Stand Resolutely for the Lord
Resolutely: in an admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering manner
The Lord empowers Christians to stand firm in the face if opposition.
The lesson is based on the example of David the prophet, who remained faithful to God living in a thoroughly idolatrous culture. Daniel was born into an unidentified family of Jewish nobility in Judah, about 622 BC. As a youth, probably 17 years of age, he was deported to Babylon along with other Jewish captives taken by King Nebuchadnezzar, in 605 BC. There, Daniel and his Jewish colleagues were faced with the issue of how to maintain their loyalty to God in an evil idolatrous Society. The wise choices Daniel made in this environment to remain faithful to God, are a challenge to us to be loyal to God, regardless of the environment we find ourselves in.
GOLDEN TEXT: 1Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
I. ALWAYS HONOR GOD
A. Exiled in an Idolatrous Land
Daniel 1: 3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes;
5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
…….In 605 BC, king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon laid siege to Judah taking all the gold and a large number of slaves. Many of Judah’s finest young men, including Daniel at around age 17, was deported to babylon.
In Babylon the young Jewish males brought from Judah we’re thoroughly educated in all knowledge and culture of the Babylonians. Their three years of rigorous training included a special diet of meat and wine from the king’s table which, it was believed, would promote the best physical and mental health of the young captives.
B. Be Loyal to God
8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
…….This was a man who stayed true to his convictions at all cost.
Having the opportunity to eat from the Royal menu, many would have called that a blessing from God. Ut Daniel was loyal to the vows consistently.
9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
…….When you are loyal to God, he will stay loyal to you.
10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.
…….We must obey God, no matter who’s feelings are in the way. Though Daniel had a great relationship with his master, he never let man’s relationship get in the way of God’s.
C. Proving God’s Will
11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.
…….Daniel knew where the king’s meat was from, meat offered to idols. Having this knowledge, he refused to partake, made a deal with his eunuch master, and proved that God was on his side.
…….When we take the necessary steps with our commitment to God, he will prove his favor in our life.
II. ALWAYS DO WHATS RIGHT
A. Daniel Promoted
Daniel 6:1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;
2 And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.
3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
…….God used Daniel in such a way, that a secular king trusted in his wisdom, knowledge and advise. God trusted Daniel simply because Daniel trusted God. We prove our trust in God by living in obedience to him
B. Daniel Envied and Hated
4 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
……. Anytime you are used by God, there will always be someone out there that is envious of you and/or your ministry. Always know that you are a vessel of God and the enemy will use the tools necessary to fight. Your weapons of warfare are far more powerful.
5 Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
…….How many of you have been attacked, and the route was your salvation and morals.
Many people will try to contradict your standard and religious morals, and try to prove they are meaningless. This is the importance of knowing scripture and knowing why you are what you are!
On of the most humiliating experience is to be fooled by sinners in the company of their own.
6 Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.
7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
…….The enemy has his tactics, and in this time we must stay true with temperance and let God prove himself in us like every other time.
C. Daniel Remains True to God
8 Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
9 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree.
10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
…….In the time of persecution, always do what you’ve always done. The accusers are always trying to get an emotion out of the saint. This is the time we must stay calm and let God take complete control.
III. TRUST GOD TO KEEP YOU
A. Evil Conspiracy Against Daniel
12 Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
13 Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.
14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.
15 Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.
16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
…….Daniel’s relationship with God was so evident and proving, that even the Persian King trusted in God. If his relationship was with Daniel alone, not knowing God would deliver, he may have rejected the decree on Daniel’s behalf and God would have never gotten the glory. What a thought.
17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.
……. Sometimes our relationship will cause us to go through the storm, but holding onto God, we will never feel the waves!
B. God Protects Daniel
18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.
19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?
21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.
22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
23 Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.
……. We call Daniel deliverance from the Lions “a miracle from God,” because a man not being eaten by hungry Lions is not expected. While there is only one Miracle of this kind in the Bible the fact is, God is our protector who keeps us in life everyday we live, for he is The Giver of Life, breath, and all things to all people.
Even though they may roar at times, God will always protect us from the mouth of the lion. Thank God for this.
C. Daniel Vindicated
24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.
25 Then king Darius wrote unto all nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.
27 He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
……. The Vindication of God’s people is when he causes events to occur so as to demonstrate they have his favor and are right to be loyal to him. While our Vindication need not be as dramatic, and tragic for others, as in Daniel’s case, it is encouraging to know God is with us, for us, and in all things he is working for our good.