INT BEDROOM WITH BED Man sitting on edge of bed, talking to himself.
MAN Boy, what a life. Nothing but work, eat and sleep. And then you add the stress of the job, trying to make time for the kids and the wife. It hardly makes any sense, and now they add such things as war, crime, and other areas. I wonder how I can get out of this.
MAN (CONT’D) Well no answers are going to come tonight. I guess I may as well go to sleep. Man crawls under the covers and goes to sleep.
DREAM TRANSITION INT. BANQUET AREA Nicodemus and wife are being shown to their seats at a bridal table. The people around the table are ignoring them, and are in a agitated attitude.
BRIDE How could you let this happen. I have never heard of a wedding banquet running out of wine. What are we to do?
GROOM I am sorry. I don’t know what to do. Does anyone have any ideas. Nicodemus is irritated, and clears his throat quite loudly trying to attract attention. Groom turns to him.
GROOM (CONT’D) Sir, do you have any ideas on how we can solve this shortage of wine?
NICODEMUS Sir! Do you realize who you are addressing. I am Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedren. I have been a member for the last 30 years, and I have not as yet encountered such lack of respect.
NICODEMUS (CONT’D) You have ignored me when I came. And you ask me questions; that a woman should be asked. At this moment, a women walks up to the bride and groom, as if to congratulate them.
NICODEMUS (CONT’D) Ask this woman that question!
GROOM Mary it is nice to see you. We seem to be short of wine. Do you have any ideas on how we can solve this problem.
MARY I do not have any ideas. Let me go and ask my son, if he has any ideas.
MARY WALKS OFF. INT BANQUET AREA-IN A BACK CORNER. Mary walks up to a man and asks:
MARY They have no more wine.
JESUS Dear woman, why do you involve me? My time has not yet come. Mary turns to servants standing nearby.
MARY Do whatever he tell you.
JESUS Fill the jars with water. The servants fill some empty jars with water, from other jars filled with water. Their should be a tight shot by the camera on the water pouring from one jar to another. When the jar is full.
JESUS (CONT’D) Now draw some out and take it to the groom. The servants fill a wine glass from the jars (which now have wine) they just filled, and they walk off.
PAN TO BRIDAL TABLE INT BANQUET AREA The wine glass is presented. The groom drinks from it.
GROOM This wine is excellent. Where did you get it
SERVANT This man Jesus told us to fill the wine jars with water. Then he told us to take some out and bring it to you. He must have changed the water to wine, as a magician would.
GROOM This man must be a great man. Let us go and thank him for saving our wedding. The wedding party gets up from the table, except for Nicodemus and his wife, and walk away.
CUT TO: INT BANQUET AREA-TIGHT SHOT ON NICODEMUS AND WIFE. Nicodemus quite upset is talking to his wife.
NICODEMUS There they go doing it to me again. Showing no respect. I certainly deserve more respect than a magician.
NICODEMUS (CONT’D) People today have no respect for religion or it’s leaders. You would think that the people are attracted to such a person as this magician. He could be quite a dangerous person. Who did they say he was?
NICODEMUS Well I better check on this Jesus person, so I can report back to the Sanhedren on how he is leading people away from the true faith.
Daniel Book Overview
In 605 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar took Daniel and other captives to Babylon. Daniel rose quickly to prominence under Nebuchadnezzar. After the King’s death, Daniel seems to have fallen from favor only t5o regain it by interpreting the handwriting on the wall at Belshazzar’s feast. With the capture of Babylon by Darius, Daniel maintained his official position, serving under both Darius and Cyrus, the king of Persia.
While Ezekiel was ministering to the captives in Babylon, Daniel was drafted as a counselor to King Nebuchadnezzar. With God’s help, Daniel interpreted two of the king’s dreams, Daniel’s three friends were rescued from certain death in the blazing furnace, and Daniel was rescued from a lions’ den. Daniel’s life is a picture of the triumph of faith. May God grant us this type of faith so that we may also live courageously each day.
|605 b.c.||Daniel taken captive to Babylon
|593||Ezekiel becomes a prophet to exiles
|586||Judah falls; Jerusalem is destroyed; Jeremiah’s ministry ends
|553||Daniel’s first vision
|539||Babylon overthrown; Daniel thrown to lions|
|538||First exiles return to Judah|
|535||Daniel’s ministry ends|
|served as a prophet to the exiles in Babylon from 605-536 b.c.|
|Climate of the times||The people of Judah were captives in a strange land, feeling hopeless.|
|Main message||God is sovereign over all of human history, past, present, and future.|
|Importance of message||We should spend less time wondering when future events will happen and more time learning how we should live now.|
|Contemporary prophets||Jeremiah (627-586 b.c.), Habakkuk (612-588 b.c. ), Ezekiel (593-571 b.c.)|
|Purpose:||To give a historical account of the faithful Jews who lived in captivity and to show how God is in control of heaven and earth, directing the forces of nature, the destiny of nations, and the care of his people|
|To Whom Written:||The other captives in Babylon and God’s people everywhere|
|Date Written:||Approximately 535 b.c., recording events that occurred from about 605-535 b.c.|
|Setting:||Daniel had been taken captive and deported to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar in 605 b.c. There he served in the government for about 70 years during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, and Cyrus.|
|Key Verse:||“He [God] reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he himself is surrounded by light” (2:22).|
|Key People:||Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Belshazzar, Darius|
|Key Places:||Nebuchadnezzar’s palace, the blazing furnace, Belshazzar’s feast, the den of lions|
|Special Features:||Daniel’s apocalyptic visions (chapters 7–12) give a glimpse of God’s plan for the ages, including a direct prediction of the Messiah.|
If you are a Jew in Babylon, you’ve got reason to be depressed. Jeremiah was right all along. All those times you thought he was one taco short of a platter, he was telling the truth!
Jerusalem is in ashes. The temple is in ruins. And you and the rest of your people are in captivity.
Your captors mock you, “Sing us a song about Jerusalem!” (Psalm 137:3). But you don’t sing. You hang your harps on the3 poplar trees and sit on the banks of the river, watching the water and your days pass by.
Who can sing songs about the Lord in a foreign country.
Though he was only a teenager when taken captive, he remembers well the songs of his youth. Somewhere in his early years he came to believe that God was sovereign. Nothing happens without his permission. Nothing happens outside of his plan.
But even Daniel could not have imagined the plans God had for him. Prime minister ofr the court. Interpreter of dreams. Prophet. Teac her. Ruler. A lifelong voice for God among pagan people.
But though the central character of the book is Daniel, the hero is God. “There is a God in heaven…” Daniel told the king (2:28), and it was that God in heaven who sustained Daniel and the people while in captivity.
That God, by the way, still reigns.
And anytime God’s people have hung up their harps, listen carefully.
God always has a Daniel who remembers..
An earthquake shakes the foundation of our security; a tornado blows away a lifetime of treasures; an assassin’s bullet changes national history; a drunk driver claims an innocent victim; a divorce shatters a home. International and personal tragedies make our world seem a fearful place, overflowing with evil and seemingly out of control. And the litany of bombings, coups, murders, and natural disasters could cause us to think that God is absent or impotent. “Where is God?” we cry, engulfed by sorrow and despair.
Twenty-five centuries ago, Daniel could have despaired. He and thousands of his countrymen had been deported to a foreign land after Judah was conquered. Daniel found himself facing an egocentric despot and surrounded by idolaters. Instead of giving in or giving up, this courageous young man held fast to his faith in his God. Daniel knew that despite the circumstances, God was sovereign and was working out his plan for nations and individuals. The book of Daniel centers around this profound truth—the sovereignty of God.
After a brief account of Nebuchadnezzar’s siege and defeat of Jerusalem, the scene quickly shifts to Daniel and his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). These men held prominent positions within the Babylonian government. Daniel, in particular, held such a position because of his ability to interpret the king’s dreams that tell of God’s unfolding plan (chapters 2 and 4). Sandwiched between the dreams is the fascinating account of Daniel’s three friends and the furnace (chapter 3). Because they refused to bow down to an image of gold, they were condemned to a fiery death. But God intervened and spared their lives.
Belshazzar ruled Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar, and chapter 5 tells of his encounter with God’s message written on a wall. Daniel, who was summoned to interpret the message, predicted Babylon’s fall to the Medes and Persians. This prediction came true that very night, and Darius the Mede conquered the Babylonian kingdom.
Daniel became one of Darius’s most trusted advisers. His privileged position angered other administrators, who plotted his death by convincing the king to outlaw prayer. In spite of the law, Daniel continued to pray to his sovereign Lord. As a result, he was condemned to die in a den of hungry lions. Again, God intervened and saved him, shutting the mouths of the lions (chapter 6).
The book concludes with a series of visions that Daniel had during the reigns of Belshazzar (chapters 7–8), Darius (chapter 9), and Cyrus (chapters 10–12). These dreams dramatically outline God’s future plans, beginning with Babylon and continuing to the end of the age. They give a preview of God’s redemption and have been called the key to all biblical prophecy.
God is sovereign. He was in control in Babylon, and he has been moving in history, controlling the destinies of people ever since. And he is here now! Despite news reports or personal stress, we can be confident that God is in control. As you read Daniel, watch God work and find your security in his sovereignty.
Daniel’s early life demonstrates that there is more to being young than making mistakes. No characteristic wins the hearts of adults more quickly than wisdom in the words and actions of a young person. Daniel and his friends had been taken from their homes in Judah and exiled. Their futures were in doubt, but they all had personal traits that qualified them for jobs as servants in the king’s palace. They took advantage of the opportunity without letting the opportunity take advantage of them.
Our first hint of Daniel’s greatness comes in his quiet refusal to give up his convictions. He had applied God’s will to his own life, and he resisted changing the good habits he had formed. Both his physical and spiritual diets were an important part of his relationship with God. He ate carefully and lived prayerfully. One of the benefits of being in training for royal service was eating food from the king’s table. Daniel tactfully chose a simpler menu and proved it was a healthy choice. As with Daniel, mealtimes are obvious and regular tests of our efforts to control our appetites.
While Daniel limited his food intake, he indulged in prayer. He was able to communicate with God because he made it a habit. He put into practice his convictions, even when that meant being thrown into a den of hungry lions. His life proved he made the right choice.
Do you hold so strongly to your faith in God that whatever happens you will do what God says? Such conviction keeps you a step ahead of temptation; such conviction gives you wisdom and stability in changing circumstances. Prayerfully live out your convictions in everyday life and trust God for the results.
@Strengths and accomplishments
w Although young when deported, remained true to his faith
w Served as an adviser to two Babylonian kings and two Medo-Persian kings
w Was a man of prayer and a statesman with the gift of prophecy
w Survived the lions’ den
@Lessons from his life
w Quiet convictions often earn long-term respect
w Don’t wait until you are in a tough situation to learn about prayer
w God can use people wherever they are
w Where: Judah and the courts of both Babylon and Persia
w Occupation: A captive from Israel who became an adviser of kings
w Contemporaries: Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, Cyrus
“This man Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, has a sharp mind and is filled with divine knowledge and understanding. He can interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means” (Daniel 5:12).
Daniel’s story is told in the book of Daniel. He is also mentioned in Matthew 24:15.
|A. Daniel’s Life (1:1–6:28)||Daniel and his three friends chose not to eat the king’s food. They did not bow down to the king’s image, even under penalty of death. Daniel continued to pray even though he knew he might be noticed and sentenced to death. These men are inspiring examples for us of how to live a godly life in a sinful world. When we face trials, we can expect God to also be with us through them. May God grant us similar courage to remain faithful under pressure.|
|B. Daniel’s Visions (7:1–12:13)||These visions gave the captives added confidence that God is in control of history. They were to wait patiently in faith and not worship the gods of Babylon or accept that society’s way of life. God still rules over human activities. Evil will be overcome, so we should wait patiently and not give in to the temptations and pressures of the sinful way of life around us.|
|God Is in Control||God is all-knowing, and he is in charge of world events. God overrules and removes rebellious leaders who defy him. God will overcome evil; no one is exempt. But he will deliver the faithful who follow him.||Although nations vie for world control now, one day Christ’s Kingdom will replace and surpass the kingdoms of this world. Our faith is sure because our future is secure in Christ. We must have courage and put our faith in God, who controls everything.|
|Purpose in Life||Daniel and his three friends are examples of dedication and commitment. They determined to serve God regardless of the consequences. They did not give in to pressures from an ungodly society because they had a clear purpose in life.||It is wise to make trusting and obeying God alone our true purpose in life. This will give us direction and peace in spite of the circumstances or consequences. We should disobey anyone who asks us to disobey God. Our first allegiance must be to God.|
|Perseverance||Daniel served for 70 years in a foreign land that was hostile to God, yet he did not compromise his faith in God. He was truthful, persistent in prayer, and disinterested in power for personal glory.||In order to fulfill your life’s purpose, you need staying power. Don’t let your Christian distinctness become blurred. Be relentless in your prayers, maintain your integrity, and be content to serve God wherever he puts you.|
|God’s Faithfulness||God was faithful in Daniel’s life. He delivered him from prison, from a den of lions, and from enemies who hated him. God cares for his people and deals patiently with them.||We can trust God to be with us through any trial. Because he has been faithful to us, we should remain faithful to him.|
Daniel is written in the context of the exile. It seeks to evoke a commitment to God’s law amongst the people of God who are suffering persecution (even unto death). Daniel beckons them to awaken and prepare for the unexpected intervention of God into world affairs. Jesus refers to Daniel in his teachings and quotes from him. John’s Revelation draws heavily from Daniel.
1 Honor doesn’t go with fools any more than snow with summer or rain with harvest.
2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an unfair curse will not land on its intended victim.
3 Guide a horse with a whip, a donkey with a bridle, and a fool with a rod to his back!
4 When arguing with fools, don’t answer their foolish arguments, or you will become as foolish as they are.
5When arguing with fools, be sure to answer their foolish arguments, or they will become wise in their own estimation.
6Trusting a fool to convey a message is as foolish as cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison!
7 In the mouth of a fool, a proverb becomes as limp as a paralyzed leg.
8 Honoring a fool is as foolish as tying a stone to a slingshot.
9 A proverb in a fool’s mouth is as dangerous as a thornbush brandished by a drunkard.
10An employer who hires a fool or a bystander is like an archer who shoots recklessly.
11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
12 There is more hope for fools than for people who think they are wise.
13 The lazy person is full of excuses, saying, “I can’t go outside because there might be a lion on the road! Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!”
14As a door turns back and forth on its hinges, so the lazy person turns over in bed.
15Some people are so lazy that they won’t lift a finger to feed themselves.
16Lazy people consider themselves smarter than seven wise counselors.
17 Yanking a dog’s ears is as foolish as interfering in someone else’s argument.
18 Just as damaging as a mad man shooting a lethal weapon 19is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.”
20 Fire goes out for lack of fuel, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.
21 A quarrelsome person starts fights as easily as hot embers light charcoal or fire lights wood.
22 What dainty morsels rumors are—but they sink deep into one’s heart.
23 Smooth£ words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a common clay pot.
24 People with hate in their hearts may sound pleasant enough, but don’t believe them. 25Though they pretend to be kind, their hearts are full of all kinds of evil. 26While their hatred may be concealed by trickery, it will finally come to light for all to see.
27 If you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. If you roll a boulder down on others, it will roll back and crush you.
28 A lying tongue hates its victims, and flattery causes ruin.
Proverbs 26:4, 5
These two verses seem to be in contradiction. But the writer is saying that we shouldn’t take foolish people seriously and try to reason with their empty arguments. This will only make them proud and determined to win the argument. In some situations, you ought not to even try to answer fools, for there is no way you can penetrate their closed minds. You may, in fact, be stooping to their level if you do choose to answer. Fools will abuse you, and you will be tempted to abuse them in return. There are other situations where your common sense tells you to answer in order to expose their pride and folly.
Some people are so blind that they won’t get much wisdom from reading these proverbs. Only those who want to be wise have the receptive attitude needed to make the most of them. If we want to learn from God, he will respond and pour out his heart to us (1:23).
Sometimes when someone in a group causes discord or dissension, the leader tries to make him loyal and productive by giving him a place of privilege or responsibility. This usually doesn’t work. In fact, it is like tying the stone to the sling—it won’t go anywhere and will swing back and hurt you. The dissenter’s new power may be just what he needs to manipulate the group.
Normally the first prick of a thorn alerts us, so we remove the thorn before it damages us. A drunk person, however, may not feel the thorn, and so it will work its way into his flesh. Similarly, a fool may not feel the sting of a proverb because he does not see how it applies to his life. Instead of taking its point to heart, a fool will apply it to his church, his employer, his spouse, or whomever he is rebelling against. The next time you find yourself saying, “So-and-so should really pay attention to that,” stop and ask yourself, Is there a message in it for me?
If a person is not willing to work, he or she can find endless excuses to avoid it. But laziness is more dangerous than a prowling lion. The less you do, the less you want to do, and the more useless you become. To overcome laziness, take a few small steps toward change. Set a concrete, realistic goal. Figure out the steps needed to reach it, and follow those steps. Pray for strength and persistence. To keep your excuses from making you useless, stop making useless excuses.
Yanking the ears of a dog is a good way to get bitten, and interfering in arguments is a good way to get hurt. Many times both arguers will turn on the person who interferes. It is best simply to keep out of arguments that are none of your business. If you must become involved, try to wait until the arguers have stopped fighting and cooled off a bit. Then maybe you can help them mend their differences and their relationship.
Talking about every little irritation and piece of gossip only keeps the fires of anger going. Refusing to discuss them cuts the fuel line and makes the fires die out. Does someone continually irritate you? Decide not to complain about the person, and see if your irritation dies from lack of fuel.
|The Four Tongues|
|What we say probably affects more people than any other action we take. It is not surprising, then, to find that Proverbs gives special attention to words and how they are used. Four common speech patterns are described in Proverbs. The first two should be copied, while the last two should be avoided.|
|The Controlled Tongue||Those with this speech pattern think before speaking, know when silence is best, and give wise advice.||10:19; 11:12, 13; 12:16; 13:3; 15:1, 4, 28; 16:23; 17:14, 27, 28; 21:23; 24:26|
|The Caring Tongue||Those with this speech pattern speak truthfully while seeking to encourage.||10:32; 12:18, 25; 15:23; 16:24; 25:15; 27:9|
|The Conniving Tongue||Those with this speech pattern are filled with wrong motives, gossip, slander, and a desire to twist truth.||6:12-14; 8:13; 16:28; 18:8; 25:18; 26:20-28|
|The Careless Tongue||Those with this speech pattern are filled with lies, curses, quick-tempered words—which can lead to rebellion and destruction.||10:18, 32; 11:9; 12:16, 18; 15:4; 17:9, 14, 19; 20:19; 25:23|
|Other verses about our speech include 10:11, 20, 31; 12:6, 17-19; 13:2; 14:3; 19:5, 28; 25:11; 27:2, 5, 14, 17; 29:9.|