Week of November 5, 2020
Daniel 1:8, 3:16-17, 6:10 (NKJV) — 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
As captives in a foreign land, many times Daniel and his friends are placed in extreme situations where they had to decide to follow the rules of the king or follow God. They never defiled themselves or went against God’s commands. Where they were able, they found a solution that appeased the king and also honored God. We also should look for such a solution when possible. They never went along with something they knew was wrong to take the easy way out or draw attention to themselves, even facing death.
What was it that gave Daniel and his friends the courage and strength not to compromise their walk with the LORD and how can you have this same courage and strength when facing an extreme situation?
How has God blessed you and carried you through a tough situation?
Daniel 1:15, 2:45, 3:25, 4:36 (NKJV) — 1:15 And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. 2:45 Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.” 3:25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” 4:36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me.
Daniel’s writings show us that God is always in control of and in charge of all situations. God puts kings and leaders in place and God removes kings and leaders. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves before God will be delivered!!
Can you recall a time where God lifted you up and delivered you or humbled you and brought you down?
Have you been comforted through a tough situation because you knew and trusted that God was in control?
Daniel 6:4-5 (NKJV) — 4 So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”
Daniel had a pure image before the world because of his relationship and devotion to God. Jesus said in John 15:18-19, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” Daniel’s integrity would not allow him to bow down to the world. Daniel’s integrity consisted of an excellent attitude, faithfulness in his work, personal purity, and a consistent walk with God. Daniel’s faithfulness invited his persecution.
Do you demonstrate these four characteristics of Daniel’s integrity enough to both benefit from them in your life and potentially receive persecution from others as a result?