HOW DANIEL OVERCAME
A. We have all thrilled to the account of Daniel in the lion's den.
B. Because of his courage and devotion, we say, "Dare to be a Daniel!"
But, deep down, do we doubt that we could be like him?
C. Let us notice some things about Daniel, which could be true of any
of us. We will look in particular at verses 4 and 5.
I. HE WAS BLAMELESS IN HIS CONDUCT.
A. In this point, we simply want to recognize that the only
"fault" they could find with him, they had to manufacture. And the only
convincing accusation they could make was with regard to something which
was actually good and positive in his life.
[Daniel's blameless conduct would not have been possible if not for the
B. Though "blamelessness" is not specifically mentioned in the text,
this is the essence of it. In the eyes of the world, no fault worthy of
being singled out for blame could be found in his life.
1. 1 Timothy 3:2, 10 - A bishop then must be blameless, the
husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality,
apt to teach... And let these also first be proved; then let them use the
office of a deacon, being found blameless.
C. An old, soul-searching question asks: "If you were to be placed on trial
for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?"
2. 1 Peter 4:15, 16 - But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as
a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. 16
- Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let
him glorify God on this behalf.
II. HE WAS UNBLEMISHED IN HIS CHARACTER.
A. Here is a man who had lived most of his life a captive in
an idolatrous land, yet he remained unspotted from those things which might
have contaminated him.
[However, this would not have been possible if not for the fact that:]
1. James 1:27 - Pure religion and undefiled before God and
the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction,
and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
B. Consider some of the influences which might have made a strong allure
to him to conform to the lifestyle and worship of the Chaldeans:
1. The sheer strength of the conquering nation.
C. It will be helpful to contrast Daniel's strength in overcoming the world
with the tendency God's people often have to give in to it.
2. The temptations offered by position (1:3-5).
3. The kindnesses shown him by the kings (3:48; 5:29; 6:1-2).
1. Often a person will give in to the temptation to sin, and
make an excuse about the overwhelming nature of his own
circumstances (Ex. 32:21-24; 1 Sam. 13:11-12).
a. Exodus 32:21-24 And Moses said to Aaron, "What did this
people do to you that you have brought so great a sin upon them?" 22 -
So Aaron said, "Do not let the anger of my lord become hot. You know the
people, that they are set on evil. 23 - "For they said to me, 'Make us
gods that shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us
out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.' 24 -
"And I said to them, 'Whoever has any gold, let them break it off.' So
they gave it to me, and I cast it into the fire, and this calf came out."
2. Who of us can say we have had it as hard as Daniel? He not only overcame
the enmity of his captors, he overcame the allure of their friendship!
He not only overcame the temptations associated with being uprooted from
his home, he overcame those of being made to feel at home in the land of
pagans. The discouragements and temptations were
b. 1 Samuel 13:11,12 - And Samuel said, "What have you done?" And Saul
said, "When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you
did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered
together at Michmash, 12 - "then I said, 'The Philistines will now come
down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the LORD.' Therefore
I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering."
great, but he overcame.
3. 1 John 5:4 - For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And
this is the victory that has overcome the world; our faith.
III. HE WAS UNBENDING IN HIS COMMITMENT
A. The previous points were secondary to this one: this is
the foundation. This is what made the others truly worthwhile in Daniel's
Conclusion: You can "dare to be a Daniel." These three things which characterized
Daniel's life are within the reach and responsibility of every one of God's
children. May we resolve to become more like this great man of God.
B. This commitment to God is seen in certain areas of Daniel's life.
1. His knowledge of and obedience to the law, as evidenced
in chapter 1 in his refusal of the king's menu.
C. The trial of faith shows our commitment or lack thereof. Daniel's commitment
to God was not superficial.
a. Psalms 1:2 - But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
2. His devotion to daily prayer, as seen in the present chapter.
b. Deuteronomy 6:1-3 "Now this is the commandment, and these are the
statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you,
that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess,
2 - "that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and
His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson,
all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. 3- Therefore
hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with
you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers
has promised you; 'a land flowing with milk and honey.'
3. Seen in his practice of regular prayer despite the king's command
is his refusal to bend to anything which would threaten his loyalty to
1. There are Christians who have a "fair-weather" faith. When
among those friendly to the faith, they have shown much "strength." Among
those who are worldly or hostile to Christianity, they bend to fit what
is popular and avoid trouble.
2. Instead, we should have a firm faith, one which keeps our commitment
to God intact, even if we must stand alone.
a. Hebrews 11:24-26 By faith Moses, when he became of age,
refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, :25 - choosing rather
to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures
of sin, 26 - esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures
in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
Copyright 2000 by Grady
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