far removed from Matthew occasion in this land to say similar things and summers this morning because of the circumstances of our individual lives may be asking similar questions. You see the symbol of God's power and the symbol of God's presence in these vessels of the house of God there. In verse two have now been stored in the land of Shinar, that will mean much to you, unless you did your homework and you went back to Genesis chapter 11 that I told you about in the raising of the Tower of Babel. And when you did you read these words. Now the whole earth in one language and the same words and as people migrated from the east they found a plane in the land of Shinar and settled there where they did the vessels of the house of God to the land of Shinar there was a land of Shinar Lynam Shaner was where the people said we do not need this God of Israel, we do not need him. We do not only not need him.

We don't want to.

We will build our own empire. We will build our own kingdom, and you have the great clash between the city of God and the city of man in passing or something to note something we must never forget and that is that there is a spiritual conflict that runs through the heart of human history, spiritual conflict. Indeed, ultimately, all conflict, whether it is between a man and his wife bothering this child a nation and another nation or the wards within local churches.

At the heart of God.

Ultimately we may trace it to the very beginnings of the fall of man in Genesis and that that spiritual conflict, that sense of alienation is the great alienation under which all other alien nations are gathered. Now it is in that context that we read in verse three that the king commanded Aspen as his chief eunuch to bring some of the people of Israel. Both of the royal family and of the nobility, and so on and to bring them into the context of this foreign land and it is were told quite dramatically.

In verse two the Lord who gave Jehoiada Karen King of Judah into his hand. I don't want to miss that is the first of three. The Lord gave us an argument. The other two in a moment.

This is the first of them and the Lord gave Jehoiada Karen King of Judah into his hand and Dusan in the land of the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar received a people when they read this letter. They would save now wait a minute.

How did this happen. This happened because a more powerful force exercise, the more effective military strategy came against ours and defeated us yes on the human plane that is absolutely right. But what we know.

We know that God is the creator of everyone and everything that nothing happens except through them and by him, and according to his will and so Daniel once the people who were in exile to know that in actual fact behind the invading forces of Babylon, was the hand of God itself, 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 sets the mark he brings them down as Isaiah 40 what other nations there is nothing to God. They are is the fine dust in the Bible when you used to buy 5 pounds of potatoes when I was a boy in Scotland and you want to get your full 5 pounds as a Scotsman, you're not going to know potatoes will be left behind. No, no, not if you're shopping for my mom they want know they will not be left but I never bothered about the dust.

I never paid any attention to the dust was always dust left in the balance of the building of our program partners all the actual vision of ourselves from a divine perspective actually scan they need to know this.

We're wondering why it is that God would allow such a thing to happen you find the answer in the Bible, but you find it later on in the book of Daniel. When Daniel himself prays this is in chapter 9, when of course you will all be reading on your own, which along and in and in chapter 9 he prays to God and he says to also Lord belongs open shame to our kings and our princes to our fathers because we've sinned against you to the Lord our God, belong, mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, refusing to obey your voice and the curse and the oath that are written in the law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us because we have sinned against him. He has confirmed the word that he spoke God is working his purpose of albeit in mysterious ways. Now the family members who were still left back in Judah would inevitably have I had occasion to wonder whether these youths, particularly the cream of the crop that are 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 are faced by a real dilemma and they are prepared to make a bold decision. They were no longer in the place of familiarity.

There were no longer in the realm where the routine of their day. Give them opportunity for religious expression, and it may well be, of course, that's just the change of scene in itself will be enough to dampen their zeal and silence their tongues and shut down their praise and cause them to give up praying to this God. After all, where is it is really this great and powerful God surely there would still be back with her friends and their family. Going to church as usual nearly our look at this mess. Maybe the change of location will be enough for them. 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 is it I don't know people of God in Devon, but are no people of God. In Maine there are no people of God in whatever it is on the we just like to go where we go. I understand that change of location silence your tongue, your prays for these fellows know our assignment from God is to honor him in any location under any circumstance from part one of today's message on Truth for Life with Alister bag today is an exciting day because it marks my first opportunity to tell you about a brand-new book written by Alister. The book is titled brave by faith God -sized confidence in a post-Christian world.

This new book addresses the shift in our culture away from Christian beliefs and toward beliefs like paganism and secularism in the book brave by faith Alister examines Daniel's experience living in Babylon, a pagan culture. He draws comparisons between Daniels world and the world we now find ourselves in a world that is increasingly less tolerant of a biblical thing this book is about being a Christian in a world that is different, sometimes even hostile to the gospel.

You will benefit greatly from the encouragement that Alister provides in this book and, with its focus on the book of Daniel Bray by faith is the perfect supplement to the faith under fire series.

We have begun today so request your copy when you donate to Truth for Life today.

It's easy to get through our mobile app or online Truth for Life.org/donate also get by calling us at 888588784 rather mail your donation along with your request for the book right to Truth for Life at PO Box 39, 8000, Cleveland, Ohio 441 about repeating thanks for listing this again tomorrow as we conclude this message by learning how God's favor prevailed Daniel's life even after he was forced into captivity Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by Truth for Life with learning is prolific


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