2019-10-06

Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Key verse: Daniel 1:8a  But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself…

Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked about loving our neighbors, and our enemies. Today, we begin a study of the life of Daniel. This is a purposeful transition, mainly because of the temptation for compromise as we follow God’s command to love “the world.” We must remain faithful to God, no matter what.

Daniel 1:1–21 (NKJV): 1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god. 3 Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, 4 young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. 6 Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7 To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego. 8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. 10 And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”

11 So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” 14 So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. 16 Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. 17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm. 21 Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.

History: This story takes place around 605 B.C. While some say the story of Daniel might be exaggerated because of the amazing moments taking place in His life, as well as in the life of his friends, there is independent proof of the stories found here. The Babylonian historian, Berosus, wrote of Nebuchadnezzar’s capturing of Judah in 303 B.C. Further, in 1956, an ancient cuneiform was discovered that also confirms these events.

1. Sometimes God allows the enemy a victory

Vs 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 articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god

And the Lord gave…” literally means Judah was handed over to the Babylonians

Why?

  • Sometimes to punish
  • Sometimes to test
  • Sometimes to refine

– 1 Peter 1:6-7 “for a little while…”

– Isaiah 48:10 “I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering”

  • Always to make us better

2. Our actions in the midst of oppression determine our position

Vs 8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

  • Daniel was determined to not compromise in the face of adversity or temptation

Vss 12-13 Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.”

What we do when we are in a time of attack or oppression will determine or ability to fulfill the call of God

  • Compromise destroys testimony
  • Compromise destroys growth
  • Compromise destroys futures

3. God will always reward faithfulness

Vss 17-19 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king.

  • God will always reward us when we remain faithful to His call and His Word
  • Vs 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.

4. Our success in life is based on the condition of our heart

Vs 8a But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself

  • What have you purposed in your heart? The temptations are all around us, compromise is so easy, but God requires us to remain true.
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