All In:  A Story of Winners and Losers

Pastor John Fenlason February 5, 2018

The Story #18

Daniel

In 2017 111.3 million people watched the Super Bowl in the US

A 30 second commercial during this year’s Super Bowl will cost an average of 5 million dollars

In 2017 138.48 million dollars was bet on the Super Bowl

Daniel 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.

Background

Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.

Daniel 1:3-4 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, 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.

Daniel 1:  Integrity vs. Compromise

Babylon provided a culture of power and indulgence

Isaiah 47:8 “Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures,
Who dwell securely,
Who say in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me;

The young men were immersed into the Babylonian culture

Daniel – “God is my judge” Belteshazzar – “Bel will protect”

Hananiah – “God has been gracious” Shadrach – “Inspired by Aku”

Mishael – “Who is what God is?” Meshach – “Belonging to Aku”

Azariah – “God has helped” Abednego – “Servant of Nego”

The rest of the young men brought to Babylon blended in with the culture

Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it – Rick Warren

Why they should not have eaten the king’s food:

Some would be declared unclean by the law of Moses

Some would have been offered to the Babylonian gods

Why obedience was a difficult choice:

To disobey would anger the king

To refuse would spoil the chance to advance

The food was delicious

No one back home would notice the compromise

God had seemed to fail them, why strive to serve Him?

Daniel 1:8a 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

Integrity – “entire” – Being the same person no matter where we are or who’s around

Results: 

No one was found like the four young men

They served before the king

They were 10 times wiser than any of the wise men of Babylon

Daniel 3:  Loyalty vs. Image

Nebuchadnezzar wanted everyone to notice and honor him

Daniel 3:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

Image building is an attempt to make impressions that we are bigger than we really are

Loyalty – Commitment demonstrated by actions and words

Daniel 3:16-18 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. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

Results:

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not burned and their clothes did not even smell smoky

God was praised and His power was recognized

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were promoted

Daniel 6:  Trustworthy vs. Self-seeking

The other leaders were concerned about their position and power

Daniel 6:3-4a 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. So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom;

Daniel was trustworthy

Daniel 6:4b-5 but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. 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.”

Trustworthy – “to be reliable, worthy of confidence”

He was a trustworthy employee of the king

He was a trustworthy servant of God

Results:

Daniel was protected from the lions

The wicked leaders were killed

Daniel was honored

God was praised

In My Life:

Daniel and his three friends stood out and impacted the world for God

In order to do the same is must:

Have integrity

Demonstrate loyalty

Be trustworthy

More Sermons

God’s Still, Small Voice

January 15, 2018

Lessons on Leadership

January 8, 2018

Right Choices / Wrong Choices

December 31, 2017

The Hope of a Star

December 17, 2017

Hope Altered

December 11, 2017

Hope of a Promise

December 4, 2017

A True Confession

November 27, 2017

The Story – Part 11

November 20, 2017

Saul, King of Israel

November 9, 2017