Purpose – To see by faith, that God cares for His people when we must take a purposeful stand to forward His name and His faith.
I. DANIEL TOOK A PURPOSEFUL STAND NOT TO EAT OF THE KING’S PROVISIONS (v. 8).
II. DANIEL IS REMINDED OF THE POSSIBLE COST OF TAKING THIS STAND – ESPECIALLY FOR HIS FRIEND (vv. 9-10).
III. DANIEL IS NOT STANDING ALONE – HANANIAH, MISHAEL, AND AZARIAH ARE STANDING WITH HIM (vv. 10-13).
IV. GOD BLESSES THEIR FAITH AND THEIR STAND (vv. 14-16).
We must all consider the fact, as Christians, that we are strangers in a foreign land. Some may not like, nor appreciate that statement, but if our citizenship is in heaven, and with God, then, we are indeed strangers in this land. It matters not what nation we live in; we are strangers in a foreign land. We are even “captives”, yet ambassadors in this foreign land, until the Lord returns to call us home to be with Him.
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were ambassadors of God in Babylon. It seems, that they were about the only godly witness there. That is not so however. There was Ezekiel the prophet; and Esther and Mordecai [evidently cousins] (Esther 2:5-7). These were captives in Babylon, and there could have been many more. We have the four teenage boys taking a stand which was probably unheard of. It is a very encourageing thing to see teenagers take a stand for their godly convictions; not in rebellion, but in obedience to God.
I. THERE ARE TIMES AND SOME THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THIS WORLD THAT CALL US TO PURPOSELY STAND FOR GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS (v. 8 ).
II. IT IS GOD WHO BRINGS HIS PEOPLE INTO GOOD FAVOR WITH OTHERS, AND WE SHOULD BE LIVING TO GIVE THEM CAUSE TO SUPPORT OUR STAND (vv. 9-10).
III. LIKE THE CONVICTIONS OF DANIEL AND HIS FRIENDS TRUE CONVICTIONS CANNOT BE LAID ASIDE (vv. 10-13).
IV. GOD PROVES OUR FAITH WHEN WE ARE FAITHFUL (vv. 14-16).
i. Take a purposeful stand for God and all that is godly and righteous in the world, even if no one else does.
ii. Take a purposeful stand and trust the LORD for the good favor of others.
iii. Take a purposeful stand all the time on your convictions; and stand when they are being attacked as well.
iv. When we take that purposeful stand trust that the LORD will reward the faith of the faithful – I suppose that is what Paul; inspired by God; meant when he wrote, “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NKJV)
-Tim A. Blankenship