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Where to draw the line

Daniel 1:1-21, Psalm 121:1-8, Andrew Love, April 29, 2018


Sermon Notes:

Introduction

  • An extremely encouraging book
    • Chapter 1 is a great encouragement
    • God preserves these four men in exile
    • We should remember these four men when the world is encroaching in increasing measure
    • God can still use individuals when there is no revival
    • Look at first 6 chapter, then a break, then return to the final 6 chapters
    • We should not be ruled by numbers - consider these four young men
  • Do you wish that you were somewhere else?
    • The young men were in a terrible place
    • Are we in a bad situation?
    • Do we wish things could be different for us?
  • Overview:
    • Understand the Background
    • Where they drew the line
    • Graciously making a stand

Understand the Background

  • The promise given to Abraham
    • One man, made into a nation, dwelling in the land
    • What happened - explanation
    • Blessings and curses proclaimed by God
    • God was very patient with the Israelites
    • 722BC - Israel was captured by Assyria
    • Over 100 years later Judah was captured by Babylon
  • What did it mean for these four young men?
    • Examples
    • It was extremely difficult to go into the court - huge implications
    • They were going to a pagan King who worshiped false Gods (v2)
    • They were in a court of magicians and astrologers
    • They were likely young adolescents (and impressionable)
  • The King had a strategy
    • He was seeking to extend his kingdom
    • He took the brightest of the conquered people and took them into his court
    • He trained them for 3 years
    • They were to learn Babylonian and absorb their culture
    • He wanted them to forget their Jewishness and become Babylonian
    • He sent them on an intensive course (v4)
  • Worldliness
    • Biblical definition
    • Owen Batstone and Stephen Clark - definition

Where they drew the line

  • Opening comments
  • Did they draw the line at:
    • Being given new names?
    • Studying different types of Babylonian literature?
  • The drew the line at the Kings' food and his delicacies
    • Daniel knew the food laws from the Old Testament
    • Was it that the food was offered to idols?
    • They didn't want to eat sumptuously as the King's table - they didn't want to be 'softened up'
    • Perhaps all three, but more likely the latter
  • Daniel takes charge and leads the other three people
    • Sometimes we need people like this
  • There are many battles
    • Example of university, work parties, entertainment
    • What is involved?
    • We are to keep ourselves unspotted from the world
  • Do we know where to draw the line?
    • Are we as courageous as these men?
    • Have we purposed not to go against God?

Graciously making a stand

  • Daniel was very gracious
    • Jeremiah 29:7
    • Daniel has already won over the favour of the Chief of the Eunuchs
    • Example of Joseph
  • He did not want to put the Chief in a bad position
    • v9-13
    • Daniel has faith in God
    • He asks the Chief to test them
      • We need to learn to be gracious in conflict
    • Daniel does not capitulate but quietly persists
      • It is the way we make our stand 
    • Daniel passes this test
      • The steward complied with their request
  • Daniel is found to be ten times more wise that all of Nebuchadnezzar's court
    • May we grown in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus
    • Part of our growth is making a stand
    • No blemish in his stand - it stands them in good stead for more difficult tests
    • Stand now and God will build character and strength in you
    • We need to ask God for help and grace to stand
  • God will honour those who honour Him

About Andrew Love: Pastor at Tabor Church


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« Mature Christian Character Waiting on the Lord The Conversion of Zacchaeus »

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