What value could they have set on the esteem or admiration of those who did not fear the Lord! Verse 21 adds that Daniel remained in the court of Babylon until the first year of Cyrus, 539 BC That means he served as an advisor to a whole series of Babylonian kings for at least 60 more years. It belonged to God. Such is the inalienable prerogative of the mind even of a child. It covers not merely the matter of wine and beer and brandy, but also pastry and pound-cake and confections. And I grant you at once that it is not easy to keep straight and do the right thing and bear the right testimony always in the right way. There were certain foods used by the Babylonians, such as the flesh of swine, the flesh of the hare, and of certain fish, that were unclean, and when these came from the king's table, if Daniel ate them, he would be breaking the law of Moses given in the Book of Leviticus, and thus he would be defiled. HELPS TOWARDS THIS CONSISTENCY. Great advantages attend early decision. I need to do this to get ahead. Sermon: Silencing the Unforgiving Voices Proper 19, Year A Series: Last week I started a series on leaning into the peace of God. We just go with the flow and then wonder why we end up looking and sounding just like the Babylonians. The key phrase here is “in advance.” Some decisions can’t be made on the spur of the moment. says of these four young men who stood to their purpose, that "they had better health for their spare diet; and their good conscience and merry heart was a continual feast unto them. The wisdom, vast learning, and intellectual greatness of the sages of Chaldea must have made a deep impression on his young mind, and we can readily imagine him, "Who am I, a beardless child, to oppose my convictions to the wisdom of all these?" And the meaning for us of the stand he made is this — that religious principle should regulate the smallest details of our life. I also mentioned three reasons for studying this book. the people. When we are called to any special sacrifice that we may not defile ourselves with the king's meat, we have only a lavender sentiment with which to meet the sacrifice. — Perhaps the low state of religion in his own land had served to increase in him the sense of responsibility for an absolutely true course in the matter now before him. The source of it was Divine. Yet Joseph was there, praying and working for his God, surrounded by the pride of life, but untouched by it. Daniel was therefore jealous of his influence as of his own soul's peace. Verse 8 says that he “purposed in his heart” (KJV). The favour of God was more to him than life. Thus does God bless those who make up their minds to honor him. Sermon is second in a four-part series, it focuses on the parable of the servant who was forgiven by his king, but was quick to judge another. To be dragged far away from their dear native land, and held captive amidst idolaters, surely such an experience could not be good? But when they said, “You have to eat the king’s food at the king’s table,” he said, “I’m sorry. There are some who say, "Those people cry down good works." His moderation and temperate conduct. In fact, it would probably sound rebellious and we know how ancient kings dealt with rebellion. It makes a great difference to me whether he thinks well of me or not." It invariably brings that loss which is the worst of all losses, the loss of respect for self. But the most pleasing aspect of the personality of Daniel was his humility. Then observe that the protest must be courteously borne. This follows logically from what I have just said. There is hardly a doubt that, if the facts were known.and could be tabulated, it would appear that the intellectual life of Christian people is far in advance of those men of the world who reject God and his counsels, both as to the spiritual life and the general state of the body, promoted by a temperate use of the good things of life. The grand thing about Daniel's principle is that it is profitable for the present and it is life eternal for the future. mute. HUMAN OPPOSITION MAY USUALLY BE DISARMED BY KINDLY SOLICITATION. It is not the abundance of our dainties that sustains life, but God's blessing. Daniel had religious scruples about his eating and drinking. Daniel's faithfulness to his conscience, his allegiance to his God, his courteous but firm refusal to do what was sinful, was turned to his advantage, even in this world. Their Jewish names are changed in favor of new Babylonian names. Additional instances of the honour which is attached to true piety have been preserved to us in the sacred records. Here is the final lesson. 4. Having illustrated youthful piety possessed, and youthful piety tried, we have to observe YOUTHFUL PIETY HONOURED. Those reasons seem even more relevant today than they did then. This is the ultimate oral exam. It lacks the verve and vigour and granitic quality of a genuine purpose, because we do not act out that "therefore;" because purposing does not bloom into doing. They are waiting until they can do some great thing, and think that if a great crisis were to come, they would then have nerve to meet it, and do something triumphant. Public sentiment was against all such restraints, and they could indulge in whatever they desired without fear of offending social customs. As mighty oaks from small acorns grow, we make our … True liberality of sentiment and largeness of soul are the attributes of strength and conviction of one's own mind. — A true Christian may always appeal to the results of a Christian walk for its justification. 3. 2. (Psalm 119:69.) Verses 15-16 tell us that at the end of the ten days the four teens looked better on their cereal and water diet than the fellows who had been eating T-bone steak at the king’s table. Daniel was, from the very beginning of his career, a true witness for the truth. A strong wind? Now, youthful piety is never without its difficulties; and many instances occur to us in which it has been; as in the case before us, severely and acutely tried. God’s Word has not changed. Now most men would have yielded, as most men in similar circumstances do yield, to the influences thus brought to bear on these four youths; they would have been so enamoured of the king's favour and the luxury of their new position that they would have been only too glad to have accepted it and thought themselves exceedingly well off. It is there that sensuality, voluptuousness, and luxury; it is there that drunkenness, gluttony, and dissoluteness; it is there that cupidity, avarice, and egotism; it is there that ambition, ostentation, pride, and arrogance; it is there that vanity, with its falsehoods, its ruses, and its hypocrisy; it is there, in a word, that the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are invited, in the name of pleasure and of glory, be gratify all their appetites, all their inclinations, all their folly! That is, he made up his own mind. So one would have passed by the court of Babylon as the last place where true piety could be nurtured, and yet there were men of God in highest station. That it is profitable in the present is strikingly seen in the course of this history. You must understand their abstinence from the more dainty food not only as an act of self-control in regard to appetite, and as a patriotic recognition of the affliction of Israel, they refusing to live in indulgence while their brethren in captivity lived in privation and dishonour, but as a solemn testimony against idolatry and against all compromise with it, and as a solemn testimony on behalf of the true Jehovah, to whom they were dedicated, and by whom they resolved unalterably to abide. A blessed thing when the influence which Daniel exerted friends decided to join in. Us prove that the steward feared, lest a temperate diet would result in shame, but a conscience... 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