DARE TO BE A DANIEL
Determined to Please God
Jerry A Collins
What kind of character is needed to live out our convictions?
What kind of commitment is necessary to live our convictions?
What kind of circumstances require living our convictions?
There are moments of truth in our
lives when our true ambitions come to the surface and are tested and revealed
in the circumstances we find ourselves facing. When we are forced to either
assert our convictions or compromise them. To stand up for what we believe is
right or cave into the prevailing wisdom surrounding us. There is no doubt that
God wants to shape men and women into people of character and conviction. We
are more concerned about our circumstances—God
is more interested in our character. Daniel teaches us that it is possible to
become people of rock solid biblical character and live our convictions when
conflicting circumstances may make it difficult to do so. What about this man Daniel? (1) As a teenager he was taken captive
1:2 God gave jehoiakim
1:9 God granted Daniel favor and compassion in site of commander
God gave them knowledge and intelligence in all lit and wisdom
While Daniel is making his
decisions God is orchestrating situations consistent with those decisions to
accomplish His plan for these times in Daniel’s
life. What about the times of Daniel? (1)
BACKGROUD: King Hezekiah one of
few good kings in
1. WE CAN EXPECT TO BE CONFRONTED WITH SIN OF SINFUL SOCIETY 1-7
1-2 Along with jehoichin, Neb took many vessels of house of God back to Babylon (the ones Hezekiah had shown 80+ yrs earlier) put them in houses of his own gods.
3-4 Ordered chief to bring some royal members—youth with nod effects to convert them to Babylonian ways and gods, i.e. to make Babylonians out of them. We need to understand that we are living in an ungodly society. Spiritually, times are bad today like Daniel’s then. Our world is a dirty place to live in. Cannot help living in it without getting defiled in some way from it. Sometimes the pressure mounts to conform.
tried to convert then with 4 things: (1) to think like the world (education in
literature of our world) (2) to speak like the world (language of the world
Babylonian) (3) to eat & drink like the world (customs of our world) (4) to
identify with the world (by changing their names. In each case their names
contained a name for God of Israel but changed to contain name of
a Babylonian god. Yet, God gave them knowledge of the world’s wisdom vs 17. It’s important to understand the way our ungodly society thinks and
actually understand it better than they do—10 times better vs 20. Can apply biblical truth more
relevantly. Times are bad.
BASED ON BIBLE MUST BE APPLIED IN OUR OWN GENERATION 8-21 8
“BUT DANIEL” says it all. In sense this is theme of book. Daniel
made up mind not to defile himself with kings food. A
difficult decision to make. Why? (1) The king had ordered the menu. (2)
To disobey mite punish—fiery furnace. (3) To refuse the food would spoil
opportunity for advancement in govt at close of
training period. (4) Quality of food been very attractive. (5) The 4 were long
way from home. (6) Natural to argue since God not protected from captivity not
have to be careful obeying Him. But Daniel determined food would defile him. Maybe
not allowed by Mosaic law. Or had
been dedicated to idols before they ate it. It was against Daniel’s personal convictions. A characteristic of his life was strong
personal convictions that disciplined his life by his own choice (but he did
not hold others to same discipline—that’s legalism). Same with his prayer life where he has habit of praying on knees 3 times a day
9 God honored his self-discipline in site of officials. Again God is orchestrating his purposes consistent with the decisions Daniel is making. We can never figure out God’s plans. Our job is to make decisions based on our understanding of Bible and God’s job to take these decisions and weave them together into the working out of His purposes. We should never try and figure out God’s plan, what it is He is doing.
10-13 Here commander fears losing his head. Why? Because he assumed kings food better then Daniels vege diet. Most people assume what accepted by general society is true. Society used to believe smoking fashionable and harmless, that eating lots of red meat good for you, that no seatbelts necessary. On larger scale, that world was flat, or that life spontaneously comes from non-life. Daniel does not get his convictions from what others believe! He says ‘test us”. In all his dealings with his pagan world he never asks them to have blind faith or mysticism. Daniel proves everything. Everyone being vege not a biblical virtue. Point is not that everyone eat only veges. Daniel had a diet that was stricter than Mosaic law.
14-17 The test worked 14-16. Daniel and his 3 friends were in the world but not of the world but that did not mean that they did not learn the wisdom and ways of the world. They were not ignorant of their pagan world. Yet they were godly in the midst of their knowledge of the ungodly. So secret to godly character was not in avoiding knowledge of world. The problem is not in knowing the world, It is in knowing that the world is wrong. Not becoming like it. Daniel was also given special ability to understand visions & dreams important for later book. (1) Personally order your life around scripture while understanding godless society which you live (Mt ; Jn ). (2) Be both biblical & relevant. Easier be relevant if don’t try to be biblical. Easier to be biblical if don’t try to be relevant. Mature one is both. The impact of Daniel’s righteousness was its relevance. (3) Learn from past and know future. Aware & focus on our origin and our destiny. But the purpose of this perspective is to impact our own generation with the purpose of God Acts 13:22.