The President of Babylon
Lesson 4: Overcoming Lethargy
This is the story of how a Jewish slave boy became president in Iraq. Daniel and his friends prospered in Babylon. He became a top leader under the leadership of four kings over a period of over sixty years; Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Babylonians, Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, Darius, king of the Medes, and Cyrus, king of the Persians. (Daniel 2:48, 5:29, and 6:28)
He was like cream, always rising to the top. This is an amazing accomplishment because Daniel had to learn new languages and cultures. He didn’t have the advantage of being at home and had to overcome being an outsider.
Prosperity brings the temptation to get soft and slumber. If we aren’t careful, blessing can cause us to forget. (Deuteronomy 8:10-11) We forget that Babylon is returning to dust.
Challenge #4 – Overcoming Lethargy
1. Don’t forget the eternal purpose of why we’re here.
We are God’s agents to bring redemption into a dying world. A passionate love for God and people is the antidote for lethargy. Without this we get spiritually lazy.
2. Redemption is the answer.
Daniel had come to the revelation that God had sent him to Babylon. He discovered the purpose of why God sent him here; God wanted him to become like salt in a decaying world. Daniel loved Israel but he came to understand the Kingdom of God was greater than Jerusalem. Personal pride makes us want to believe that life is about Jerusalem, but that’s not true. Life is about God and His Kingdom.
Daniel could see the idolatrous nature of mankind. (Daniel 2:31) We were created to worship and we will worship something. The problem is we become like the god we worship. If we worship the wrong god, we become like the false god we’re worshipping. When the Israelites began worshipping the golden calf they soon were acting like animals. (Exodus 32)
Daniel could see the beastly nature of political kingdoms. (Daniel 7:3) He had the advantage of seeing up close the way political kingdoms act like carnivorous beasts devouring people’s lives.
But Daniel knew there was a true God above all other gods; that was Jehovah. He understood that the “heavens rule.” (Daniel 4:25) God will have the final word in our lives.
3. God placed us in our Babylon to be His witness.
We are God’s ambassadors. We are God’s light in a darkened world. It’s our responsibility to reveal God to the people around us.
Daniel came to these revelations because of his prayer life and his love for the word of God. We find Daniel praying continually. Even his enemies admitted he was diligent about prayer. He also studied the Scriptures. An excellent example of this is Daniel 9:2 where he discovered in the writings of Jeremiah the prophet, that the Babylonian captivity would last for seventy years. Daniel was a part of the first group of slaves carried away to Babylon, so he began calculating the dates and discovered the seventy years were fulfilled. Immediately he began praying God would send the Jews back to Jerusalem.
It’s of great note that just because God said something will happen, doesn’t mean we have no responsibility. We must bring ourselves into alignment with what God said to see the prophecy fulfilled.
It was good that Daniel prayed, but his emphasis needed adjusting. He was looking backward at the past seventy years of slavery when he should’ve been looking ahead to the coming Messiah. (Daniel 9:25) God sent the angel Gabriel to Daniel and refocused his attention. The past is important but the future is more important. God showed Daniel in seventy weeks of years the Messiah would come. This was one of the greatest revelations God ever revealed to a man.
Daniel stopped looking backward at slavery and began looking forward to the coming Savior.
Daniel Saw The Kingdom of God!