Daniel 1:1-2 – In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god.
Many, if not most people, are not really much worried about God bringing judgment and justice upon them. Why? Because we tend to live however we want and God does not seem to show up or act. Some people wonder if God exists at all. Others wonder if the commandments in the Bible are simply made up and not from God at all. This was the case with King Jehoiakim who was supposed to be godly but was so godless that he burned the Scriptures (Jeremiah 36:23).
This was precisely the mood shared among God’s people in Israel. Then, suddenly everything changed in 605 BC when the evil King Nebuchadnezzar was permitted by God to topple the nation and loot God’s Temple. This shows that, while people are responsible for their decisions, God is bigger and gets the last word on every matter.
Why did God allow this to happen?
God commanded that every seventh year the land be able to rest (Leviticus 25:1-4, 26:34,42). Today, we know that when the land does not rest, it is stripped of nutrients and, over time, the food supply and people who consume it are not given healthy nutrition. God cares very much that His creation and consumers of His crops be healthy. Sadly, God’s people ignored this command for 490 years, which means they owed the land 70 years (2 Chronicles 36:21; Jeremiah 25:1-14). God was incredibly patient, even sending warnings over and over, including this specific prophecy about what would happen. Isaiah 39:6-7 says, “the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up…shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left…your own sons…shall be taken away, and…be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”
The demonic spirit of Babylon is actively at work in every culture, nation, and era. The demonic spirit of Babylon is always seeking to topple people so that they are slaves in some form or fashion, in everything from human trafficking to abusive relationships and addictions of every sort. The demonic spirit of Babylon also lies that defying, disobeying, and disregarding God will not result in any sort of judgment or justice. This trick is the very thing that Paul warns against in Romans 2:5: “because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”
No one is getting away with anything. Everyone is storing up everything. That’s the storyline of Daniel and should warn us that unless we turn from sin and trust in Jesus, we’ve literally got hell to pay.
How has the demonic spirit of Babylon sought to topple, conquer, control, or enslave you?
In addition to this introduction to and overview of Daniel, you can find the corresponding sermons, daily devotions, men’s ministry resources, and hundreds of additional sermons and Bible teaching resources for free at markdriscoll.org or on the Mark Driscoll Ministries app.
To visit the Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, you can plan your visit at thetrinitychurch.com.