This evening we’d like to look some at the story of Daniel. Daniel chapter 6 is quite a few years after chapter 1. Our convictions in many ways are shaped and formed by our consciences.
Our character reveals what our convictions really are. It is the inward conviction to do right to the highest standard of behavior.
Daniel chapter 1 covers a good bit of time, maybe three or four years. We find conflict as quick as the first verse of the chapter. There was a conflict between Jerusalem and Babylon, between the God of Israel and the god of Babylon.
Babylon wants our young people. The Kingdom of God needs young people (and the rest of us) as well.
Nebuchadnezzar had a program developed to integrate these young men. He started off by requiring that they speak the language of the Babylonians.
In verse 5 Nebuchadnezzar said that the diet of these young men needed to change. Daniel purposed in his heart that he wouldn’t defile himself with the portion of the kings meat. Daniel drew a line, his conviction wouldn’t allow him to step across that line. We must never view our personal convictions as something that we are proud or boastful about. Yes, we draw a line, but we are humble about it.
The next thing that Nebuchadnezzar changed was the young mens names. Our names mean something don’t they. We have ideas that are connected to names like “Esther” or “Jezebel.” The names that they were given were meant to identify them with the gods of Babylon.
Was Nebuchadnezzar able to put Babylon into these boys?
Let us live lives that are pure, that are separate from the immorality and evil that surrounds us. Babylon was full of gods, the world around us is full of gods as well. May our convictions help us maintain lives that are pure and clean before Jehovah.
Let’s move on to Daniel chapter 5. This is a generation later, and Daniel had not lost his identity. He was still known as Daniel.
Now lets go another generation later, and Daniel spent a night with the lions. The king rushed to the den the following morning. “Is thy God who thou serves continually able to deliver you from the lions?”
Daniel knew that the decree had been signed, but he went and prayed to his God, Jehovah anyway. Daniels conscience was free, innocent and clear. He understood that God was his judge. He never lost sight of that.
Scriptures used – Daniel 1 & 5, 1 Corinthians 10, John 8, Hebrews 11, Acts 10, 1 Thessalonians