Daniel Session 1 Spiritual formation in a foreign land Sun 11th Oct
- Where in our world does it look to all outward appearances that God is not in control?
- Read Lamentations 3:22-23 and spend some time in prayer thanking God for his provision and faithfulness towards us
Word Read Daniel 1
- As a Jew facing defeat from the Babylonian army and seeing the temple ransacked, how do you think you would have felt?
- How does the writer point us to God’s control of events? (v2, v9, v17)
- Why does Nebuchadnezzar take Daniel and his friends back to his court?
- What methods were to be used to give these young Jewish men a new Babylonian orientation?
- What is Daniel & Co’s response to all the training they are given? (check out Jeremiah 29:4-7 to see if why they may have responded in this way)
- How might this relate to our position in society today?
- What aspects of the Babylonian programme might you have expected Daniel & Co to react most strongly to?
- Why do you think Daniel decides not to eat the royal food?
- Note: Interestingly this is unlikely to be a question of kosher food. Daniel 10:3 talks of him eating choice meat and food, implying that this decision to eat only vegetables was not a long-term lifestyle choice. Neither is it likely to be an issue of the meat being presented to idols, as all food, meat and vegetables were thought to have been placed in front of idols before eating. While the text does not make it clear what Daniel’s motivation was, it seems most likely that this is simply a question of letting God taking control and not letting his whole life be determined by his captors.
- How does God vindicate the young men’s decisions?
- Where in our everyday life do you see our faith stand at odds with our culture?
- In what areas do you think we should make a stand, and where do you think we should work with the prevailing culture?
- Are there any criteria we can use to help us with these decisions?
- What things keep us from making a stand when we perhaps ought to?
- Daniel & Co do not make a big deal about their food stand; it is very much a private decision and only the official is aware. Does this have anything to say about decisions we might make about our lifestyle as Christians?
- Are there any areas where you feel God may be calling you in a different direction to that of everyone else around you?
- How can we support each other more in those decisions?
Jo Levasier, 05/10/2009