Daniel is a person from the Bible one whose life stood tall for his God as he was uncompromisingly righteous and stood against the increasingly godless culture of Babylon. Compromise is a weakening of ones principles, values, and standards. It is an adjustment, an adapting down, an accommodation, and making concessions. Things have changed in America from our founding principles and with the recent court rulings instituting government marriage of same gendered people the push back against Christianity will continue. We need faith, we need prayer, but we also need to make commitments like Daniel to stand. Daniel made four powerful stands and commitments.
1. I WILL NOT DEFILE MYSELF
Dan 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: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Daniel would not defile himself and be a part of the idolatry in the culture around him. He refused to go along with the crowd taking into himself what everyone was partaking of and defile himself with the kings idolatrous food. He would not tolerate mixture. This is not just about ingesting physical food but the king was trying to make Daniel (and the other youth) inwardly and outwardly a Babylonian. To think, speak, eat, dress, and act like a Babylonian. It is hard to resist the devil when we are giving place to the devil at the same time. We have to submit to God first then resist the devil (James 4:7). The reason Daniel did not compromise was that he “purposed in his heart” not to defile himself. The word means to plan or rehearse. It implies he already decided and had a plan of how to respond when the opportunity to compromise would be presented.
2. I WILL NOT BOW
Dan 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
I love the response of the three Hebrew children to the kings mocking of their God after being thrown into the fiery furnace. They said our God is able to deliver us but if not we still won’t bow to worship your god. We may burn but we will not bow. The good news is that they did not bow and did not burn. The fourth man, one like in the form of the Son of God, appeared in the furnace with them. God took the burn element out of the fire and delivered them so that there was no hurt upon them and no singed hair or smell of smoke upon them.
3. I WILL NOT BE BOUGHT
Dan 5:16 And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom. 17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.
He was in prison, his liberty taken away, and now he has a chance to save his own life. The king hears he can interpret dreams so he is now before the king, the one with the power to set him free and also set him up in a good position. There’s an element of personal benefit being offered to him. The king offers him some things if he can interpret the handwriting on the wall that appeared to the king: you can be clothed with scarlet (prestige); a chain of gold (prosperity); become the third ruler in the kingdom (promotion). His response was, “Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation Dan 5:17.” Daniel then gave the interpretation of the handwriting on the wall and didn’t try to soften its message to please or tickle the ear of the king.
4. I WILL NOT PRIVATIZE MY FAITH
Dan 6:7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. 9 Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. 10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. 11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
Daniel’s jealous enemies convince the King to make a decree to throw to the lions anyone who petitions or prays to any god instead of to the king.” He wouldn’t surrender to this decree and get absorbed into his cultures views of what was right and wrong. He refused to live in denial and totally segregate himself off from his surrounding culture and become a religious recluse. He wouldn’t privatize his faith into silence so that it was muted to his culture. With the window to his room open he prays boldly and out loud. He gets thrown into the lions den, of course, but God delivers Him by shutting the mouths of the lions.