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Synopsis of Putting Holes in the Darkness
Well…. today, before I tell you the verse containing the key slice of the Bread of Life let me begin with a story told during a bible study by Anne Graham Lotz.
When the Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson was a child the story is told that one night his nanny found him looking out his bedroom window into the darkness. She looked over his shoulder to see what he was watching; a lamplighter lighting the street lamps. Little Robert said to her, “Look; I’m watching that man putting holes in the darkness.”
Have you been discouraged by looking into the darkness brought on by the spiritual and moral decay of our great nation? It makes me think, I know I can’t change the world, but maybe, I can put a hole in the darkness. That thought brings me to thinking about Daniel, a Jewish young man in the nation of Judah when the enemy King, Nebuchadnezzar, ordered the brightest young Israelites from the Jewish nation to be slaves in his palace. But as I read chapter one of the book of Daniel I see Daniel putting holes in the darkness.
Now, lets look at the first slice of the Word of God, Daniel 1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
Wow! Can you imagine that; the king of the nation brings into the Jewish nation his own false gods. ( notice god is spelled with a lower case g ). Just how do you think these changes affected the average Christian , errr excuse me – Jewish, citizen. Also, how did they affect Daniel? This brings me to think about the political changes happening in our nation. How do they affect you? Better yet, how do they affect the general population of this country?
Lets examine how the religion of the Babylonians differ from that of the Jews? Let’s check it out in Jeremiah 32:29 And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal, and poured out drink offerings unto other gods, to provoke me to anger. 30 For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the LORD.
And now lets see how it affected Daniel and his Christian, …. Errr… Jewish friends in Daniel 3:17 where the Chaldeans accused them, now renamed as … Sadrach, Meshach and Abednego, to the king… 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. 19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
WOW! How did that affect their faith. Now, let’s examine the religious changes in our nation over the last ten years. Better yet, how have these changes affected the church in the last ten years. How…. Yes, how has this impacted your faith? Watch it Bro. Dick, you’re getting personal now. Hmmmm…. maybe that’s my job.
O.K. How about verses 3 through 7 of chapter 1 at four more changes that happened in Daniel’s life. And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; 4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
Sounds like an indoctrination through education to the King’s religious and philosophical and political thoughts. Does that sound familiar yet? 5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. Hey, hey…. Look how the nation is going to take care of you through it’s handouts of the best of the best. Still familiar?
6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
Ah, now Jewish names in my nation; you are now no longer Jewish, you are Babylonians.
When so many changes take place at the same time, in the world, in our country, in our community, in our churches, and even in our homes and family structure. How does that impact you…. or your family? How might today’s changes make Daniel feel? Which changes, thus far, can you identify with. Think of your children and grandchildren and the nations educational system; and of the changes in the nations identification with your religious beliefs.
With that verse in our back pocket lets ask, how did Daniel handle the changes as they swirled around him? Daniel’s Faithfulness. But Daniel made up his mind not to eat the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the superintendent for permission to eat other things instead. 9 Now as it happened, God had given the superintendent a special appreciation for Daniel and sympathy for his predicament. 11 Daniel talked it over with the steward and suggested a ten-day diet of only vegetables and water; 14 The steward finally agreed to the test. 15 Well, at the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the youths who had been eating the food supplied by the king! 16 So after that the steward fed them only vegetables and water, without the rich foods and wines! 17 God gave these four youths great ability to learn, and they soon mastered all the literature and science of the time; and God gave to Daniel special ability in understanding the meanings of dreams and visions.
Daniel did not accept the Kings’s handout; he stuck to his guns. And how did that become a hole in the darkness example to others.Now, if Daniel had not been true to his conviction, his faith in his God, do you think anyone back home would have known about it. I think not. But, what a blessing he would have missed. What blessings are you or I missing today by not Putting Holes in the Dark in our community, our country, our families, our children or grandchildren.
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