Friday, January 6, 2012

Decisions, Diets, and Defilement. (Daniel 1)

What is your favorite food that you know is not good for you? How often do you eat it?

Daniel 1 is a story about four young men who chose to obey God by not eating food that was defiled. But it's also about much more. It is about how God actively intervenes in our lives and it is about how we interact with the world around us.

As a group, read Daniel 1:1-21.

Why do you think God allowed Nebuchadnezzar to defeat Jerusalem? How could the defeat of God's people bring glory to God? How could their defeat have been beneficial for the Jewish people?

When have you experienced a defeat in your life which ultimately was for your benefit? How did you (or didn't you) use the experience to bring glory to God?

Why do you think the king changed the names of the Jewish exiles? Why do you think he wanted them to assimilate into Babylonian culture?

In what ways are Christians often encouraged to assimilate into the culture of the world? Is this always a bad thing? Why or why not?

Give an example of a situation in which Christians should not assimilate into the culture of the world. Give an example of a situation in which Christians should assimilate into the culture of the world. How can you find life balance in this issue?

Look for all the times God intervenes in this chapter. Make a list. Do you believe God still intervenes in our lives the way He did for Daniel? How are His interventions similar? How are they different?

In what ways has God intervened in your life lately? How have you responded to that intervention?

As you think about this story, how are you most challenged? How would you use this story to encourage the others in the group? How can the group pray for you this week?

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