THE DANIEL DILEMMA
THE DANIEL DILEMMA - Part 1
(Daniel 1:4 - 6) 4 “Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men,” he said. “Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good judgment, and are suited to serve in the royal palace. Train these young men in the language and literature of Babylon.” 5 The king assigned them a daily ration of food and wine from his own kitchens. They were to be trained for three years, and then they would enter the royal service.6 Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men chosen, all from the tribe of Judah.
Effects of Culture
- Change your identity. [The devil will put a script to your life which God has never planned.]
(Daniel 1:7) The chief of staff renamed them with these Babylonian names:
Daniel was called Belteshazzar. [Daniel "God is my Judge"/Beteshazzar "Lady, protect the King"]
Pagan Culture - Gender confusion.
Hananiah was called Shadrach.[Yahweh has been gracious"/Shadrach "I am fearful of God"] Spiritual confusion.
Mishael was called Meshach. [Misheal "Who is what God is?"/Meshach "I am despise, contemptible and humiliated.]
Azariah was called Abednego.[ Azariah "Yahweh has helped"/Abednego "Servant of Neb"]
God has the right label for you. When culture shifts, we must know who we are.
- Compromise our standards.
Daniel 1:8"But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods."
He asked for permission. You can say I am bad but not as bad as that. When culture shifts, we must reaffirm our beliefs.
- Creates confrontations.
Daniel 1: 11 - 12 Daniel spoke with the attendant who had been appointed by the chief of staff to look after Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 12 “Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water,” Daniel said.
When culture shifts, we must respond in the right way.
The balance of the scale.
- You are wrong and I am right.
- God loves everybody just let them be.
- Balance of TRUTH and LOVE. John 1:14"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth".
Truth and Grace.
- Truth is God standards. (John 17:17)Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
- Grace is God's favour. (Ephesians 2:8 - 9) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Without truth, we will be corrupt. Without grace, we all condemned. We cannot out way the scales. Without truth, we become worldly. Without grace we become judgemental. So truth without grace is mean. But grace without truth is meaningless. But truth and grace is medicine. Grace invites us to be free. While truth set us free.
End: John 8:1 - 11
THE DANIEL DILEMMA - Part 2
John 17:15-16) My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.
The Babylon Mentality
(Genesis 11:4) Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves.”
(Genesis 11:9) That is why it was called Babel—because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world.
(Revelation 17:5) The name written on her forehead was a mystery: BABYLON THE GREAT.
THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
(Isaiah 47:8-10) “Now then, listen, you lover of pleasure, lounging in your security and saying to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.’ Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells. You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’”
“I am, and there is none besides me.”
God doesn’t love me.
God isn’t for me.
God wants too much from me.
(Daniel 4:34-37) At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
- I will exalt God.
(Psalm 145:1) I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name forever and ever.
- I will acknowledge God.
(1 Corinthians 4:7 LB) What are you so puffed up about? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if all you have is from God, why act as though you have accomplished something on your own?
- I will humble myself.
(James 4:10) Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.
THE DANIEL DILEMMA Part 3
(1 Corinthians 16:13-14) Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.
(Daniel 3:1-7) King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it. Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
Standing firm takes courage.
(Daniel 3:16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not worried about what will happen to us.”
Standing firm takes faith.
(Daniel 3:17-18 TLB) “If we are thrown into the flaming furnace, our God is able to deliver us; and he will deliver us out of your hand, Your Majesty. But if he doesn’t, please understand, sir, that even then we will never under any circumstance serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have erected."
Standing firm inspires others.
(Daniel 3:28-30) Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
Living a Stand-up Life in a Bow-down World
Stand in prayer.
(Ephesians 6:11) Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
(Ephesians 6:13-14) Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then…
Stand for my purpose.
(1 Corinthians 15:58) Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.
Stand for God.
(Matthew 10:32 Message) “Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven.”
(Colossians 3:1) …where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
(Acts 7:55-56) But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
When I stand, Jesus stands with me.
THE DANIEL DILEMMA Part 4
(Galatians 5:6) The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
(John 13:34-35) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
All I say is ineffective.
(1 Corinthians 13:1) If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
All I know is insignificant.
(1 Corinthians 13:2) If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge…
All I believe is insufficient.
(1 Corinthians 13:2) …if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
All I give is incomplete.
(1 Corinthians 13:3) If I give all I possess to the poor…
All I accomplish is inadequate.
(1 Corinthians 13:3) (If I) give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
(Daniel 6:1-5) It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel…”
(1 Corinthians 9:19) Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.
Set an example for them.
(Matthew 5:13-16) “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Share Christ with them.
(1 Peter 3:15-16) But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.