SF437 - Daniel And His Decision (Daniel 1 8-21)
Daniel And His Decision
We find Daniel and his three friends in the midst of a foreign land, captives in a cruel kings court. They are faced with a problem. They have been chosen to be trained (brainwashed) to be officials in the King's administration.
Part of their training includes a special diet that includes food and drink offered to the idols of Babylon.
Therefore, Daniel and his friends were faced with a life changing, do or die decision. Would they go against all they had been taught as children and submit to the peer pressure, cultural pressure, social pressure, and King's pressure.
You will find that by the time most of you are 20 you will have made the majority of your life shaping decisions. Statistics say that the majority of Christians are saved before they are 20. You will decide on careers, mates, friends, habits, and churches all while you are in your teens. These are critical days you must make carefully and prayerfully each of life's decisions. Because the decision you make today you will live with for the rest of your life.
It is by making the right kind of decisions that we can conquer captivity. Let's see how Daniel did this.
1A. CONCRETE CONVICTIONS (v.8-10)
1B. Based on God's Word
Unclean food: Not prepared according to the Mosaic law
Ungodly food: Offered to idols.
Unholy drink: Fermented wine
Proverbs 20:1 "Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise."
Proverbs 23:29-32 "Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? 30 Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. 31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! 32 In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper."
2B. Believed in Daniel's Heart (v.8a)
Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."
Resolved = This decision came from the depth of Daniel's soul. - "Laid upon his heart
3B. Blessed by God's Hand (v.9-10)
"Favor" = loving kindness
"Sympathy" = tender, soft, compassion.
2A. FEARLESS FAITH (v.11-16)
1B. Proven when Tested (v.11-14)
1 Peter 1:6-7 "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."
2B. Produces a Testimony (v.15,16)
"Who you serve will eventually show on your face."
3A. GOD'S GRACIOUS GIFTS (v.17-21)
1B. Intellectual Achievements (v.17)
"Knowledge" = science; acquisition of facts
"Understanding" = seeing things from God's pt. of view
2B. Spiritual Insights (v.17b)
understand visions and dreams
Psalms 119:97-99 "Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. 98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. 99 I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes."
3B. Social Standing (v.18-20)
4B. Personal Success (v.21)
Ties in with 1:8
Daniel lived and served God for over 70 years. (605-539)
Cyrus freed the Hebrews - Daniel may have drawn up these papers
1. Today's decisions will determine tomorrow's directions.
2. Inner conviction can overcome external pressures to compromise.
3. God honoring convictions yield God-given rewards.