Summary: Daniel had not only the respect of his superiors but sometimes their friendship as well. What can Darius teach us about friendship?
Griffith Baptist Church – 4/27/08
Text: Daniel 6:16-18
Main Verse: Daniel 6:18 - Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep went from him.
Sam Davis was a Confederate spy executed at Pulaski, Tennessee, for his crime.
When captured by the Union army, he had in his possession some papers of vital importance. After examining the case closely, the officers in charge knew he must have had an accomplice in securing the papers. He was court-martialed, led out before the firing squad and blindfolded. Then the officer in charge put forward a proposition: "If you will give us the name of the man who furnished you this information, you may go free." Sam Davis did not hesitate in his reply, "If I had a thousand lives I would give them all before I would betray a friend." "Loyalty thou are indeed a gem, seldom found in the hearts of men." Most of us would be better off if we had a friend like Sam Davis.
Each of us have developed friends over the years
Each one means something special to us
There are different depths of friendships
Darius became not only respectful of Daniel but in these verses has something to teach us about friendship.
Transition Statement: First, friends are loyal to each other.
1. True Friendships Are Loyal
A. Darius was up all night over his friend, Daniel (18)
B. Constant, faithful, steadfast, true
C. In a survey of more than 40,000 Americans these qualities were most valued in a friend: 1. the ability to keep confidences, 2. loyalty, 3. warmth and affection. Psychology Today, quoted in June, 1982 Homemade
D. A loyalty that doesn’t waver - Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity
E. A loyalty that is willing to sacrifice - John 15:13-17 - 13“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 14“You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15“No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17“This I command you, that you love one another.
i. "Loyalty means nothing, unless it has at its heart the absolute principle of sacrifice."
ii. Serving love
iii. Sacrificial love
Transition Statement: Second, friends are supportive of one another through thick and thin.
2. True Friendships Are Supportive
A. Darius spent the night fasting (18)
B. Helpful, kind, caring, sympathetic
C. Supportive in conversation - Psalms 15:3 – He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach (evil) against his friend; (verse 1 - LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?)
D. Supportive in supply - Luke 11:5-8 – 5Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8“I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
i. Friends know who they can go to in time of need
ii. Friends don’t mind persistence in friends
iii. Friends sometimes may be an aggravation but they are blessing in the end.
E. Supportive in distress - Job 6:14 - “For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.
i. Friends try to discourage discouragement
ii. Friends treat with kindness and compassion those who are oppressed
iii. Friends realize that discouragement could lead some people to abandon their faith, and this they cannot allow to happen.
Transition Statement: Not only are friends loyal and supportive, but they are forever honest with each other
3. True Friendships Are Honest
A. Darius gave a true and honest account to Daniel and tried to encourage him (16)