Summary: This message uses the life of Daniel and his three Hebrew friends to challenge youth to live by Biblical convictions and not compromise to the values of the world.
Youth of Biblical Convictions
-Commitment not Conformity-
Today we are honoring our High School graduates. We are proud of all our youth in the Willow Vale Church. We are praying for God’s best in all their lives.
Today youth face the challenge of maintaining their Christian faith in public schools and colleges that are more secular than Christian. In fact many public school teachers are prejudiced against Christians. Educators who claim to be tolerant are completely intolerant toward Christians.
Dr. James Kennedy in his book, “What if America were a Christian Nation Again?” gives several examples of intolerance.
• A student in Utah was told to cover his Bible when he brings it to school.
• Christian students in Missouri have been told they may not pray over their meals.
• A public school bus driver in New York was fired for witnessing to a student when he answered the student’s questions about religion and gave him a Bible.
Who do you think make the following statement? “I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today; for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words… When I was a boy, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint.”
Did Governor Swartzenager, Mayor Gonzales, or Senator Boxer, give this quote. No, it wasn’t any of them. The quote is from the 8th Century Greek Historian Hesiod.
Regardless of the time-line of history Biblical truth is relevant to every age.
The story of Daniel and his three Hebrew friends lived 2,500 years ago. The story is about teenagers who lived lives without compromise. They demonstrated God honoring convictions.
From the Biblical account of Daniel and his three friends we learn basic truths on how to become people of Biblical convictions.
People of Biblical convictions ….
I. Do Not Conform to the Values of the World.
Nebuchadnezzar had conquered Judah but when his father died he gathered treasures and took hostages with him back to Babylon. Among the hostages were Daniel and his three Hebrew friends. They were forced to travel 1,500 miles to Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar turned over the young men to his chief officer. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. The kind 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.”
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abdnego remained loyal to their God and were committed to the values of God’s Word and lived according to the Ten Commandments.
Daniel 1:8: “But Daniel (along with his three friends) resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and win, and he (Daniel) asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.”
With unshakable conviction, holy daring and delicate finesse of courtesy Daniel and his companions revealed their extraordinary gifts of wisdom and character. Whether they should eat the king’s food was much more than a questions of expedience or health. It related to the integrity of their vows of consecration as Hebrews to the God of Israel. The ceremonial significance of food even when just a part of the meat was dedicated to the pagan gods of Babylon would mean compromising their faith in the Lord God and the laws given by God to Moses. Regardless of the cost they would not defile themselves by eating any food dedicated to false gods.
Daniel and his friends were committed to living a life without compromise. They were youth of biblical convictions.
Daniel requested that their guard serve them only vegetables and water to eat for ten days. If after ten days they were not as healthy as the others in training then they would look at other options. At the end of ten days Daniel and the other young men looked healthier than any of those eating the royal food. So the guard did not force them to eat the king’s diet but continued to serve them vegetables instead.
Daniel and his friends based their convictions on God’s Word. Leviticus 11 – 17 outlines God’s commands concerning eating clean or unclean food. The true Jew only ate kosher food.
It’s helpful to distinguish between personal convictions and Biblical convictions.
Personal Convictions come from family, community, and are often based on personal tastes and preferences.
There are various convictions on how to spend your Sabbath or Sunday. For those who work on Sunday they need to find another day to celebrate their Sabbath. For most of us our Sabbath is also on Sunday.
Biblical Convictions have clear teaching in the Bible. The Ten Commandments are clear. You don’t need a conviction to not commit adultery or lie or steal. Biblical convictions determine why you do some things and don’t do others.