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Dan Gatlin - September 29, 2019 am - Gospel Meeting                                                MP3                                PP

 

Daniel's Uncompromising Faith

 Intro.—"9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; Walk in the ways of your heart, And in the sight of your eyes; But know that for all these God will bring you into judgment. 10 Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, And put away evil from your flesh, For childhood and youth are vanity. 1 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, "I have no pleasure in them"" - Eccl. 11:9—12:1

A. Solomon tells us to remember God while we are young.  There are many benefits to this:

1. Overall, we will have less sin in our life.  Sin ensnares us because often one sin leads to

another.  Our lives become less tangled.

2. It prepares us for "the difficult days" (old age).  We can face old age with hope knowing that we

have prepared ourselves for eternal life.

a. "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the

inward man is being renewed day by day." - 2 Cor. 4:16

B. Daniel is a young man who devoted himself to God at an early age.

1. Almost all we know of Daniel is what is found in the book.

2. Daniel was a very young man (possibly in his teens) when taken into Babylonian captivity.  He

lived throughout the 70 captivity (so it's likely he was less than 20 yrs. old in Ch. 1).

 I. Daniel In Captivity.

A. "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." - Dan. 1:1-7

1. Young royals & noblemen were often used as "trophies" in the conquering kings house.  It

implied that the conqueror was far greater than those conquered.

2. Daniel was part of the royal line.

3. Babylon was the first "modern" city.

a. "The city stands on a broad plain, and is an exact square, a hundred and twenty stadia in

length each way, so that the entire circuit is four hundred and eighty stadia. While such is its

size, in magnificence there is no other city that approaches to it. It is surrounded, in the first

place, by a broad and deep moat, full of water, behind which rises a wall fifty royal cubits in

width and two hundred in height. " - Heroditus—4th Century BC Greek Historian

b. Modern terms:

1) The walls were about 15 miles each side (60 total).  Most were 75 ft. high & as high as

300 ft.

A) Walls were 85 ft. thick, going 35 ft. underground.

B) There were 250 defensive tower; Over 100 gates (most minor entrances).

2) There were double walls, an inner & outer wall.  Between the walls was a mote.

3) The Euphrates river ran through the middle of the city.  Metal gates would be raised &

lowered to keep enemies out.

c. The temple of Marduk.

1) Thought to be the old tower of Babel, was in the middle of the city.

2) It contained an 18 ft. solid gold statue of Markuk; a 40'X15' gold table;  2 solid gold, life-

sized lions.

d. Hanging gardens. 1 of the 7 ancient wonders of the world.

B. V. 2  Notice that Nebuchadnezzar took some of the articles that were in the Jewish temple into

the temple of his god.

1. Not only was it treasure, but was intended to show the superiority of his god.

2. This kind of boast was made by the Assyrians 150 years earlier, in Isa. 36-37.

3. "If my nations conquers your nation, it means my god is better than your god!"

4. Judah had been defeated.  But, that didn't mean that Marduk was greater.

5. What needs to be factored in is that God was using Babylon to punish Judah

6. This argument doesn't influence Daniel.  (He may have been familiar with the prophecies.)

C. V. 4  Daniel & his friends were to learn the language & literature of the Chaldeans.

D. V. 5  The king would feed them from his table.

E. What if you were kidnapped & taken to Hong Kong?  You wouldn't know the language, culture,

customs, etc.  Re-education would be needed.  As a Christian, you don't want to compromise.

II. Daniel's Devotion To God's Law

A. "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." - Dan. 1:8

1. What was wrong with the "king's delicacies?"  There are 2 possibilities:

a. The law of Moses made a distinction between clean & unclean foods.  This was for the Jews. 

Gentiles did follow this, so they would eat unclean foods.

b. These may have been foods that were offered to idols.

B. Consider some of the unique temptations Daniel faced.

1. Materialism.  Babylon had every pleasure, comfort & luxury.  All that that world could offer.

a. We can avoid this temptation only by putting God's law first.

b. Moses face some of the same temptations: "24 By faith Moses, when he became of age,

refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer

affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26

esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he

looked to the reward." - Heb. 11:24-26

2. Power.  Daniel would attain high office, 2nd only to the king.  Yet, it did not corrupt him.

a. "25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26

Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let

him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your

slave — " - Matt. 20:25-27

3. Fornication.  During certain festivals, Ishtar was worshipped with sacrifice & fornication.

a. "18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who

commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that

your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God,

and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in

your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." - 1 Cor. 6:18-20

4. Worldly Wisdom.  He would have been taught: 1) Language & culture of Babylon,

2) Superiority of Babylonian gods, 3) Perhaps Astrology & Sorcery.

a. "25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is

stronger than men. 26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has

chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen

the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;" - 1 Cor.

1:25-27

III. Daniel's Plan To Remain Pure.

A. "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." - Dan. 1:9-16

1. Consider what they had just been though.

2. "1 Now it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day

of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and encamped against it; and they built a siege wall against it all around. 2 So

the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 3 By the ninth day of the

fourth month the famine had become so severe in the city that there was no food for the

people of the land." - 2 Kings 25:1-3

3. Daniel & friends are "skin & bones" by the time they get to Babylon.

4. Pagan kings demanded that servants appear happy & healthy.  Anything different could bring

death.

B. A lot of people would reason: "This is a unique situation!  Surely, God will understand if I make a

few compromises to save my life."

C. Daniel teaches us to prepare & have a plan, so that we don't compromise.

1. Too many don't deal with temptation until they face it.  They're unprepared.

2. How can we prepare for temptation?

a. Prepare yourself mentally & spiritually.  Simply determine not to compromise.  "But sanctify

the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who

asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear" - 1 Pet. 3:15

b. Avoid tempting situations.  Jesus taught His disciples to pray, "Lead us not into temptation."

c. Pray for strength.  Jesus said to Peter,  "But I have prayed for you, that your faith should

not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren." - Lk. 22:32

IV. Daniel's Faith Is Rewarded.

A. "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." - Dan.

1:17-21

B. We also have a reward that we must focus on.

1. "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will

receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him." - Jms. 1:12

 

Con.—Daniel was faithful from his youth to his death.

A. He was uncompromising & stubbornly righteous in the face of temptation.  And was rewarded.

B. We have a reward if we remain faithful!