Lesson 2: "Making the best of a bad deal" Daniel 1:9-21
"To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding…" Daniel 1:17
Full of grace, seasoned with salt
Do you have a boss, co-workers, family members, who are not Christians? What kind of relationship do you have with them?
Being of royal or noble birth, Daniel was closer than most to the wickedness going on at the highest levels of the royal court. In spite of that, and in spite of being taken far away to a pagan land, he kept the faith.
Daniel made the most of his situation. He used the opportunity to learn.
He surely must have known the story of Joseph
Please test your servants
Though God had caused Ashpenaz to show favor to Daniel, he probably wasn’t a zombie with eyes glazed over. There was certainly a trust between the two, and that takes time to develop.
When Ashpenaz declined his first request, Daniel went to the guard. There had to have been a trust as well. Favor is not shown to someone you don’t respect.
Is it possible or even desirable, to be respected as Christians in an ungodly environment? Notice how God blessed Daniel and his friends. They were surrounded by pagan learning, and the great Babylonian libraries and culture. They increased in knowledge, but never lost their commitment to God’s ways.
Why would it be desirable? After all, Elijah never tried to be buddies with Ahab
Points to Ponder
What are you doing to win the respect of non-Christians? What are the roadblocks you face in doing that?
Is it possible to make decisions to be separate from the world that may actually hurt our witness?
Has God rewarded you for taking a stand for righteousness? Have you ever paid a price for doing so?
#1) As Christians, we should work to win the respect and admiration of non-Christians without compromising our biblical convictions (I Peter 2:12, 3:15-16, Co. 4:5,6)
When taking a public stand for our convictions, we should make sure we’re prayerfully selecting our concerns based on Scripture (I Cor. 9:22, Acts 2:47, Eph. 5:16)
When taking a public stand in order not to compromise our spiritual convictions, we must trust God for His assistance (Eph. 6:10,12)
When we make every effort to do God’s will, He will bless us for our faithful obedience