A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Each time we pass this large farm house is south of Mount Joy we take notice of the huge millstone to the left of the walkway.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
"Preparing To Be A Daniel"
Message summary: Today as we see our world crumbling into greater and greater moral chaos we challenge you to be like Daniel and to prepare your sphere of influence to stand true like Daniel, when the time of trouble comes.
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"Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah". “But Daniel resolved in his heart that he would not defile himself” (Daniel 1:6,8). “At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent” (Daniel 6:4).
We are studying Daniel in our Adult Bible Fellowship Class. Our teacher stressed the strong, uncompromising, courageous stand that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (AKA Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) had taken as young men (perhaps in their teens) after being taken captive to a foreign land. At the exile they had been taken from their families and homeland. But there is no record of what prepared them for this ordeal, such as teaching from their parents or other godly influences.
Today, as we see our world crumbling into greater and greater immorality and anarchy we challenge you to be like Daniel now and to prepare yourself and those in your sphere of influence to be like him, standing true when the time of trouble comes rather than bowing to the evil in our day.
Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known.
Above is the cover art on an album by musician Keith Green from over 40 years ago. The photo depicts a scene where the people are required to bow before the passing king. But one brave soul, true to his convictions, remains standing in uncompromising, obedient defiance. A soldier on a horse is pointing him out. We are left wondering what consequence he faced for doing the right thing in the eyes of the One True King (Exodus 20:3-6).
It made us think of those all over the world who faithfully stand up for the Lord and His commands amidst attacks on their Christian convictions; those who refuse to bow before the false gods of the age whether literal or spiritual.
Today we challenge our readers to dare to be a Daniel. Some sixty years separate the events described in our two daily texts. The first describes Daniel as a young man separated from his family after being taken captive into Babylon. He made a purposeful resolution to stay true to his faith in God. I have always drawn strength and encouragement from the description of Daniel's character, “But Daniel resolved in his heart that he would not defile himself”. Just consider the godly influence of Daniel's parents and other godly leaders in his youth as their teaching and example surely helped to equip him for such an unwavering decision.
Perhaps the prophet Jeremiah, who lived in the previous generation, had a role in Daniel’s spiritual upbringing. At a young age Daniel, along with his three friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, made the same decision not to defile themselves by forsaking the God of their youth. God honored them for maintaining their convictions.
The second verse describes Daniel as an old man, still faithfully serving God and admired even among his most ardent critics for his integrity. We find him late in his career serving in government office during the reign of Darius, who happened to be the third world emperor he served under. His righteousness and Darius’ intention to further promote him prompted jealousy in the other leaders. They looked for a basis to make charges but were unable to find any. What a powerful testimony he had: “They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.” The events that follow led to the lion’s den and one of the greatest stories of supernatural deliverance in the Bible.
What a steadfast man Daniel was! Our age desperately needs men and women like him. The specific sources of temptation and trouble may vary, but we all need to “purpose in our heart” that we will stay faithful to God and His truth. Like Daniel we need to be trustworthy. How do people view our character? Are we trustworthy? Have we made a purposeful resolve to stay faithful to God? Let us take the proper steps to make sure that we are. “Let Us Dare To Be A Daniel!"
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, I thank you for the “Daniels” of our day. Many of us grew up with fathers and mothers who not only taught us right from wrong, but modeled it daily in their relations with family and others. So many today are growing up without Biblical models or Scriptural instruction which has brought about much confusion about what is right and wrong, true or false. The power of Your inspired Holy Word reveals absolute truth and is taught by those such as Daniel who didn’t allow fear, pride, or earthly ambitions to compromise his integrity. Even as Daniel stood the test while continually overcoming the tempter, I pray that You, Father, would help us to prove our loyalty to You when faced with worldly temptations, especially the temptation to just go with the flow rather than to go by the guidance of Scripture. May our resolve to do that which is right greatly lessen our temptation to do that which is wrong. Amen.
Today’s lesson prompts consideration of another brave figure in human history. Esther served during the reign of Xerxes who followed Darius. I wonder if she might have known Daniel when she was a small child? Like Daniel she took a courageous stand for truth and her faith is best summarized in her resolve expressed in 4:16 of the book bearing her name: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. “Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
Here is the complete text to the song “Dare To Be A Daniel”. What soul-stirring lyrics Philip P. Bliss wrote in 1873 nearly 150 years ago.
Standing by a purpose true,
Heeding God’s command,
Honor them, the faithful few!
All hail to Daniel’s band!
Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known.
Many mighty men are lost
Daring not to stand,
Who for God had been a host
By joining Daniel’s band.
Many giants, great and tall,
Stalking through the land,
Headlong to the earth would fall,
If met by Daniel’s band.
Hold the Gospel banner high!
On to vict’ry grand!
Satan and his hosts defy,
And shout for Daniel’s band.
I have a framed copy of another old hymn with a similar theme titled “More Men Like Daniel”. It’s lesser known and in fact I have rarely seen it in a hymnal. Although written nearly 100 years ago, like all Godly truths, it is "forward compatible".
We need more men like Daniel to stand for God and right;
Men clean and strong, who hate the wrong,
And for the truth will fight.
When those controlled by evil, their base designs pursue,
We need more men like Daniel who never prove untrue.
We need more men like Daniel their virtue here to show;
Men bold, sincere, who know no fear when called to face the foe.
Though dangers dark may threaten, they crave not ease or rest.
We need more men like Daniel who boldly stand the test.
We need more men like Daniel whose faith defied the king;
Who knelt and prayed when plans were laid his shameful death to bring.
But God sent down His angel, His all to guard and shield;
We need more men like Daniel whose hearts will never yield. *
“More Men Like Daniel” Neal McAulay/Charles Gabriel © 1922 Homer Rodeheaver
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Dare To Be A Daniel" Video Mennonite Hour Men's Quartet
"Dare To Be A Daniel" Video Brian Free (Different song)
"Asleep in the Light" Video Keith Green As a comment states, "If John the Baptist were a musician, this is what he would sound like."
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
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