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Daniel: Man of Character and Conviction

Truth Matters / Dr. Cheryl Davis
The Truth Network Radio
October 31, 2020 5:47 am

Daniel: Man of Character and Conviction

Truth Matters / Dr. Cheryl Davis

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October 31, 2020 5:47 am

A close look at the moral character of Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

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Welcome to Saturday's edition of Truth Matters with Dr. Cheryl Davis. As she continues her teaching on the Book of Daniel, God's prophetic plan for the kingdoms of earth and the countdown to Armageddon. In today's lesson, she focuses on the moral character and faithfulness of Daniel and his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and their unwillingness to compromise faith and moral conviction to gain favor with King Nebuchadnezzar. Here's Dr. Davis, Daniel, man of character and conviction.

Hello, I'm Dr. Cheryl Davis. Moving on to verses 9 through 15. Daniel, Hananiah, Michelle, and Azariah, please test your servants for 10 days and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be examined before you and the appearance of the young men who eat a portion of the king's delicacies. As you see fit, so deal with your servants. So he consented with them in this matter and tested them 10 days.

And at the end of 10 days, their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king's delicacies. I want to bring very close attention to now God. When we purpose in our heart and we are obedient to God, God will show up in our situation. And in Daniel's situation, he did in verse 9, This is an example of favor of the Israelites and particularly Daniel, even in God's judgment, even in the setting of captivity, God is still with Daniel, even as he is punishing his people for idolatry and being unfaithful to him. When you take a stand for the Lord, there is a reward that will come. Examine the manner and how Daniel did it and how God gave him favor.

He was obedient to the law that he had been taught as a child and the Lord came in and raised up a standard. But looking in these few verses from 9 to 15, this is really the art of negotiation. This is the wisdom and the gift of knowledge and wisdom that God gave Daniel. And we'll see that later in other chapters.

But Daniel was great at the art of negotiation. So Daniel said to the steward, Please test your servants for 10 days. He's saying, allow me not to defile myself and I'll prove to you that the God I serve will show up. God's word says he will never leave us and never forsake us. And this is a perfect example of being in captivity, sitting in the state of judgment along with the nation of Israel, but the Lord still being faithful.

I would rather be a captive in Babylon in the will of God than to be free in Jerusalem out of the will of God. And looking at Daniel's perspective, he is closest to God than he has ever been, even in the setting of captivity. Proverbs 16, 7 says, When a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him. Daniel was sitting in captivity, sitting in a foreign land, being held captive to the Babylonians, but God is making his enemies live at peace with him. And this is an example of holy, righteous living. Daniel is being obedient to the word of God, which is holy, righteous living. Holy, righteous living will be effective.

And in this case, you see that he was effective because he did appear better at the end of the trial. There's a quiet power that comes with that and a quiet confidence, but also know that holy, righteous living will bring persecution. And we'll see examples of that persecution throughout the book of Daniel.

Moving on to verses 17 through 21, which will finish this first chapter. As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom. Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 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. Then the king interviewed them, and among them, all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore, they served before the king.

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. Thus, Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus. Now, this is very interesting that when God allowed Daniel to go into captivity, he was never at the point where he was not near him or close to him.

He gave him favor at the time that he needed it. But it was on Daniel to purpose in his heart not to defile himself. But when Daniel did his part, it is clearly that God did his part.

And that's like what I said before. When you make a stand for the Lord, there is a reward that will come. And in this case, we see it. In verse 17, God gave them knowledge and skill and all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. God honored Daniel for his obedience. And we'll see where his knowledge and understanding of all visions and dreams helps him later in other chapters of Daniel. And not only did he reward Daniel, he also rewarded his confidence, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, that they all served before the king. They were better in all manners of wisdom and understanding than all the other magicians and astrologers. The reason why is that the Holy Spirit was upon them and that God had gifted them in these manners. Thus, Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.

Daniel continued in his present capacity for 70 years while he reigned in Babylon. And in conclusion of chapter 1, the key points that we see in Daniel is that even in the midst of captivity, where he had plenty of excuse to not be obedient to God, plenty of excuse to be downtrodden and make the wrong decision. In verse 8, Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself. And we can give up our rights. And actually, God may call us to give up our rights.

We don't know. But there are cases in my life where I have given up my rights. But we cannot compromise our convictions because when we compromise our convictions, we are being disobedient to God and we are not following the word of God.

Whenever we compromise our convictions, we will lose. And I went over a number of cases in the Old Testament and the New Testament where there was a significant loss in the Bible. When we make a stand before God, there is a reward that will come. And when Daniel made a stand, God showed up that he even looked better.

And whenever he, over the period of time that he did not defile himself, God made him look better than the competition. And that is what the Holy Spirit can do for us in our lives. But I do want to ask, where are you compromising your convictions today?

And what have you lost in your life because of compromise? And I urge you to reach out to God and if there be any place in our life where we are compromising our convictions, to seek him and he will reveal and allow time for us to repent. We have been beginning in the Book of Daniel and we've already covered chapter 1 and an important point of where Daniel purposed in his heart and we see that he's taking a stand and being obedient for God even in the setting of captivity. Moving on to chapter 2, we get to Nebuchadnezzar's dream. And a lot of us are very aware of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, but the Book of Daniel is very important for prophecy. And it is very important for us to understand the Book of Daniel because Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 24 15, and I'll read that for us. Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, whoever reads, let him understand. It is important for the disciples to understand Daniel as well as us.

So we're going to move into chapter 2 today. Let's begin with verses 1 through 13. Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams and his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him. Then the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. And the king said to them, I have had a dream and my spirit is anxious to know the dream. Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic.

O king, live forever. Tell your servants the dream and we will give the interpretation. The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, my decision is firm. If you do not make known the dream to me and its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces and your houses shall be made in ash heap. However, if you tell the dream in its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards and great honor. Therefore, tell me the dream and its interpretation. They answered again and said, let the king tell his servants the dream and we will give its interpretation. The king answered and said, I know for certain that you would gain time because you see that my decision is firm. If you do not make known the dream to me, there is only one decree for you. For you have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me till the time has changed.

Therefore, tell me the dream and I shall know that you can give me its interpretation. The Chaldeans answered the king and said, there is not a man on earth who can tell the king's matter. Therefore, no king, lord or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer or Chaldeans. It is a difficult thing that the king requests and there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods whose dwelling is not with flesh. For this reason, the king was angry and very furious and gave the command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.

So the decree went out and they began killing the wise men and they sought Daniel and his companions to kill them. You know, interestingly, Nebuchadnezzar is the reigning king of the modern world at this time. Babylon is the gold standard, which we're going to see later in this dream.

But Babylon is the conqueror of the known world. But he was a dreamer. Nebuchadnezzar had dreams. And after this dream, it says that his spirit was so troubled that he could not sleep. And his standard is to call in the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and Chaldeans, wise men to tell him his dream. And he's telling him, tell your servants the dream.

And the wise men are saying, please tell us the dream and we'll tell you the interpretation. But he is very keen to who these wise men are and knowing that they would try to buy time, knowing that they were incapable. So in verse 10, there is not a man on earth who can tell the king's matter. Therefore, no king, lord or ruler has ever asked such things. There is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods whose dwelling is not with flesh. Interestingly, these wise men knew their limitations.

And I would like to give them props for that. They knew their limitations. And in this case, they actually explained that to Nebuchadnezzar. But how would you describe what this dream is? Would you say this is just a dream driven by the subconscious mind to the most vile dictator of his day?

He is the first Gentile king to rule the world. In the Old Testament, God communicated to prophets in dreams when they're asleep and visions when they're awake. So what was this? I don't think this was just a random dream. I firmly believe that this was a dispensation from heaven to Nebuchadnezzar, a message from God. And in verse 28, we will get to that. But normally dreams don't trouble someone's spirit to the degree that it troubled Nebuchadnezzar, but his spirit was troubled. And we see that in evidence of his tenacity and his hunger in getting the interpretation.

But verse 11 is at the core of the meaning of being a real Christian. Here was Daniel on earth, virtually with connections in heaven, who was able to bring heaven to bear on the things of the earth. So why could Nebuchadnezzar not remember the dream? Why could Nebuchadnezzar not remember the dream?

It's very interesting. And, you know, the more I thought about this, if you turn to 1 Corinthians 2 and 14, the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2 and 14, But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them because they are spiritually discerned. Nebuchadnezzar did not have a relationship with God at this point, and he did not have the ability or the Holy Spirit there to allow him to spiritually discern the dream. In verses 12 through 13, it says the king was angry and very furious. He gave the command to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. The decree went out and they began killing the wise men and they sought to kill Daniel and his companions.

How do you explain this decree? How do you explain Nebuchadnezzar's temper? He was a very defile man. Whenever he said yes, it was yes.

He could change his mind and say no. If he chose to allow someone to live, they lived. If he chose to allow someone to die, they died. But Nebuchadnezzar was working under the devices of Satan, and the whole purpose of Satan in this chapter was to rid the world of Daniel, as well as this book. Daniel had a very strong anointing.

He was strongly gifted by God. But a man who determines not to compromise his convictions will get Satan's attention. A man who determines not to compromise his convictions will get Satan's attention.

And this is established in chapter 1. Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself. He purposed in his heart too obedient to God.

And when you do that, that is righteous living. And when righteous living is effective, in which Daniel was, persecution will come. And this is an example of persecution and Satan working through Nebuchadnezzar. In verses 14 through 18, moving on, Then with counsel and wisdom, Daniel answered Arioch, the captain of the king's guards, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. He answered and said to Arioch, the king's captain, Why is the decree from the king so urgent? Then Arioch made the decision known to Daniel. So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time that he might tell the king the interpretation.

Then Daniel went to his house and made the decision known to Hananiah, Michelle, Nazariah, his companions, that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret so that Daniel and his companions might not perish for the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Living a godly life like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will come at a price as Satan will surely seek to persecute you for your faith. He will do all in his power to discourage, inflict pain and suffering, and to plant seeds of doubt in your heart and mind. Most of all, he wants to rob you of your joy in Jesus.

Jesus said in Matthew 5 11, Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. If you are caught between faith and doubt, Dr. Davis would like to encourage you. You can reach her by email at Cheryl Davis at ProjectTruthMatters.com or connect with her on Facebook at Truth Matters with Dr. Cheryl Davis. Or you can write to her at The Truth Project, P.O. Box 159, St. Paul's, North Carolina 28384. Please join us again next Saturday at this same time for Truth Matters with Dr. Cheryl Davis. We are a ministry of The Truth Project.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-25 08:39:14 / 2023-11-25 08:45:55 / 7

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