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! Introduction:
!!! 1.
Why Daniel?
!!!! a)            One of the most important books in the bible.
!!!!! (1)           It demonstrates that the bible is the inerrant word of god, all written by the holy spirit.
consider the references to daniel:
*Ezekiel writes that* “even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness," says the lord god (Ezekiel 14:14).
*ezekiel 14:20*
Even though Noah, Daniel, and job were in it, as i live," says the lord god, "they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness."
*Ezekiel 28:3*
    (behold, you are wiser than daniel!
there is no secret that can be hidden from you! 
*Matthew 24:15 *(ref.
daniel 8:13; 9:27; 11:31; 12:11)
"Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), 
*Matthew 24:21* (ref, daniel 12:1)
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
*Matthew 24:30* (ref, daniel 7:13)
Then the sign of the son of man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
*Matthew 26:63-65* (ref, daniel 7:13, 14)
But Jesus kept silent.
and the high priest answered and said to him, "i put you under oath by the living god: tell us if you are the christ, the son of god!"  [64] Jesus said to him, "it is as you said.
Nevertheless, i say to you, hereafter you will see the son of man sitting at the right hand of the power, and coming on the clouds of heaven."
[65] then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, "he has spoken blasphemy!
What further need do we have of witnesses?
Look, now you have heard his blasphemy!
*Mark 13:14*
"So when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not" (let the reader understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
*Daniel 7:13-14, really forms the groundwork of all our lord’s pronouncements concerning his second coming *(Matthew 10:23; 126:27,28; 19:28; 24:30; 25:31)
!!!! b)            One of the few books describing gentile history in advance:
!!!!! (1)           Daniel is as timely as the newspaper or tv news.
!!!!! (2)           It contains the most amazing passages in the entire bible:
!!!!! (3)           Consider chapter 2 – nebuchadnezzar’s dream; chapter 9 – the seventy weeks of Daniel.
!! B.           Daniels Consecration To God.
Daniel is one of the most facinating books of the Bible to study, in fact it is known that there is only 2 people, besides Jesus of course, that the Bible has nothing negative to say about.
The other person is Joseph.
Following his first invasion of Judah and siege of Jerusalem in 606 b.c., Nebuchadnezzar took hostage dozens of quality Jewish youths (who were probably in their teenage years) to help make certain the success of his long-range plans for world dominance.
One of those youths was especially destined for greatness, and today his name is synonymous with integrity and an uncompromising spirit.
His name is Daniel.
Daniel was no older than you, he was your age.
He was suddenly taken hostage to Babylon hundreds of miles away from home.
At your age, suddenly be taken from your house, friends, family, transported hundreds of miles away from home for the purpose of being trained into another culture, and there they were offered all kinds of luxuries & temptations.
It’s sort of easy to go with the flow when you are around home and around friends who love the Lord, its sort of easy to go along with it.
Then there are some who go off to college and don’t have the strong church & family influence & get exposed to different temptations and opportunities for sin, and they just want to sort of taste the things of the world because they want to see what it is like.
And a lot of times they get off base because they are away from the solid spiritual environment that they once lived in.
It is really a time of testing to see how deep your commitment is to the Lord.
That is the way it was for Daniel, taken hundreds of miles away all godly influence and placed in an ungodly environment with all its temptations and influences and everything was available that he could want.
But we read (1:8).
In the personal history of Daniel (chapters 1–6), we find three different times of difficulty: the testing of the four Hebrews when they arrived at Babylon (chap.
1); the fiery furnace (chap.
3); and the lions’ den (chap.
In each of these experiences, Daniel and his friends won the victory, but the very first victory was the foundation for the other victories.
Because these Jewish boys were faithful to God while they were yet teenagers, God was faithful to them in the years that followed.
Daniel describes how Nebuchadnezzar planned to train the hostages for leadership positions in his expanded empire (Daniel 1:3-4).
!! C.           Daniel and His Three Friends
!!! 1.
The Sovereignty of God (v.2)
!!!! a)            The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand.
!!!!! (1)           The Book of Daniel emphasizes the sovereignty of God in the affairs of nations.
Jerusalem did not fall merely because Nebuchadnezzar was strong, but because God had judged the people of Judah for their disobedience and idolatry.
!!!!! (2)           The remainder of the articles were removed later when Jehoiakim surrendered (see 2 Kings 24:13; 2 Chronicles 36:18).
!!! 2.            Daniel’s New Home (v.1-2).
!!!! a)            No longer surrounded by Godly influences.
!!!!! (1)           The Youth Were Suffering Because Of The Sins Of Their Parents.
!!!!!! (a)           The Jews had refused to repent and obey the Lord, so (as Jeremiah had warned) the Babylonian army came in 606-586 B.C. and dominated the land.
It was their practice to take the finest of the youths to Babylon for preparation in the king’s court.
!!!!!! (b)           In v. 3 we see what fine specimens these four lads were: they were physically strong and handsome, socially experienced and well liked by others, mentally keen and well educated, and spiritually devoted to the Lord.
!!!!! (2)           Remember That You Are Surrounded By A Great Cloud Of Witnesses (Heb.11).
!!!!!! (a)           We are all creatures of motivation.
We need a reason for doing things and we need encouragement while we are doing them.
One of the greatest motivations and encouragements to the unbelieving Jews, as well as to Christians, would be all these great believers from the past, their heroes, who lived the life of faith.
!!!!!! (b)           The *cloud of witnesses* are all those faithful saints just mentioned in chapter 11.
We are to run the race of faith like they did, always trusting, never giving up, no matter what the obstacles or hardships or cost.
!!!!!! (c)           They knew how to run the race of faith.
They opposed Pharaoh, they forsook the pleasures and prerogatives of his court, they passed through the Red Sea, shouted down the walls of Jericho, conquered kingdoms, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, received back their dead by resurrection, were tortured, mocked, scourged, imprisoned, stoned, sawn in two, had to dress in animal skins, were made destitute—all for the sake of their faith.
!!!!!! (d)           Now the writer says, “You should run like they did.
It can be done, if you run as they did—in faith.
They ran and ran and ran, and they had less light to run by than you have.
Yet they were all victorious, every one of them.”
!!! 3.            Daniels Reeducation (v.4)
!!!! a)            Young men (v.4)… in whom
!!!!! (1)           There Was No Blemish, Good Looking, Gifted, Wisdom,  & Quick To Understand (v.4a).
!!!!!! (a)           Physical or intellectual qualities do not determine a person’s character.
They do not guarantee leadership capability.
Many persons with “physical defects” and without outstanding mental “aptitude” have been outstanding leaders.
*When Samuel went to Jesse to annoint his son as King, he looked at the outwared appearance*: "When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.”
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but* the Lord looks at the heart*.”
" (1 Samuel 16:6-7, NASB95)
*This was even said about Paul the apostle, they said that, *"/For some say, “Don’t worry about Paul.
His letters are demanding and forceful, but in person he is weak, and his speeches are really bad!”/" (2 Corinthians 10:10, NLT)
*Remember, God sees everything,* "And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."
(Hebrews 4:13)
!!!! b)            Young men… in whom they might teach the language & literature of the Chaldeans (v.4).
!!!!! (1)           Daniel’s New Education, the Wisdom of the World.
!!!!!! (a)           Daniel had to study what the Chaldeans had learned in mathematics, astronomy, natural history, agriculture, and architecture.
At this point there was nothing wrong with increasing their knowledge of these matters.
!!!!!! (b)           Nebuchadnezzar’s ultimate goal was to conform Daniel’s spiritual, moral, & ethical standards!
!!!!!! (c)           This was a sophisticated brainwashing program & Satan wants to do the same thing to you with the things of this world (Romans 12:1-2).
(i)             */Be conformed/* refers to an outward expression that does not reflect what is within.
It is used of masquerading, or putting on an act, specifically by following a prescribed pattern or scheme (schēma).
The verb itself is passive and imperative,
(a)           /the passive /indicating that conformation is something we allow to be done to us,
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