COMPROMISER – CANT REACH THE KINGDOM OF GOD –ARE YOU A COMPROMISER ?
Dan 1:1-20 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. .........
In other words, the entire world system. Notice what Jesus said of the kosmos and His disciples. John 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
In John 12:31 and in John 14:30, the devil is called the “prince of this world”, or of the kosmos. One of the more famous verses containing this word is Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Again the emphasis is that this world is ungodly, and if the child of God is not careful, he/she will be pulled down by it. Therefore there is the challenge for the believer to stay godly in an ungodly world, and I believe the key to that is something called integrity.
Remember that integrity is being real, or genuine. Are you real? Are you the same at work on Monday morning as you are in church on Sunday morning? That’s integrity.
I believe that God wants to speak to His people from the book of Daniel on this subject of integrity. If ever there was a dark period of history, it had to be in the time of Daniel. The people of God were taken captive by an ungodly, pagan nation, their temple destroyed and their priesthood held hostage
NOTE INTEGRITY’S DECISION.
1. These four youth were along way from home, with no parents around and brought to one of the most beautiful cities in the world at that time. Someone wrote that the strategy of the king was to get them accustomed to the good life by offering them the food and wine of the royal household so that they would become so accustomed to the good life that they would not be tempted to return to their old lives. On top of this, Nebuchadnezzar even changed their names. Now you know that names were very important in Jewish culture. Names often displayed a characteristic of that individual. Note the Hebrew names of these four young men and what they meant. Daniel = God is my judge, Hananiah = God has favoured, Mishael = who is what God is or who is like God? Azariah = Jehovah has helped
Each one of these names was a testimony of God’s hand upon His people and that would not do in Nebuchadnezzar’s pagan court. So Nebuchadnezzar attempted to change their names from Daniel to Belteshazzar which means, “the treasure of Bel” or more specifically, the holder of the treasures of Bel, from Hananiah to Shadrach which means “Aku’s command” from Mishael to Meshach, which means He who belongs to the goddess Sheshach, and from Azariah to Abed-nego which meant the servant of Nebo.
2. Nebuchadnezzar, in changing their names, was trying to change their identities as well. That’s exactly what Satan desires to do with you this morning, change your identity as a child of God, to becoming a child of the world. When you compromise your integrity, that’s exactly what happens, you loose your identity. That’s why so many today don’t really understand what Christianity is all about, because they have yet to see a true Christian.
Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank. Daniel had made a decision, he had determined that he would not loose his integrity.
3. Did you know that there are some battles you can either win before you ever fight them? If you purpose that you are going to maintain your integrity, young person, you won’t be in the back seat of that car on Saturday night, you won’t be hanging around the wrong crowd, you won’t be stealing from work, or cheating on your taxes or going to the bar Friday night. Daniel decided that he would not take off the king’s table, there was something more important to him.
Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright ...shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
4. Why will the integrity of the upright guide them? Because they won’t be in those places where integrity is compromised or the decision is already made before they get there. Those who are wavering are the ones who struggle with temptation the most, they’re the ones who have a hard time saying no. Daniel decided that he was going to do what was right and serve the Lord.
5. What a decision it was! It is a reminder to us that we don’t have to bend the rules to be blessed of God. Everytime you see a compromise struck in the Bible, you also see a loss. Adam compromised in the garden of Eden, and lost paradise. Abraham compromised the truth and lost his testimony in Egypt and almost lost his wife. Sarah compromised her faith and sent Hagar to Abraham and even today peace is lost in the Middle East. Aaron compromised with idolatry and lost the privilege of seeing the promised land. Samson compromised his devotion as a Nazarite and lost his hair, his strength and his victory. David compromised his moral standards and committed adultery and lost his children. On and on it goes, but compromise always results in a loss.
6. Daniel purposed he was not going to compromise and everything that follows in this book is a result of that decision. You never hear anything about the other youths that came out of Jerusalem that Nebuchadnezzar selected. We don’t know how many but there surely was a lot. They lost their success by their compromise.
7. We wonder sometimes why God is not more involved in our lives. Maybe it’s because we’ve not fully decided that we’re going to follow His plan. When we are outside of the will of God, so often we’re on our own, but if we are committed to His plan, then He is committed to us. If we won’t commit ourselves to the Lord, God will search until He finds someone else that He can used for His glory. , I challenge you to make the decision of integrity, “I’m going to serve God”.
II. NOTE INTEGRITY’S DEDICATION.
1. Remember that Daniel’s name means “God is my judge”. I firmly believe that this truth literally permeated Daniel’s being, for he was totally dedicated to serving the Lord. He lived knowing he was accountable to the Lord.
2. There is a great truth here. We must have dedication in order to live for God and have integrity. The only way to have that type of dedication is to remember that you are accountable to God, God is your judge.
3. Daniel lived in Babylon, while certainly a beautiful city, it was also a wicked city. The city was filled with idols and sorcerers. Many of the so called wise men of Babylon were simply enchanters. However, for over seventy years, Daniel lived in Babylon.
NOTE INTEGRITY’S DEPENDENCE
Just as his name said, God was his judge, he was accountable to God. There was a greater than Nebuchadnezzar there. As a matter of fact, one of the things that Daniel warned the king about and Nebuchadnezzar refused to listen at first was that even he, was accountable to God, that God would judge him and we find that God did just exactly that, reducing the king to the life of an animal.
Daniel knew who he was and also who God was. Integrity, or holy living, will always bring faith.
Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. 7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.