A Challenge to Students
“Dare to be A Daniel” Daniel 1:1-21
Old Testament Reading: Psalm 119:1-16 – New Testament Reading: Ephesians 6:10-18
A Challenge to Students
“Dare to be A Daniel”
Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor
With all due respect to those Christians and dedicated public servants who teach in our schools, colleges, and universities, what passes for acceptable education today is an absolute shame.
- While we are spending more money per child than ever before, and more than most major countries, as a whole, students are doing worse in overall standards regarding the core subjects.
- The goal of public education is not to prepare our children for the careers that await them or for the new vocations that will be needed in the future but to indoctrinate them in a worldview that is contrary to the biblical principles upon which America was founded.
- The goal of public education is to reshape the core beliefs of America’s students and to impose upon them a form of cultural Marxism that prohibits all individual freedoms, including the freedom of thought.
“Give me four years to teach the children, and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”
Three steps to “fundamentally transform America.”
- Deconstruct America’s economic system from equal opportunity to equal outcome.
- Policies that insist on this goal will inevitably result in discriminatory practices as exceptions will have to be made for those who do not have equal skill sets or aptitude.
- Destroy the Christian Faith by removing any vestige of any religion from all facets of government.
- The first amendment to the U.S. Constitution was that Congress should make no law respecting (supporting) the establishment of (a particular) religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof (one’s choice of religion). (Emphasis added)
- Now, 250 years later, religious freedom is under siege in America. As true Christianity waned, secularism rose, and now it is pursuing its anti-Christian goals with fervor.
- Dismantle the traditional family unit as two heterosexual parents with children by blood or adoption.
- Those who have championed this cause failed to consider the historical records of effects on those families that followed God’s pattern and those who didn’t.
- According to the World Congress of Families, 90% of all the poverty in the world could be solved through an affirmation of marriage and the family.
A society cannot survive when its children are taught to hate the very things that made it successful. And while we see such hate in all forms of the media, we must understand the origin of it was in the public classroom.
“The Philosophy of the classroom in this generation will be the philosophy of politics, government, and life in the next generation.”
Daniel was chosen by God to show God’s people how to live in the presence of evil but to keep their focus upon God. Therefore, the purpose of this sermon is to challenge today’s youth:
- To learn how to live in a wicked world but not become a part of it.
- To develop biblical convictions, they will not compromise regardless of the consequences.
- To learn how to trust the Lord with all their heart, rather than in their own understanding, but to “know God” in every area of their life and allow Him to direct their path.
1. Daniel’s Dilemma – Daniel 1:1-7 – Vs. 5 – “The king appointed them a daily provision of the kings’ meat, and of the wine which he drank.”
Daniel and his friends were taken captive as teenagers and taken to live in the wicked city of Babylon. Daniel and his friends faced a crisis of:
- 4 – Authority – they were to be indoctrinated into a pagan philosophy of life based upon fantasy, superstition, and idolatry.
- 5 – Morality – they were to be fed the diet of the best foods and wine in Babylon; foods forbidden by their Jewish dietary laws.
- 6-7 – Identity – their names were changed to separate them from their Jewish culture
- From “Daniel” – God is my Judge, to “Belteshazzar” – to call upon the god of bel.
- From “Hananiah” – Jehovah is gracious, to “Shadrach” – I am fearful of God.
- From “Mishael” – “Who is He, that is God?” to “Meshack” – “I am despised before my god.”
- From “Asariah” – “The Lord is my help,” to “Abednego” – “servant of Nebo.”
Nebuchadnezzar gave these young men new names to remind them they were no longer under the authority of the God of Israel, but rather under the rule of a Chaldean King.
Nebuchadnezzar’s four-fold strategy of indoctrination is still being used on our youth today:
- Isolation – separating them from their families and all the daily rituals of their worship of God.
- Indoctrination – forcing them to learn the language and literature of Babylon; to adopt a Babylonian worldview.
- Accommodation – providing them foods and other delicacies they had never heard of before.
- Transformation – changing their names to reflect their new worldview.
2. Daniel’s Decision – Daniel 1:8-21- Vs. 8 – “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.”
- 8 – It was a heart decision – his captors could change his homeland, his diet, and even his name, but they could not change his loyalty to God.
- 8 – It was an individual decision – some of the other boys had given in to their captors, but Daniel and his three friends had not.
- 8-16 – It was a humble decision – even though Daniel held to his godly values and strong convictions, he expressed himself to his captors in a humble and respectful way.
- Daniel suggested a divine alternative to achieving Nebuchadnezzar’s goal, and it was approved.
- God honored Daniel and his friends by anointing their minds with knowledge, skill, wisdom, and discernment.
- Even King Nebuchadnezzar said they were ten times better than all his magicians and astrologers.
Daniel and his friends were chosen to stand before the King, and Daniel remained at his post for the rest of his 85-years.
- Rather than being bitter over his circumstances, Daniel adjusted to what he accepted as God’s will, and he used every opportunity given to him to exalt the name of His God by doing whatever he was asked to do for the glory of God.
- Daniel rose to become the mouthpiece to the Jews, through the prophets, and to the Gentiles through his relationship with the kings of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.