Summary: Daniel shows us how we can live out our faith in the real world!
• SLIDE #1
• Today we as we explore chapter 18 of The Story we will being dealing with a chapter that hits us as close to where we live than any other thus far.
• Living out our faith in a society that is getting increasingly more hostile to Christians and Christian values is not easy.
• Living out your faith can be very challenging and in chapter 18 of The Story which covers an overview of the book of Daniel, we will see four young men who in 605 BC were carted off to Babylon.
• Last week we talked of the final fall of Jerusalem in 586-587 BC, but before that there were two other deportations in Judah, the first in 605 where Daniel and his friends were taken along the best and brightest of the southern kingdom.
• In 597 there were over 10,000 taken into captivity and the final deportation took place in 586 BC where all that was left were the poorest of the poor.
• When Babylon took Daniel and his three friends, Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar wanted the elite, brightest, best looking to serve in his court.
• Daniel (Belteshazzer) Hanniah (Shadrach), Mishael (MY SHE AL) (Meshach), and Azariah (Abednego) would be part of this group.
• Daniel 1:3-4 gives us insight.
• SLIDE #2
• Daniel 1:3–4 (NIV) 3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz (ASH PEN AS), chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility—4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.
• So here we have, four boys in a strange land, with no support network, np parents, nothing!
• Pet tells us in 1 Peter 1:1, that we too are strangers in a foreign land. In chapter 2 verse 11-12 he writes…
• SLIDE #3
• 1 Peter 2:11–12 (NIV) Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
• So, four boys in a foreign land, let’s see how they faced up to the challenge of living out their faith in the real world they lived in!
• SLIDE #4
I. Daniel and his three friends were willing to trust God.
• Daniel and his friends are going to be put to the test in what seems like a small thing, their diet!
• SLIDE #5
• Daniel 1:5–6 (NIV) 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service. 6 Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael (MY SHE AL) and Azariah.
• These young boys are in Babylon, no family, no support network, then they are given new names, but it does not seem all bad, they are going to be given food and wine from the Kings table!
• By the way, Daniel and his friends were probably about 15 years old when all this starts to take place!
• They were at least going to be well-fed, or will they?
• Daniel has a problem with the food situation.
• SLIDE #6
• Daniel 1:8 (NIV) But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
• I wonder if Daniel’s friends were saying, hey, be quiet!
• This seems like something small, just eat the food and be thankful that you are eating well!
• Will God care if you compromise on the issue of food?
• That is how it usually starts, small compromise along the path until one day we have nothing left to compromise.
• For Daniel, there was no compromising what he knew to be wrong in the site of God, not matter if he understood why it upset God or not!
• So how does Daniel deal with it? GRACIOUSLY!
• He did not stomp into the next room and give the chief official a piece of his mind, he respectfully spoke with the official.
• The official was reluctant to do what Daniel asked because he reasoned that if they looked sickly, he would lose his life!
• So Daniel makes the official a deal. A 10 day test. Give us vegetables and water to drink. IF we look bad, then we will eat the Kings food.