Archive for June 24th, 2021

Stay Pure

Thursday, June 24th, 2021

Stay Pure

Pastor Don Carpenter

Behind Enemy Lines: Standing For God When Your Nation Does Not / Daniel 1

Manfred, Freiherr von Richthofen was a famous German First World War fighter pilot.

He was better known as the Red Baron because he flew a distinctive a red Fokker aircraft.

He shot down more combat planes than any one else on either side in the first World war

His known kill tally was 80.

On 21st April 1918, he began chasing a Canadian plane – that was trying to escape the battle over the Mor-lan-court Ridge, near the river Somme.

As the Red Baron pursued his prey, he strayed behind Allied lines.

He dived too low into the enemy lines

And he also he missed a Canadian pilot (Arthur) “Roy” Brown coming up on his tail to help his comrade.

We will never know whether it was a shot from the ground – or a shot from Brown that killed Richthofen.

But what we do know is that the “Red Baron” came to his end because he made the mistake of pursuing that Allied ‘plane “too long, too far, and too low into enemy territory” (as one report so succinctly put it)

And many committed Christians have been shot down because they have followed temptation for too long, too far, and too low into enemy territory.

And as with Richthofen — they are then caught unawares and then have to deal with the consequences.

What if as a Christian, you find yourself way behind enemy lines? What if you are a student in the public school system or worse, the secular college? You are surrounded by folks who hate everything we believers stand for. What do you do then?

In the next few weeks we are going to preach a series called “Behind Enemy Lines -Standing For God When Your Nation Does Not” We will discover several ways God’s people found victory in spite of being surrounded by the enemy through no fault of their own.

Godliness is not an accident. One does not live a consecrated life because it happens to come naturally or because it is the easiest course of action to take.

If you are a born-again believer, you are living in a world that is headed in a completely different direction than you are. Every Christian young person going off to public school is confronted with a culture that opposes the truth that they embrace. The work place offers the same kinds of challenges for Christian adults.

In our text this morning, we have the story of a teen aged boy who purposes to remain undefiled even though he is immersed in a pagan culture.

Purity In Spite Of Isolation

Daniel 1:3–7 KJV

And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; 

Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. 

And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. 

Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 

Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abed-nego.

 • Daniel was a gifted child that was kidnapped

 • Taught different philosophy

 • Taught different customs

 • Taught different language

 • Removed from authority figures

  • Parents

  • Priests

 • Taught different religion

 • Determined to live differently than those around him

Purity On Purpose

Romans 13:14 KJV

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

A. Daniel’s faithfulness had gained the respect of some pagans around him

Daniel 1:9–10 KJV

Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. 

And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.

B. Daniel was willing to put Biblical purity to the test

Daniel 1:11–13 KJV

Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 

Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. 

Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

C. God blessed his commitment

Daniel 1:14–16 KJV

So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 

And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. 

Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

Purity Based On Principle Not Opportunity

Daniel 1:8–9 KJV

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. 

Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.

A. Daniel’s decision was not based on outcome.

B. Daniel’s decision was based on what was right.

C. God worked in the heart of Daniel’s captor.

 1. Favor = kindness

 2. Tender love = compassion, the same emotion felt when a mother has a baby in her womb.

 3. He thought that Daniel’s conviction about diet would lead to weaker captives. Often the world views standards of separation and purity to be restricting rather than liberating.

D. God often requires our decision to obey before He shows any tangible hope of deliverance.

 1. Abraham was ready to kill his only son before he knew of the deliverance.

 2. The Hebrew children had to walk into the red sea before it parted.

 3. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were willing to die in the furnace before they saw God’s deliverance.

Purity On Public Display

Daniel 1:12–16 KJV

Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. 

Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. 

So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 

And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. 

Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

A. This challenge was made after the decision to abstain from all of the king’s meat was made.

 1. God did not forbid all meat.

 2. Abstinence from all meat was the best way to avoid unclean meat.

B. Daniel put a specific challenge out.

 1. Replace meat with legumes.

 2. Replace wine with water.

 3. Give it 10 days.

 4. Evaluate physical appearance.

 5. Daniel really believed in his heart that God’s standards were best, not punative or limiting.

C. The results:

 1. Fairer = agreeable to the senses

 2. Fatter = firm, well fed

 3. All Hebrew captives were put on this diet.

Purity Is Power With God

Daniel 1:17–21 KJV

As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 

Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 

And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. 

And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. 

And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.

A. God gave them knowledge = intelligence.

B. God gave them skill = the ability to pay careful attention to:

 1. Learning = facts

 2. Wisdom = the application of truth

C. Daniel had God given understanding of dreams.

D. These four boys were very close to the king.

E. They were 10 times better than any pagan magician or astrologer.

Conclusion:

A flock of wild geese was flying south for the winter, when one of the geese looked down and noticed a group of domestic geese by a pond on a farm. He saw that they had plenty of grain to eat, so he went down to join them. The food was so good, he decided to stay with the domestic geese until spring, when his own flock would fly north again. When spring came, he heard his old flock going by and flew up to join them. The goose had grown fat, however, and flying was difficult, so he decided to spend one more season on the farm and join the wild geese on their next winter migration. The following fall, when his former flock flew southward, the goose flapped his wings a little, but kept eating his grain. By the next time they passed overhead, the now-domesticated goose didn’t even notice them.1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 77–78.

God wants His people to remain separated from the World, pure from anything that would defile them. This purity will not happen by accident. One must purpose in his heart to remain pure, then take action based upon that decision. Once we have demonstrated our resolve to do what it takes to remain pure, then God will bless you in that decision. We must remember that God’s standards are never the second best. God has set up His standards for us because that is how we are designed to function. We must be bold enough to allow God and His standards to be put on display for all to see his wisdom. This is how we can Stay Pure.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:56 PM June 24, 2021.