Daniel-Lecture 3-Kay Arthur

 
 

Introduction These transcripts are from Kay Arthur's lectures on the old course on Daniel and not the new lecture series circa 2006. They are provided as a service to the body of Christ with the written permission of Precept Ministries International. This material is the property of Precept Ministries International and all rights are reserved.

The transcripts are for the most part verbatim with deletions identified by the characters (...). The utilization of italics, bolding, hyperlinks and pop up notes represent editorial additions. Any written additions are identified by the designation "Ed note". All references are the NASB unless otherwise indicated.

Please note that these lectures by Kay Arthur supplement the excellent Precept Upon Precept inductive Bible study on the Daniel. Click on the link below and note that you can download lesson 1 free of charge.

Below are links to the excellent Precept study of the Revelation. If you are planning on doing this four part study, I would strongly encourage you to first complete the Daniel study, as knowledge of the prophecies in Daniel is critical to a full understanding of the prophecies in the Revelation. Note that for each part, you may download a PDF of lesson one at no charge.

If you can find a local Precept class studying Revelation, I would strongly encourage you to join the class, as I know of no other study available anywhere in the world that will equip you so thoroughly to discern the signs of the times and cause you to live expectantly as you look for Christ's Return!

Related Resources:

LECTURE 3-
How Do You survive
When The Pressure’s On to Conform

by Kay Arthur

The decision you make today could change the path of your future. You must be strong and courageous. God reminds His children of this importance of this inner resolve especially when He is getting ready to put them into a pressure situation. Moral strength comes from strong convictions. To be courageous is to act on those convictions no matter the cost.

Daniel 1 contrasts how a nation and an individual had pressure on them to conform. Judah did not learn from seeing the Northern Kingdom of Israel go into captivity into Assyria in 722BC. They refused to repent and refused to listen to God because they lacked strong conviction

Judah's sin is two-fold

(1). Did not follow God fully (they had a form of godliness)

(2). Had gone into idolatry. God had warned them--they did not listen to His Word

In Judges we see the pattern of a downward spiral:

APATHY: Loss of passion for God's Word

APOSTASY: Turning away from what they once had embraced

ANARCHY: State of lawlessness, denial of an authority or order

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In Jeremiah God confronted the sin of Judah,

For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water (Jer 2:13)

They had abandoned the true and living God and gone into idolatry, the worship of false gods. (Ed note: Idolatry is the worship of something created as opposed to the worship of the Creator Himself.)

In Deuteronomy Moses

"spoke these words to all Israel. And he said to them, "I am a hundred and twenty years old today; I am no longer able to come and go, and the LORD has said to me, 'You shall not cross this Jordan.' "It is the LORD your God who will cross ahead of you; He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who will cross ahead of you, just as the LORD has spoken. And the LORD will do to them just as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. "And the LORD will deliver them up before you, and you shall do to them according to all the commandments which I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, "Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance. And the LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear, or be dismayed." (Deut 31:1-8)

God's warnings before Israel entered into the promised land break down into three main commands

1) Drive them out
2) Put them to death
3) Do not to intermarry

Israel was a holy people unto the LORD and was not to learn the ways of the pagan nations. Israel was to be strong and courageous.

Ed note: see Deut 7:1-6 ""When the LORD your God shall bring you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and shall clear away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you, and when the LORD your God shall deliver them before you, and you shall defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them. Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons. For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and He will quickly destroy you. But thus you shall do to them: you shall tear down their altars, and smash their sacred pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire. For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth."

Be strong in your convictions. Obey God and His Word and you will enjoy the promises of God.

God had commanded Israel that every 7 years…

1) Set the slaves free

If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free. Dt 15:12

2) Let the land have a sabbath rest

during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. Lev 25:4

Fear of God is shown by believing what He says, by respecting Who He is…

'I know You are Who You say You are, that You do not change, that You act according to Your word and I will have an awesome and reverential trust and respect of You’.

Hear > learn > fear > be careful to observe all the words of the law.

In Daniel's youth during the reign of Josiah the priests found the book of the law which had been lost in the house of God (read 2Ki 22:1-20) and the result was sweeping reforms introduced by King Josiah. (read 2Ki 23:1-37).

The book of Daniel opens with events that reflect God’s anger against Judah

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along 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 he brought the vessels into the treasury of his god." Da1:1-2)

TWO MAIN reasons Judah
Given over to captivity

Idolatry
Refusal to keep Sabbath

1). Had not followed God fully and had gone into idolatry

Deut 32:15-17 (Moses’ "Song" cf Dt 31:30)

But Jeshurun ("upright people"used as a name for Israel) grew fat and kicked-- You are grown fat, thick, and sleek-- Then he forsook God who made him, and scorned the Rock of his salvation. 16 "They made Him jealous with strange gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger.17 "They sacrificed to demons who were not God, To gods whom they have not known, New gods who came lately, Whom your fathers did not dread.

Israel grew ‘’fat, thick and sleek’’ (Listen, O Church in America!) to the point that they sacrificed to demons who are not God. In 1Cor 10:20 Paul teaches that demons are behind idolatry writing

that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God.

Ed note: The psalmist records that

They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with the blood. (Ps106:37, 38)

2). Had not kept the Sabbaths for 490yr

Every seventh year they were to keep the Sabbath year (cf Lv 25:4). If you divide 490 years by 7 you get the number "70", which is the number of Sabbath years Judah had neglected! Judah's captivity was to last for 70 YEARS. Clearly Judah was reaping the harvest of conforming to the mold of the pagan world, of not obeying God and His Word and of not being strong and courageous.

Babylon
the land of idols

God said to Judah in essence

If you want IDOLS, I will give you over to the land of idols."

In the Revelation John recorded the name

BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS’ (Rev 17:5-note)

In other words all false religion stems ultimately from Babylon, the "fountainhead" of idolatry! (Ed: see also Babylon of Old)

JEHOIAKIM BECOMES
KING OF JUDAH

King Josiah was killed at Carchemish by Pharaoh Neco. When Pharaoh Neco came against Assyria ( May-June, 605BC ), Josiah went out to fight him. Neco even told Josiah

"I am not coming against you today but against the house with which I am at war, and God has ordered me to hurry. Stop for your own sake from interfering with God who is with me, that He may not destroy you." However, Josiah would not turn away from him, but disguised himself in order to make war with him; nor did he listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, but came to make war on the plain of Megiddo and the archers shot King Josiah… " (2Chr 35:20, 22, 23)

Josiah was succeeded initially by Joahaz (also spelled Jehoahaz).

Chronicles records that

the people of the land took Joahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in place of his father in Jerusalem. Joahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem." (2Chr36:1-2)

Joahaz (Jehoahaz) was succeeded by Jehoiakim, Chronicles recording that

"king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. But Neco took Joahaz his brother and brought him to Egypt. Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; and he did evil in the sight of the LORD his God. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against him and bound him with bronze chains to take him to Babylon." (2Chr36:4-6) (See more discussion below)

In Jeremiah we read that the Egypt's power was utterly broken, the prophet recording…

That which came as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the nations. To Egypt, concerning the army of Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt, which was by the Euphrates River at Carchemish, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah" (Jer 46:1,2)

So Nebuchadnezzar defeated Egypt in the 4th year of Jehoiakim, but Daniel says that "in the 3rd year of the reign of Jehoiakim".

Is this an example of an error in the Bible? NEVER! How then can this difference be explained? The answer is in the timing of when the king took office.

DIFFERENT TIMES FOR OFFICIAL COMMENCEMENT OF KINGS

There were two different times when kings could begin the first year of their reign e.g., We elect U.S. President in November but he assumes office in January.

a). Assyria and Babylon : used Nisan (about April) for commencement of kings. Anyone who became king before NISAN would not be officially recognized as having begun their first year until Nisan.

b). Judah: inaugurated their king in Tishri (about October). The time that elapsed between the king's accession to the throne and the first of Nisan or the first of Tishri was called his accession year and did not count numerically.

When Jeremiah was recording his prophecy (4th year of Jehoiakim), he used the Assyrian Babylonian system because he was referring to what related to Babylon but Daniel used Judah's system when dating his prophecy (3rd year of Jehoiakim)

In we read that "This is the message which the LORD spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to smite the land of Egypt" (Jer 46:13)… The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, says, "Behold, I am going to punish Amon of Thebes (chief deity of Upper Egypt), and Pharaoh, and Egypt… " (Jer 46:25)

God is saying that He is going to punish Egypt by allowing Nebuchadnezzar to defeat Egypt.

(Jer 46:28) "O Jacob My servant, do not fear," declares the LORD, "For I am with you. For I shall make a full end of all the nations Where I have driven you, yet I shall not make a full end of you; but I shall correct you properly and by no means leave you unpunished."

In 2Chronicles 36 we read that "the king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. But Neco took Joahaz his brother and brought him to Egypt. 5 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; and he did evil in the sight of the LORD his God. 6 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against him and bound him with bronze chains to take him to Babylon. 7 Nebuchadnezzar also brought some of the articles of the house of the LORD to Babylon and put them in his temple at Babylon." (2Chr36:4-6)

To summarize, Jehoiakim was reigning as king of Judah when Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem and besieged it. Jeremiah says this occurred in Jehoiakim's 4th year and Daniel says it occurred in Jehoiakim's 3rd year. As elaborated on this is not a discrepancy.

god gives his word to Jehoiakim that he might repent

In Jeremiah 36 God sends Jeremiah to Jehoiakim to call him to REPENTANCE. Jeremiah records this event writing that

it came about in the fourth year of Jehoiakim (605BC) the son of Josiah, king of Judah, that this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, "Take a scroll and write on it all the words which I have spoken to you concerning Israel, and concerning Judah, and concerning all the nations, from the day I first spoke to you, from the days of Josiah, even to this day. "Perhaps the house of Judah will hear all the calamity which I plan to bring on them, in order that every man will turn from his evil way (REPENT); then I will forgive their iniquity and their sin." (Jer 36:1-3)

In 605BC Nebuchadnezzar defeated Neco at Carchemish and then took Jerusalem without a battle! Nebuchadnezzar then received word that his father Nabopolassar had died and left the throne vacant, so he returned to Babylon, taking the Jewish boys (Daniel, et. al.) and some of the temple vessels. He left Jehoiakim to rule over Jerusalem. In Jeremiah we see that God gives him an opportunity to repent. Had he repented there would not have been a 2nd siege in 597BC followed by total destruction in 586BC. The message is that the Lord is slow to anger, merciful and full of lovingkindness but He judges sin of those who do not repent.

Jeremiah goes on in chapter 36 to record that

all the people in Jerusalem and all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem proclaimed a fast before the LORD. Then Baruch read from the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the LORD… to all the people." (Jer 36:9, 10)

So from Jeremiah's description, we see that the people of Judah respond appropriately to the Word of God and eventually this word (Jeremiah has written this down on a scroll) gets taken to King Jehoiakim who is sitting in front of the fire in his winter house. After hearing only 3-4 columns of Jeremiah’s prophecy, King Jehoiakim

cut it with a scribe's knife and threw it into the fire that was in the brazier, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the brazier. Yet the king and all his servants who heard all these words were not afraid, nor did they rend their garments. (Jer 36:23, 24)

When the pressure is on you to conform
you need to be strong and courageous

Where does strength to remain strong and courageous come from?

Strength comes from knowing ''Thus saith the Lord'' and listening to it. King Jehoiakim refused to listen to God and the result was two more captivities for Judah! On the other hand, a young man named Daniel, did listen to God, even though he was taken into captivity because his nation would not listen to God. Here is the question you each of us must answer "If America were to face a similar judgment of God and we were to end up in chains, we too must dare to be Daniels."

Daniel was to be ‘’Babylonianized’’, poured into that pagan culture, totally reformed and reshaped into the ‘’Babylonian’’ mold… we too are living in a culture literally filled with idols everywhere! In Romans Paul instructs us to

present (our) bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is (our) spiritual service of worship and do not be conformed to ("poured into the mold of") this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." (Ro 12:1, Ro 12:2)

Babylonian education was calculated to "renew" Daniel's mind to the Babylonian worldview.

How will Daniel make it?

By remaining strong and courageous and by holding to his convictions. We too must must have convictions if we are going to HOLD OUR CONVICTIONS: We are raising a generation without convictions because we live in a society of situation ethics (everything is right in our own eyes - Jdg 21:25).

Babylonian Food

Daniel could not eat it because (1). Jews were allowed to eat only certain meats (cp "kosher") (2) The meat could not have blood in it (Lev 17:11, 12) (3) The king's choice food may have been (probably was) offered to the Babylonian gods and so for Daniel to partake of this food would be tantamount to giving praise to the false gods.

There would also be temptation pressure on Daniel to conform because he was ‘’away from home.’’

So Daniel is in midst of a society which is opposed to God and OPPOSED TO the Word of God (Beloved, does this sound familiar?)

But Daniel made up his mind (heart) that he would not defile (pollute, stain) himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. (Da1:8)

Daniel was strong and courageous

Daniel realized that God's "commandments are not burdensome" (1Jn 5:3) -- God says if we walk within the bounds of His precepts, He will bless us. If we step outside of these commandments and precepts, He will have to judge and discipline us. Daniel had determined, NO MATTER THE COST, that he would be strong and courageous. God will not fail you or forsake you (in Joshua God says "I will be with you. I will not fail you or forsake you" Josh 1:5, cf Heb 13:5-note) -- He granted Daniel favor and compassion.

Ed Note: What would the first chapter of a book with your name on it reveal about you?

PRESSURE
TO CONFORM

1). Spiritual Pressure

Daniel was in the middle of the birthplace of idolatrous pagan religion. We see God bringing about a humbling of the Jews. The pagans said where is your God, Daniel? If He is so great, why are you in Babylon? And so Daniel would have to hold on to what he knew was true from the word of God-- Daniel was a man of the Word -- he knew from the Word that this exile would come to pass and was not caught off guard -- times are coming when it's going to look like other gods are in control - your faith, like Daniel's, will be challenged and at that time the only way to endure is to remain strong in the Lord, having firm convictions and choosing to hold fast to those firm convictions that are found on the sure Word of God.

2). Intellectual Pressure

Our society is filled with intellectual pressure seeking to mold us and coerce us to conform. Undoubtedly Daniel was made to study anti-God subjects -- What held Daniel's heart and mind and intellect firm? Knowing God's Word! As the psalmist affirms

Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine. (Ps 119:98)

In our culture we must refuse to bow to the intellectual pressure of the "intellectualism" of evolution.

3). Psychological Pressure

How were Daniel and the boys pressured psychologically? By being forced to change their names. Their Jewish names honored God but their Babylonian names honored the pagan gods. In Daniel's day if you could change someone’s name, it indicated authority over them -- you belong to a weaker people--the pressure of being captive -- don't be led astray by humanistic psychology.

4). Social Pressure

Daniel and the boys naturally would have experienced "peer pressure". We don't hear of any other Jewish boys refusing to bow to Babylon. And so we see there was for Daniel (and for genuine believers in America) the social pressure of being in the minority. Yes, God gave Daniel into Nebuchadnezzar's hand (note Who is in control), but he survived and was successful. He made up his mind (the head and the heart together) he was faithful in the ‘’little things’’. Are you?

HOW TO HANDLE
THE PRESSURE TO CONFORM

1).Be strong in your convictions

You must know the Word of God (cp Heb 11:1-note "conviction")

2).Be courageous - Fear God and He will be with you.

The fear of man brings a snare (= bait or lure in fowler's net), but he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted." (Pr 29:25)

3). Be tactful - Daniel was not brash. Daniel made an appeal to the Babylonian overseer:

Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink." (Da 1:12)

4). Be tenacious-hold on to what you believe

It's not how you start the race but how you finish.

Moses concluding His explanation of the Law's stipulations, then calls for Israel to make a total commitment to the LORD and to His Word:

This day the LORD your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul. You have today declared the LORD to be your God, and that you would walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments and His ordinances, and listen to His voice. And the LORD has today declared you to be His people, a treasured possession, as He promised you, and that you should keep all His commandments and that He shall set you high above all nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall be a consecrated people to the LORD your God, as He has spoken." (Dt 26:16-19)

Did Israel walk in His ways and keep His statutes and listen to His voice?

In Jeremiah God declares

for as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me,' declares the LORD, 'that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they did not listen." (Jer 13:11)

So are we to cling to our God no matter what… Israel did not cling… Daniel however did determine in his mind and heart to cling… Dearly beloved, you and I need to determine in our mind and in our heart to cling and we will prosper in God's way and we will be successful for God's promise to Joshua is still true today…

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success." (Joshua 1:8-note)

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