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"Life's Bewildering Turns" by Bill Patton
Date: 2017-04-30
Text: Daniel 1:1-8
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2017-04-30 • Bill Patton • Daniel 1:1-8
1. They Knew Who They Were

“Nebuchadnezzar’s desire to have them acquainted with the language of Chaldea arose from his wish to separate them by degrees from their own nation, to induce them to forget their Jewish birth, and to acquire the Chaldean manners, since language is a singular bond of communication (and culture.) He wanted to nourish and intoxicate them with delicacies and render them forgetful of their own nation…to soften them with luxuries…he wanted them to reckon themselves Chaldeans rather than Jews and thus to deny their own origin.
    “Daniel simply desired that by his very food – perpetually to recall – the remembrance of his country. He wished so to live in Chaldea – as to consider himself an exile and a captive – sprung from the sacred family of Abraham… Daniel was at liberty to eat and drink at the royal table, but the abomination arose from the consequences – he perceived the king’s intentions”. – John Calvin, Lecture 2 Commentary on Daniel

When life goes all wrong, the enemy attempts to shred our identity. He wants us to forget that, as Christians, has called us to be a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession. He wants us to forget that we’ve been transferred OUT of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of His dear Son. He wants us to forget that God has called us out of darkness into His wonderful light.

2. They Stayed Together
3. They Followed Gifted Leadership
4. They Trusted God’s Wisdom

“Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, gracious frame of spirit which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.” – Jeremiah Burroughs

5. They Knew Their Lives Were About God’s Glory

The passage below was read during worship. It is from a message by Charles Spurgeon entitled, “Thou art my hope in the day of evil”.

The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine; he has his seasons of darkness and of storm. True, it is written in God’s Word, “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace;” and it is a great truth, that religion is calculated to give a man happiness below as well as bliss above; but experience tells us that if the course of the just be “As the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day,” yet sometimes that light is eclipsed. At certain periods clouds cover the believer’s sun, and he walks in darkness and sees no light. There are many who have rejoiced in the presence of God for a season; they have basked in the sunshine in the earlier stages of their Christian career; they have walked along the “green pastures” by the side of the “still waters,” but suddenly they find the glorious sky is clouded; instead of the Land of Goshen they have to tread the sandy desert; in the place of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to their taste, and they say, “Surely, if I were a child of God, this would not happen.” Oh! say not so, thou who art walking in darkness. The best of God’s saints must drink the wormwood; the dearest of his children must bear the cross. No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his harp from the willows. Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb, but now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God’s full-grown children. We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ. The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.