The Big Bible Adventure – Daniel 1
Powerpoint Pictures: Cabbage, Chicken Nuggets, Pear, Pavalova, Glass of Water, Glass of Coke, Celery, Bacon, Apple, Ice Cream, Potatoes, Hamburger
Have a listen to this song? [Play Boney M’s Rivers of Babylon] Do you recognise it? Do you know where the words for the song come from?
They come from the Bible.
One of the songs in a book called Psalms, begins: “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion… How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?” (Psalm 137:1, 4) This song was sung by the people of Judah who were taken captive by the Babylonians.
For them it looked like it was the end of the story and that all the promises God made to them about a people, a land, a Saviour and a King seemed like they weren’t going to happen.
But was it end of the story? Is there any hope?
There is in Babylon and it begins with a choice about food.
Would you rather eat or drink the following…? [Cabbage or Chicken Nuggets; Pear or Pavalova; Water or Coke; Celery or Bacon; Apple or Ice Cream; Potatoes or Hamburger]
Now there was a group of people who were taken from Jerusalem to Babylon who actually chose to eat vegetables and drink water over meat and coke (or rather wine!) Their names were Daniel, Hananiah, Mischael and Azariah.
In Babylon they were sent to the best school with the best teachers. They were given new names, Babylonian ones to replace their Jewish ones. Daniel became… Belteshazzar. Hananiah became… Shadrach. Mischael became… Meshach. Azariah became … Abednego.
They were also given the best food to eat, cooked by Babylon’s own Jamie Oliver. The food was mouth watering, it smelt good, and it was truly scrumptious. But this is what the Bible says happened when the food was offered to Daniel.
“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself in this way.” (Daniel 1:8).
Daniel refused to eat the king’s food and drink the king’s wine. The reason was because Daniel loved the One True God and wanted to please Him. He knew that eating the king’s food wouldn’t please God and would be the wrong thing to do, so he told the king’s helper that he didn’t want to eat the food.
The king’s helper wasn’t so sure. He thought that Daniel and his friends wouldn’t look as healthy as the other men who had eaten the king’s food. But God caused the helper to show favour and a test was agreed. For 10 days, Daniel and his friends would eat vegetables and drink water and at the end of the 10 days they would be compared with the men who ate the king’s food.
After 10 days of munching vegetables and slurping water. Daniel and his 3 friends looked much healthier and stronger than the other men so it was agreed that they could continue eating vegetables.
As they followed God, by saying ‘No’ to what was wrong and ‘Yes’ to what was right, we see that God looked after them and this prepared them for what was to come.
So even though they were far away from the land, from home, there was still a small number of God’s people, who loved and followed Him – it seems that the story is not over yet!
More talks from The Big Bible Adventure can be found HERE.