Summary: Christians should not conform to the ways of this world.
HOW TO PREVENT COMPROMISING
Believers are commanded not to conform to the ways of this world. READ Romans 12:1-2. Conforming to the pattern of this world means to be in accord or agreement with the principles of this world. Christians should not agree or follow the ways of this world. Instead we should be transformed in to the image of Christ.
How can Christians resist the pressure of compromising?
Let us study the life of Daniel and learn from his example of maintaining his position of non-conformity to the ways of his world. Please open your bibles to Daniel 1:1-21. (READ THE TEXT)
As you read the passage, note the following facts regarding the situation of Daniel and his friends in Babylon.
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieged the land of Judah and God delivered King Jehoiakim into his hand.
King Nebuchadnezzar ordered Ashpenaz to select young men to be trained for three years and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
One of them, Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine.
Resolve – to reach as a decision or intention; take a firm stand or decision.
Defile – corrupt, contaminate, dishonor, desecrate, disgrace his life.
Royal food and wine – these foods were used in heathen worship.
How was Daniel able to sustain his godly convictions? What can we learn from Daniel as an uncompromising person?
A. PREVENT YOUR NEW LIFE SITUATIONS TO CHANGE YOUR FAITH IN GOD. (vv. 1-7)
Note how Daniel’s restrained his new life situations in changing his faith in God.
Imagine Daniel and his friends being snatched from their lovely homes in Jerusalem and moved to faraway Babylon. Since all of them were princes, belonging to the royal family, they were probably not accustomed to this kind of treatment.
From being dignitaries to that of being detainees. But these young men did not behave as detainees and criminals. They maintained their integrity as the people of God.
In the same way, let us not allow changes in our life status affect our godly conviction and character. These new status includes job promotion, unemployment, immigration status, 18 years of age and etc.
Daniel and his friends were place in a totally new spiritual environment. They are no longer surrounded by spiritual people and activities. Despite of these, they did not compromise their faith.
Some Christians the moment they move from home, from the presence of their godly loved ones, and the church they rejoice at the opportunity to “let down their spiritual guard”; but not so with Daniel and his friends.
New Literacy For Daniel and his friends, the old Jewish wisdom had to go; from now on it would be the wisdom of the world, the wisdom of Babylon. They had to learn the wisdom and the language of their captors. The king hoped that this “brainwashing” would make better servants out of them.
God’s people often have to study things that do not agree with God’s Word. Like Daniel and his friends, we should do our best but let us not abandon our faith. Let us not give up our godly heritage.
For the next three years, the four youths were supposed to eat the king’s diet, which, of course, was contrary to the dietary laws of the Jews. No doubt the food was also offered to the idols of the land, and for the Hebrew youths to eat it would be blasphemy.
Their names, which were coined from their Hebrew God, were changed in relation to heathen god. Daniel (“God is my judge”) was changed to Belteshazzar (“Bel protect his life”). Bel was the name of a Babylonian god.
Hananiah (“Jehovah is gracious”) became Shadrach (“the command of the moon god”); Mishael (“Who is like God?”) became Meshach (“who is like Aku,” one of the heathen gods); and Azariah (“Jehovah is my helper”) became Abednego (“the servant of Nego,” another heathen god).
The Babylonians hoped that these new names would help the youths forget their God and gradually become more like the heathen people with whom they were living and studying.
So you see, their new situations in life did not cause them to compromise their godly heritage and faith. We need to adapt to certain culture but our Christian principles and values should not be sacrificed.
B. MAINTAIN YOUR CONVICTION THAT GOD’S WAYS ARE BETTER THAN MAN’S WAYS. (vv. 8-16)
The Babylonians could change Daniel’s home, textbooks, menu, and name, but they could not change his heart. He and his friends decided in their hearts that they would obey God’s Word; they refused to become conformed to the world.
Of course, they could have made excuses and “gone along with” the crowd. They might have said, “Everybody’s doing it!” or “We had better obey the king!” or “We’ll obey on the outside but keep our faith privately.” But they did not compromise.