Archive of Pastor Darby's Sermon Notes, transcribed from his original typewritten documents

 

Dan 1:8-17-21

GOD'S REWARD FOR CLEAN LIVING

Oct 12, 1969 am


IT IS EXCITING TO MEET A PERSON WHO IS UNAFRAID TO PUT GOD TO THE TEST BY FAITH

  • Daniel had suffered a great loss, but still he trusted God and was determined to obey Him
  • We need people today who will dare to be Daniels in the midst of the confusion of this world
  • God is a good paymaster- give what you may in faith, work, trust, love, and zeal, and He rewards greatly

The devil is a terrible taskmaster- he will take all you have and leave you a heartache

I. PERSONAL CONVICTION FACING TRIAL Dan 1:8-

No matter what others might do, Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself

A. DANIEL PURPOSED IN HIS HEART THAT HE WOULD NOT DEFILE HIMSELF WITH THE KING'S MEAT Dan 1:8

  • This king's meat included no Kosher wines and meat - sacrificed to idols - physically and spiritually wrong
  • Daniel wanted pulse to eat, water to drink - pulse: beans, vegetables, grains - simple food
  • The desire for the moderate, humble but adequate came from obedience to God's laws

B. NOW GOD HAD BROUGHT HIM INTO FAVOR AND TENDER LOVE WITH THE PRINCE OF THE EUNUCHS  Dan 1:9

  • This request could have threatened the physical safety of all concerned - a serious thing
  • But God made the leader feel tenderly toward Daniel - a natural affection and friendship - value
  • Daniel surely showed himself friendly in order to have this man as a friend - not negative

C. DANIEL ASKED FOR A TIME OF TESTING TO PROVE THAT WHAT HE DESIRED WOULD BE BLESSED OF GOD  Dan 1:10

  • Some are unwilling to test their faith- it costs, and the risk is more than some will take
  • God is not mocked- but neither is He ever short on His word; He has never failed any person
  • Most of the time we do not allow our convictions to be tried- we do not stand for His word

If the test did not prove out favorable for Daniel - would he yield?  See Dan 3:17,18

II. THE PROOF THAT GOD'S WAY IS BEST

A fair test of God's Honor, giving Him a chance to operate in His will - is exciting to see

A. DANIELS COUNTENANCE WAS TO BE THE DECIDING FACTOR FOR THE TEST. WOULD WE DARE?  Dan 1:13

  • The countenance means the bearing, conduct, composure, expression, especially of face
  • At the end of the test they appeared fairer to look on, and fatter than any others there
  • Daniel had every reason to be depressed- parents dead, he exiled, mutilated, a slave - but

B. GOD GAVE THEM KNOWLEDGE, SKILL, WISDOM, AND UNDERSTANDING OF DREAMS Dan 1:18-

  • Their sound, clean bodies, housed strong disciplined minds, and with inner peace they won
  • Through centuries- the greatest minds of every field have often belonged to Christians-
  • Daniel had a special wisdom - the gift of not only psychology, but parapsychology as well

C. THE KING COMMUNED WITH DANIEL AND THE OTHERS, AND FOUND THEM BETTER THAN ANY OTHERS - v.19

  • They continued their training, giving their best into God's service in spite of captivity
  • Soon their faithful training led them into the world series of the brain trust of that time
  • This would also lead them into the lion's den, fiery furnace, long seasons of fasting, etc.

At no time did they complain, blaming God for their loss, nor suggest it was not worth it to serve God

III. CAN WE CLAIM THEIR FAITHFULNESS TODAY?

Some people are too content to claim the pleasures of sin for a season- Heb 11:25

A. GOD'S WORD CONTAINS MANY GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES TO THOSE WHO WILL TRUST HIM

  • Psa 1:1 - promises blessings to the man who will be obedient to God- study His word, obey It
  • The Beatitudes in the New Testament - Matt 5:3-12 - promise many great blessings in His kingdom
  • Too often people today want to claim the blessing, but refuse to be faithful in trial to earn it

B. SALVATION IS FREE - GIVEN BY GOD'S GRACE, BUT THE GOD-BLESSED LIFE HAS TO BE EARNED BY FAITHFULNESS

  • Our salvation comes from God's mercy, earned by Christ's sacrifice on the cross - Titus 3:4-7
  • But "Good works are profitable unto men" - Titus 3:8 - and we need to practice some
  • Does your countenance show that God has passed the test in your heart - in furnace and lion's den?

C. SOMETIMES WE EXPECT THE WRONG THINGS FROM GOD, AND ARE FALSE PROMISE CLAIMERS - LOOK CAREFULLY

  • There is no salvation apart from the Lord Jesus Christ - Acts 4:12 - to seek any other way - death
  • There is no spiritual victory without physical sacrifice - Rom 12:1,2 - living sacrifices
  • But neither salvation nor spiritual victory will keep us from normal problems of life - Matt 5

God's blessings lead us through life's problems to the greater life - trust!

WILL YOU DARE PUT GOD'S WAY TO THE TEST WITH YOUR LIFE, AND SEEK THE GOD-BLESSED LIFE?

  • Do you dare cast your whole hope of salvation in heaven in one person - Jesus Christ?  I do!
  • Do you dare turn from the pleasures of sin for a season- and choose to be with God's people?
  • Then, prove it through baptism, church membership, faithful stewardship - success or not!