3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: The reason we should dare to be a Daniel is because Daniel trusted that God was in control – even in foreign territory, even when challenged, and even when tried.

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All scripture is quoted from the New Living Translation.

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In 1876 a Chicago Sunday School teacher named Philip Paul Bliss wrote a song to help teach his students the book of Daniel.

Some of you learned it as a child:

"Dare to be a Daniel,

Dare to stand alone!

Dare to have a purpose firm!

And dare to make it known!"

This song summarizes the message of Daniel not just for Sunday School children but also for the ancient Hebrew people– the Jews to whom this book was first read.

Except, that it wasn’t just about daring to be like Daniel. I mean, the people who were hearing these stories for the first time – were going thru tough times. They were captives in Babylon or were facing one of the other challenges that followed their return to Judah. Life was difficult. The enemies were big. The fields had been fallow for 70 plus years.

There were a lot of questions about how they could trust God – after all he had sent them into foreign exile for all those years. And the message of the book of Daniel is a response to these doubts and to these difficult times.

"Dare to be a Daniel,

Dare to stand alone!

Dare to have a purpose firm!

And dare to make it known!"

Dare to go for it!

But not just because we’re inspired by great heros like Daniel – but because thru the stories of Daniel we see that God really is in control.

The reason we should dare to be a Daniel is because Daniel trusted that God was in control. This is the key point this morning.

The point of the story isn’t his wisdom or his bravery but that he had all of those things because he recognized who was in charge of the universe and he acted accordingly.

And as such he is a model for modern day believers, too.

Wednesday will be the first anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks. We’ll be remembering the horror and the heros.

And I’m sure that those memories are still fresh in your mind – where you were, what you were doing, how you felt – disbelief, anger, and that sense that things are out of control.

Tragedies happen...

People die...

The things we hold dearly are attacked...

But God is still in control and ultimately he wins! And since we know this – we can dare to be Daniels.

Dare to be a Daniel because Daniel trusted that God was in control – even in foreign territory.

That’s #1 – even in foreign territory.

So often we feel good about God and trusting him when everything is going well for us -- when we have good health -- when the people think that we’re brave heros -- when we’ve got a 20 game winning streak. But Daniel shines in foreign territory.

Note the unfavorable conditions – carted away from his homeland as a young man – forced to serve in the courts of foreign kings his whole adult life (all of whom seemed to have the brain capacity of turkey.) - threaten with death on occasion.

At the time of the lion story Daniel was in his 80’s or 90’s – without much hope that he would ever get to return to his homeland. Still, it’s in the midst of these less than ideal circumstances that he shines.

vs. 3 – “Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and princes. Because of his great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire.”

Kind of sounds like the story of Joseph, doesn’t it?

If you look back on the history of the Hebrew people you begin to realize that they spent a good portion of that history under foreign control or in foreign places -- Egypt, Babylon...

Life isn’t about having it together when everything is rosy – but how you deal with it when things aren’t working right -- when we’re in foreign territory.

Secondly, Daniel trusted that God was in control even when challenged.

All good people have critics.

People were not happy with Daniel. I mean, when you do well someone is going to get jealous and in Daniel’s case there seemed to be quite a few someones.

Vs. 4 – “Then the other administrators and princes began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling his affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize. He was faithful and honest and always responsible. So they concluded, ‘Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the requirements of his religion.’

“So the administrators and princes went to the king and said, “Long live King Darius! We administrators, prefects, princes, advisers, and other officials have

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