Summary: It is easy to compromise—to live as the world lives. But, God has called us to courage—to honor Him, regardless of the pressure or persecution this world affords.
Live to Honor God
1. This evening I will begin an intense journey through the Book of Daniel.
2. The Book of Daniel demonstrates that God is in Control—the control of our destinies, of governments, and nations.
3. The nation of Israel and their sin led them into destruction.
1. Daniel 1:1-7 “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his god. 3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles, 4 youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king’s court; and he ordered him to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. 5 The king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the king’s personal service. 6 Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah Shadrach, to Mishael Meshach and to Azariah Abed-nego.”
2. 2 Corinthians 5:7 “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
1. It is easy to compromise—to live as the world lives. But, God has called us to courage—to honor Him, regardless of the pressure or persecution this world affords.
2. This evening I want to show you, through the life of a godly man, by the name of Daniel, how we can live a life that honors God.
I. Honor the Conviction of Your Heart.
1. Make the decision to serve and honor God.
2. Daniel 1:8 “But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.”
3. Make the decision regardless of the possible outcomes.
a. Daniel could have been forced to eat the king’s food.
b. Daniel could have suffered punishment, including death, for even suggesting that he avoid eating the king’s food.
c. Daniel chose to honor God by doing what was right in God’s eyes.
d. The outcome, however, proved favorable to Daniel and his friends.
e. Daniel 1:9 “Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials.”
4. Make the decision, but respect those that may not understand.
a. Illustration: A student at a Bible College became angry when his new roommate placed on the wall of their room a poster of a car. The student had a problem with lust, and the poster of a car reminded him of posters that he had of cars with scantily clad women. He insisted that the poster be torn down, without explaining to his roommate the details of his past.
b. Daniel appreciated the predicament that the king’s official was in.
c. Daniel 1:10-12 “And the commander of the officials said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would make me forfeit my head to the king.” 11 But Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink.”
a. Daniel knew in his heart what he needed to do.
b. Honoring the convictions of your heart is usually not an easy endeavor; however, to dismiss those convictions will promote a life yielding to temptation, sin, and compromise.
c. But, Daniel chose the path that honors God.
d. This leads us to the second truth of this passage. We are to…
II. Live by Faith
1. Daniel not only honored the convictions of his heart, he lived those convictions by trusting God.
2. Daniel 1:12-13 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 “Then let our appearance be observed in your presence and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king’s choice food; and deal with your servants according to what you see.”