Daniel 1-6

Daniel and friends are carried off captives to be in Babylon's intelligentsia.  They are indoctrinated in its worldview and renamed, but stay undefiled by the food.  God moves the heart of the eunuch in charge of them to let them try an alternative diet.

Nebuchadnezzar has a dream that troubles him, but doesn't remember it.  He demands his wise men tell him the dream and its interpretation.  They admit they can't, but Daniel prays for help and God gives it to him.  He gives all the credit to God, not himself.  The dream was a statue with gold head, silver torso, bronze thighs, iron legs, and clay/iron feet.  A rock strikes the feet and knocks the whole thing over, growing into a mountain filling the earth.  Nebuchadnezzar is the gold head.  He credits Daniel's God as the true God, and reward him and his friends.

Nebuchadnezzar makes a statue of himself for everyone to bow down to.  Daniel and friends refuse, and are thrown in a furnace as punishment.  (Note Neb's inconsistent contradiction in relating to God - 2:47.)  God miraculously preserves them, and Neb. glorifies God again.

Neb. tells of his insanity and restoration.  He had a dream which only Daniel could interpret:
A great spreading tree cut down - a warning that he would lose his kingdom and go crazy.  He was to repent, but a year later he was gloating over his kingdom, and the dream came true.  Seven years later God restored his mind and kingdom and power, and he gave God glory.

While King Belshazzar is feasting with the Jerusalem temple articles, a hand appears and writes on the wall.  It freaks him out, and (surprise) none of the wise men can interpret it.  His mother, Neb.'s wife supposedly) points him to Daniel, who comes in and retells the story of chapter 4.  He points out Belshazzar's pride before interpreting the writing: your kingdom's days are over and it will be divided; you are found wanting.  It happens that night.

Daniel survives the regime change to be a senior administrator for King Darius.
Rivals try to take him down by passing a law forbidding any prayer except to Darius for 30 days.
Daniel goes home and prays publicly.  They see, accuse, and condemn him to the lions.
Darius knows it's unjust (more consequences of arbitrary and prideful rule), and acknowledges the true God (vs 20) even before he knows if God saved Daniel, and then again in vss. 26-27

How this is about Jesus
1 - He stayed undefiled by this world.
2 - It is His kingdom that hits the statue and grows to fill the earth.
3 - He is the fourth in the furnace with the friends.
4 - Satan tempted him with such power and pride as Neb. gloried in (4:30).
5 - He is a faithful son, unlike Belshazzar who didn't learn from his.
6 - He survived the den of death and came forth vindicated and victorious!

1 - Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in Christ.
2 - One kingdom follows another - don't be surprised or caught up in loyalty to any one king or nation
3 - Trust God, even when you're not sure you're safe in this world (3:18).
4 - Don't be prideful like Neb.   God preserves our mental sanity, not ourselves.
5 - There is a time to feast and a time to fast.  Know which it is, and be humble and reverent to God.
6 - There is a time to blatantly and publicly, yet respectfully, disobey the law of the land.  God will vindicate you through the condemnation that follows.

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