"DARE TO BE A DANIEL"
The Bible is filled with all kinds of examples of godly men and women who are worthy of our emulation and Daniel is certainly one of the characters. Daniel was a man who obtained preeminence and power in his lifetime all because he remained faithful to God. Even as very young man most likely a teenager he stood out from the majority of the children of Israel as he was hand picked to be trained to the serve the king. We can read about this in,
Dan 1: 3 Then
the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the
children of Israel and some of the king's descendants and some of the nobles, 4
young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all
wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to
serve in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the language and
literature of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed for them a daily
provision of the king's delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three
years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might
serve before the king. 6 Now from among those of the sons of
Not only did Daniel and his 3 friends stand out from the children of Israel we find out that they even stood out from all of the wise men in the land as we read in,
Dan 1:17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
19 Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king.
20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.
Another thing we learn about Daniel is that
he gained great power over all of
2: 48 Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; and he made
him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all
the wise men of
All though it was short lived Daniel also received power over the kingdom under King Nebuchadnezzar son Belshazzar (bell-shaz-zur) as we read in,
Dan 5: 29 Then Belshazzar (bell-shaz-zur) gave the command, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a chain of gold around his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Then finally he also received similar power over the Medo-Persian empire in,
Daniel 6:1 It pleased Darius (duh-rye-us) to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; 2 and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. 3 Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.
28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius (duh-rye-us) and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
So as you can see Daniel life from his youth and beyond he managed to gain high positions of power and he was able to influence those around him in Godly way without ever compromising his faithfulness to God. How did he do it? Well I believe that the book of Daniel reveals to us the secret of his faithfulness and it will teach us as Christians today on how we can be successful in today world with selling our souls to the devil.
The first thing I want to point out is that even as a very young man Daniel was a man of purpose.
Dan 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.
Now I want you to think about how brave and dedicated Daniel was at this time. Here he was a young boy in strange land and now he was being faced with a dilemma. Should he stand his ground and abide by God law or should he violate that law and eat the king’s food? Well despite his youth and the tremendous pressure toy conform, Daniel "purposed in his heart" to uphold the law of God, no matter what the cost and because of his willingness to put God first, God granted Daniel favor in the sight of others as,
Dan 1: 9 Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs.
Exactly how God did this is not explained however this same thing happened in the case of Joseph as well after he was sold into slavery by his brothers,
39:1 Now Joseph had been taken down to
Here we see that even as a slave God was with Joseph and made him successful. Then of course we know because of Potiphar’s wife lies about Joseph trying to attack here he finds himself in prison yet the Lord is still with him as we read in,
Gen. 39:21 But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. 23 The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph's authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.
You see by these two men purposing in the heart to put God first in their lives God blessed them in such a way that could be successful and be able to have favorably impression on others
Like these two men every child of God need to be a person of purpose. No one respects a "wishy-washy" person, someone who has no direction in their lives because they cant be trusted. However, when someone has a strong sense of purpose people will respect them and admire their qualities because they are reliable and trustworthy. I believe that Jesus makes it very clear what the purpose of every Christian should be in,
6:33 "But seek first the
You see as Christians we should always try and seek to Gods bidding first no matter what the circumstance and just as Jesus promised, we will find favor in the site of God and we will most likely gain favor in the eyes of those around us.
So, will you dare to be a Daniel and be a person with a
purpose like he had? No matter how young
or old you may be, it is never too late to "seek first the
Not only did Daniel have a strong sense of purpose, he was also a man of principle because he refused to compromise his convictions. For example as we read earlier in Dan. 1:8 as a young man, he refused to eat the king's meat or drink his wine. Also as a old as an old man, he refused the gifts of King Belshazzar (bell-shaz-zur) the son of King Nebuchadnezzar.
Do you remember how a hand appeared and wrote on the wall and the King Belshazzar (bell-shaz-zur) offered up a lot gifts and power to whoever could tell him what the writing meant but Daniel interpreted it for free.
Dan 5: 13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The
king spoke, and said to Daniel, "Are you that Daniel who is one of
the captives from Judah, whom my father the king brought from
15 "Now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but they could not give the interpretation of the thing. 16 "And I have heard of you, that you can give interpretations and explain enigmas. Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom."
17 Then Daniel answered, and said before the king, "Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another; yet I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation.
Daniel was even of man of principle when his life was in danger as he refused to obey the decree of Darius (duh-rye-us) not to pray.
6: 10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in
his upper room, with his windows open toward
You see it didn’t matter what the circumstance was Daniel would not comprise his principles and we certainly need more people like that today. Weather you believe it or not people admire a person of principle. Now outwardly they may ridicule them, but inwardly they wish they had the same intestinal fortitude, and when they need someone that can be trusted, and dependable. They will turn to a person with principle every single time because they know they can rely on such a person.
God also admires individuals who are willing to stand by their principles, and by their words as David says in,
Psa 15:1 … who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? 2 He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart; 3 He who does not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend; 4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the LORD; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change; 5 He who does not put out his money at usury, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.
Our society is in great need of people with principle. Those who "Dare To Be A Daniel", and demonstrate by example the value of being led by "principle" rather than by "price", are not only highly valued by God but also by their fellow man.
But having purpose and principle is not all that we need. Another element for true success is needed and that element can be seen in the fact that Daniel was a man of purity. You see no matter how hard they tried his opponents could not find any fault with him. For instance he was faultless when it came to managing his business affairs –
Dan 6: 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.
This certainly helps explain why he rose to positions of great responsibility and power. Of course, his purity in his business affairs was always related to his overall purpose to please God first and the fact that he was a man of principle meant that he could be trusted
We are also taught as Christians that we are people of purity in our conduct weather we are young or we are old. Notice what Paul says,
1 Ti 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Titus 2:6 Likewise exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.
Paul also instructs the slaves of day to pure in the conduct with their masters in,
Ti 2:9 Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
You see people who maintain purpose, principle and purity in their dealings with others are often given positions of great responsibility and privilege, because they can be trusted to use their positions wisely.
So far in this lesson we have learned that [Daniel was a man of purpose, principle, and purity (and how the world needs more like him!). But the element that tied all of these other elements together making in possible for Daniel to be successful as a faithful servant of God is the fact that Daniel was a man of prayer. Once again lets revisit
6: 10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home.
And in his upper room, with his windows open toward
Now in this chapter we have already learned that Daniel had been promoted to one top the governors and that the king had even thought about putting Daniel over everything and this made the people made and jealous and since they couldn’t find anything wrong with Daniels service as Governor they had to get creative. So the fool King Darius (duh-rye-us) into signing a decree that no man could petition anyone except the king for the next 30 days or they will be cast into the lions den. Well, these men trick the king and we must understand by their laws once the king signed a law not even the king himself could change it. These men knew that Daniel would pray to his God and so they thought they found a solution to their problem and sure enough Daniel prayed to God as it was his custom to do.
We see that he knelt in prayer, which was a demonstration of his humility. We also learned that he prayed three times daily, a demonstration of his continual dependence upon God. Daniels prayers were a "custom since early days", demonstrating his persistence and faithfulness in his service to God.
Even though Daniel knew that he was putting his life in danger he did not care because he trusted in God as he prayed and of course we know how the story ends. Daniel is thrown into the lions den but God makes shuts the lions mouth and Daniel is spared. So sure we can see that Daniels consistent prayer life helped him to remain a man of purpose, principle and purity, despite his rise to power and preeminence over the empire?
We would do well today to follow Daniel’s example and be people of prayer. One writer makes this comment.
"Let us learn the lesson that the finest of God's servants must maintain regular and fixed prayer habits in order to continue steadfast in devotion to the Lord." (Strauss)
The NT teaches us over and over again the importance of prayer. For instance Paul tells us to,
1 Th 5:17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
And one of my person favorites is in,
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
If we find ourselves falling short of living our lives as people with purpose, principle, and purity then it may be the case that we are failing because we have an undisciplined prayer life.
So are we willing to "Dare To Be A Daniel" in regards to prayer?
In conclusion there is a false assumption out there that says in order to get ahead in the world you must be willing to conform to the sinful practices of the world. However as we learned in our lesson about Daniel we can see that this simply is not true. In fact there are many Christians today who dare to be a Daniel that continue to be successful in this world with out selling there souls to the devil.
How about you? Will you "Dare To Be A Daniel" by becoming a person of:
I hope that you will and I hope that this lesson has encouraged you to do so.
This lesson was adapted from Mark C.