Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message #144
TEXT: Daniel 1:1-15
In this series of messages, we are looking at the 7 keys to living the God-blessed life. The God-blessed life — Christian success — is not measured by the same standards as the world’s success. Even if the world accounts us “as sheep for the slaughter,” we are actually “more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” The God-blessed life is a life that is full of contentment, joy, fulfillment, peace, and productivity. It is the kind of life where you know you are in the center of God’s will. The seven keys to getting to this position are:
1. Trust God.
2. Love God.
3. Fear God.
4. Meditate on the Word of God.
5. Obey God.
6. Pray to God.
7. Be Faithful to God.
These seven keys can only be carried out by the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of one who has accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. That is where all of this begins. These are not things that we do in our own strength. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to help us do these things each and every day.
So far, we have looked at the topics of trusting God from the life of Abraham, loving God from the life of the apostle John, fearing God from the life of Job, and meditating on the Word of God from the life of Joshua. Today, we are going to look at obeying God from the life of Daniel and his companions in Babylon.
It is well documented that Arabian horses go through rigorous training in the deserts of the Middle East. The trainers require absolute obedience from the horses, and test them to see if they are completely trained. The final test is almost beyond the endurance of any living thing. The trainers force the horses to go without water for many days. Then he turns them loose, and of course they start running toward the water, but just as they get to the edge, ready to plunge in and drink, the trainer blows his whistle. The horses who have been completely trained and who have learned perfect obedience, stop. They turn around and come pacing back to the trainer. They stand there panting, wanting water, but they wait in perfect obedience. When the trainer is sure that he has their obedience he allows them to go back to drink.
I know that may sound harsh, but this is the same kind of obedience that God demands of us, His children. He wants us to trust in Him and not in what we can see. That kind of trust will lead to unquestioning obedience on our part. We see this kind of trust in the lives of four young Hebrew men who were taken captive to Babylon. Their names are Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah — better known as Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego. Let’s look at what we can learn from their decision to obey God.
1. Notice their obedience in spite of the temptations they faced. Verse 5 of our passage reads, “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.”
2. Notice how they made the decision to be obedient. Verse 8 of our passage states, “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.” Despite the pressure of the temptations that he was under, Daniel made the choice to be obedient to God. Despite being removed from their familiar surroundings in Israel, despite being placed in a hostile, pagan environment, Daniel and his friends chose to stand alone. He did this in several ways.
3. Notice the blessings they received as a result of their obedience. Verse 15 says, “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 and his friends received unimaginable blessings for choosing to obey God.