- Courage Abounding in Conviction: Part 4
- Courage Abounding in Conviction: Introduction
- Courage Abounding in Conviction: Part 1, The Book of Daniel
- Courage Abounding in Conviction: Part 2, The Book of Daniel
- Courage Abounding in Conviction: Part 3, The Book Of Daniel
“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself…” (Daniel 1:8)
The Book of Daniel is known for its prophetic significance. In it you’ll find many last-day prophecies that correlate to other books and chapters in the Word of God, such as Zechariah, Revelation, and Matthew 24, along with Luke 17 and 21. Though this topic holds great value to God’s Church, there is also another message God is bringing to light through the Book of Daniel. It is a very practical message that teaches us by example, through Biblical characters, how to “Let our lights shine” in a lost and decadent society. This message, when yielded to, will produce a light in every believer’s life; motivating us to fulfill those words spoken by our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 – 8).
And as we shall see, this is precisely what men and women have done in the history of a kingdom held captive in a land of strange speech. Though they were carried into a pagan land full of idolatry and sexual immorality, they still held fast to the words of truth found in that most worthy Book of all books, which America so often takes for granted.
As America is today, and the world at large, Babylon was a melting pot of all colors, creeds, religions, and beliefs. It produced an abomination that God judged, and called His people out of, because Babylon’s sins had reached unto heaven. We must fulfill this same command, and come out of this world system that is doomed for perdition. We have been given excellent examples in the Scriptures of men that broke laws to stand for truth. May God strengthen and encourage us to fight the good fight of faith, and stand for the convictions of the Word of God.
Our text verse states that “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.” In Israel, God had set certain dietary laws in place for the purity of the Nation of Israel. (These laws can be found in detail in the book of Leviticus.) After Israel had been displaced because of their disobedience to Jehovah, they were then tempted to yield their traditional convictions to the Kingdom of Babylon. Though their test of faith and temptation in the flesh was strong, the remnant of the faithful held fast to the God of Truth; Daniel leading the way as a lion standing his ground.
We see three results in the life of Daniel because of his faithfulness:
First, we see the integrity of heart within Daniel. In the prison setting, you see the same principles at work as in Babylon in the book of Daniel. There will be many temptations that will come your way from drugs, sexual immorality, and many other devices of the enemy; but we must remain faithful to our God. Proverbs 11:3 says, “The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.” Truly Daniel followed the integrity of his heart; and it led him to honor, prudence, and great understanding in the prophetic times in which he lived. Job said, “…Till I die I will not remove mine integrity…” (Job 27:5). And as such examples, which have paved the way down through history, it is my exhortation to you to stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance, to hold fast to the God of Israel, and to purpose in your heart not to defile yourself with the lusts of the flesh.
Secondly, we see the influence of Daniel. In Daniel 1:9, the Scriptures say that God brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. Because Daniel sought God and His Kingdom principles first, Daniel not only had influence on the leaders of Babylon, but also his own brothers. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (AKA Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) are very well-known Bible characters that followed Daniel’s lead in keeping to the Commandments of God. Just imagine the impact that we, as prisoners of Babylon, could have on not only Babylon itself, but also our own brothers and sisters in the Lord, as we go through the land of Babylon. We must follow this example set, and let our lights shine in this dark world, for the glory, honor, and dominion of the Kingdom of our God.
And finally, we see the initiation of Daniel by God and by God’s servant Nebuchadnezzar. In Daniel 1:17 the Scriptures state, ” As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” Also in verse 19 it says, “And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.”
The book of James states, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (James 1:12). God desires to bless our countenance; fill our hearts and minds with knowledge, wisdom, and understanding; and exalt us in His Kingdom – but we must be willing to persevere and stand for the Word of God, as Daniel and his buddies did.
As we shall see in this study on Courage Abounding in Conviction, these men wouldn’t yield to the lies of Satan, but stood firm for what they believed. In such a time as we live, a time that is full of the compromising schemes of the enemy, we must contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 3). In doing so, it is my firm understanding, from the Word of God, that He will open up the windows of heaven, and pour us out a blessing, “that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).