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Mosaic Spokane (OLD)

Undefiled

Sermon Title:  Undefiled

Scripture: Daniel Chapter 1

Big Idea: God remembers those who remember him, and God honors those who honor him.

 

Who provides for you?  Who sustains you?  What makes you get up in the morning?  Is it God? Or the world?  I wonder how it makes God feel when we wake up in the morning and say:  God... Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, You are enough, I don't need anything else.  Thank you...

 

Lets read about Daniel, and who kept him going.

 

Daniel Chapter 1 can be broken down into three main sections.  In verses 1-7 we see Jerusalem EXILED.  In verses 8-16 we see that Daniel and his three friends remain UNDEFILED. And in verses 17-21 we see that the four of them are HONORED BY GOD AND MEN.

 

Jerusalem EXILED in 4 different ways.

–                    Verses 1-2

–                    Exiled in LOCATION/POSITION and in WORSHIP

–                    King and people displaced.

–                    Articles of temple put in Nebuchadnezzar's temple.

–                    Verses 3-5

–                    Exiled in PROVISION

–                    Fed from the kings table

–                    Verses 6-7

–                    Exiled in HERITAGE/HISTORY

–                    Name changes and meanings.

 

In this we can see that the Babylonians are looking to brain wash the Jewish youth by attacking their society in these 4 areas.  Daniel and his friends saw this, and they stood to remember their God, and in doing so, they remained UNDEFILED.

 

(Read Verses 8-16)

 

Daniel remained undefiled of the food from the king's table.

 

–                    Why would Daniel be defiled?

–                    The food from the kings table could have been sacrificed to idols.

–                    The food could have contained pork which was unclean for the Jewish people.

–                    The grapes in the wine were probably not grown according to levitical law. 

–                    BUT... If the food from the kings table was sacrificed to pagan idols, and was therefore unclean, wouldn't the vegetables that Daniel ate also be unclean?

–                    When the Babylonians brought in a crop, would they not have given a portion of that crop to the god of that harvest?

There must be something more here... something that we cannot fully understand from this text alone.  Especially when Jesus tells us in the new testament that it is not what a man takes in that makes him unclean, but what comes out of a man that makes him unclean.  I think this was a deliberate rebuttal to the orders of King Nebuchadnezzar.  I think that Daniel and his three friends were seeing what the Babylonian society was doing.  They were trying to brain wash them to assimilate into the Babylonian culture! I think that they were seeing that king Nebuchadnezzar was wanting them to forget their God, and look to him for position, worship, provision, and heritage.  But they deliberately chose to remain faithful, and remember God, His provision, His supreme authority, His power, and how He is the only reason that King Nebuchadnezzar is ruling over them, and that was what made them undefiled. What better way than making your meals a reminder of God's provision in your life.  They remembered God, and honored Him, and so they were remembered and honored by God. 

 

 

(Read 17-21)

–                    God gave them wisdom and understanding.

–                    He gave them knowledge to bless the nations in the King's Council.

–                    They were willing to remember and honor God, and keep him the head and center of their lives.

–                    They remembered where their blessings came from, and so God chose to bless them.

 

 

SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US!?

 

–                    How does Daniel's life thousands of years ago relate to the struggles we are going through now?

–                    Lets bump up to the new testament first.

–                    1 Peter 2:11- Peter says, “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.”

–                    NLT- “Temporary residents and foreigners.”

–                    THIS IS NOT OUR HOME!

–                    Sometimes we set up camp though...

–                    Camp leads to building a cabin, and that leads to permanent residency!

–                    Sometimes the sinful desires of this world look better than faithfulness to God.

–                    Sometimes we fall into physical and spiritual gluttony.

–                    We eat more and more of what does not satisfy!

–                    What satisfies is offered freely though!  (Read Isaiah 55:1-3)

–                    Let’s bump up a little more...

–                    over the last few months we have been studying John.

–                    In John, we have seen many great things, some of which are,

–                    Birth in the spirit: John 3:5-6

–                    Living Water: John 4:13-14

–                    The bread of life and Jesus Feeding 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish: John 6... Verse 5.

 

We have come to Jesus in spirit and he has given us freely the bread of life, and living water.  We have found the bread and water that does satisfy, and yet, sometimes we fall to crave the things of this world once more... Daniel had to schedule his day around reminders that he belonged to God, and God provided for him. 

 

We have incorporated things in our life like this too!  Praying before meals... praying when we go to bed... I urge you brothers and sisters, if your prayers of thanks have been shortened at the table because the food is getting cold, or if your prayers kneeling beside your bed have become prayers in bed and now are sleep inducers... I urge you as your brother to remember... remember who provides for you... remember who gave you that bed to sleep on!... remember that you are a temporary resident of this world.  God honors that. God remembers those who remember Him.

 

Imagine what God would feel if we not only told him, but showed him that we are His....

 

Father, Son, Holy Spirit... This world has nothing for me... I am yours...

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