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Daniel: Faith Refuses to Compromise

(Daniel 6:3-5, 10-13, 16, 19-23, 25-27)

Some Background Information: Daniel was one of only 3 “prime ministers” that administered
the entire Persian empire. He was placed in this position despite being, in effect, a P.O.W. from
Judah. Because of Daniel’s wisdom, intelligence and integrity, the King was considering giving
him singular authority to administer the empire. Since the King’s plan would in effect diminish
the authority of the other 2 “prime ministers”, they were jealous of Daniel an began seeking a
way to bring about his downfall. The King, though generally thought to be a wise man, failed to
see through the conspiracy because he was preoccupied with promoting his own glory.

Responding to Adversity with Faith (Job 1:1-3, 8-12, 20-22; 2:7-10)

We live in a sinful and dangerous world where bad things happen to good people

God does not perform evil, though he may allow it, within limits (Job
1:12; 2:7)

Even though his faith did not keep Daniel from the persecution and
suffering, it did sustain him through that experience.

Some people respond to adversity by questioning or turning away from God

In times of sorrow, the faithless ask, “Where is thy God?” (Ps 42:3 & 10,
79:10, Joel 2:17)

God WILL answer them! (Micah 7:10; Ps. 42:11)

Others respond by drawing closer to Him and “holding on” in hope

Hold on to the hope of God’s countenance/presence (Ps 42:5& 11, Joshua


1:9, Rom. 4:20-24, Num. 6:26)

Heb., yachal, hope, wait, desire with expectation (Lam. 3:25-26)

As you have believed, so it will be done for you (Matt. 8:13)

Do you live your life as though you believe in the promises of God? (Heb.
11:1, 6)

Real faith is unconditional and uncompromising

In our lives today, there are many ways and areas in which we are being
pulled to conform to the way of world and compromise our faith.
Addressing a national seminar of Southern Baptist leaders, George Gallup
said, “We find there is very little difference in ethical behavior between
church-goers and those who are not active religiously … The
levels of lying, cheating, and stealing are remarkably similar in both
groups.

Our actions are a reflection of our faith.

Consistency - the absence of contradictions - has sometimes been called the


hallmark of ethics. - Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to
convict you?

Why was it so important to Daniel that he pray to God even in defiance of the
Royal Edict? After all, it was only for 30 days.

Because struggling to maintain our faith requires that one stay


connected to God through prayer daily.

We should also remember that this is not the first time that Daniel’s faith, courage
and integrity had been tested. The Scriptures tell us of at least 2 prior occasions
when he failed to compromise even though in doing so he was putting his life on
the line. Having experienced God’s protection on both of those occasions must
have strengthened his hope that God would help him with this test as well.

God’s value’s do not change (Heb. 13:8)

• Ethical Absolutism: What is right or wrong is consistent in all places or circumstances.


There are universally valid moral principles. (“… only by obedience to universal moral
norms does man find full confirmation of his personal uniqueness and the possibility of
authentic moral growth.” - Pope John Paul II, see also Rom. 12:2)

• Ethical Relativism (also called “Situational Ethics”): What is right or wrong varies
according to the individual/society/culture or set of circumstances. There are no
universally valid moral principles. (Related Biblical reference "everyone did what was
right in his own eyes" (Deut. 12:8, Judges 17:6; 21:25) (see also Isa. 5:20 & 24, Jer.
2:13, Rom. 1:18-32, 1 Cor. 5:6-7, 2 Cor. 6:14-15, 1 John 1:8)

Like Daniel, we need to practice Integrity (Titus 2:1, 11-3:8)

NC Motto: To Be Rather Than to Seem


•Integrity: from the Latin integritas, meaning wholeness, completeness, or purity. To
courageously hold to what one believes is right and true, without compromise. To stand
undivided, immovable, consistent in both heart and action, word and deed. Involves the
maintenance of virtue and the pursuit of moral excellence. Integrity is demonstrated by not only
espousing your values, but by living according to them. Integrity describes both who you are and
what you do. People of integrity are conscientious, trustworthy, accountable, committed and
consistent. A key to maintaining integrity is “counting the cost” before committing yourself.

•“Psychologists have found integrity to be essential to an individual's sense of identity and self-
worth, enabling the successful navigation of change and challenge. Links between integrity and
the ability to gain and maintain the trust of others have often been noted. Many purveyors of
practical advice, including Cicero and Benjamin Franklin, have counseled that integrity is the
cornerstone of worldly success. According to Franklin, "no Qualities [are] so likely to make a
poor Man's Fortune as those of Probity & Integrity" (quoted in Beebe, 1992, p. 8)” - from
Blackwell’s Encyclopedic Dictionary of Business Ethics.

•In Living a Life That Matters Rabbi Harold Kushner describes the kind of people who are able
to overcome the negativity in their lives as shalem, people who are “whole, united within
themselves, their internal conflicts ended.” Because of this, he says, they are “persons of
integrity.” Integrity, says Kushner, is a quality just as essential to human well-being as is the
pursuit of peace and justice.

•The Bible/Talmud says that:


–The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.
(Prov. 10:9)

–The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
(Prov. 11:3)

–Integrity brings
peace (i.e. a clear conscience) and marks the perfect man (Hebrew Word:
Tam = Man of Integrity) (Ps. 37:37, 1 Kings 9:4)

– The just [man] walketh in his integrity: his children [are] blessed after him. (Prov. 20:7)

–I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. (1 Chron. 29:17)

–Righteousness guards the man of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner. (Prov.
13:6)

–He (God) stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in
integrity. (Prov 2:7)

–But as for me, I will walk in my integrity. (Ps. 26:11)

•Some Biblical Examples of Integrity:


–Joseph, Gen. 39:1-12
–Jacob/Israel (Gen. 32:29) known as a “simple man” (tam, Gen. 25:27) that is to say, that
“his mouth was like his heart.”
–Job (Book of Job, see in particular description of Job at 2:3, 27:5)
–Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego (Daniel Chapters 3 & 6)
–David (Ps. 7:8)
–Solomon (1 Kings. 9:4)

–Contrast: Ananias & Sapphira, Acts 5:1-11 and Acts 20:16-36

•Plato once said “I would rather that the whole world should be at odds with me, and oppose me,
than that I myself should be at odds with myself and contradict myself.”

•"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” - Thomas
Jefferson

Some blessings from maintaining integrity

Integrity draws people to you because they believe they can trust you

Integrity brings peace (i.e. a clear conscience) Mark the perfect man (Hebrew Word: Tam
= Man of Integrity), and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.(Ps. 37:37)
(see also 1 Kings 9:4)

Integrity enables you to leave a good name. President Harry Truman used to say: "Fame
is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wings, those who cheer today may curse
tomorrow, only one thing endures -- character."

Charles Spurgeon wrote, "A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you,
and were helped by you, will remember you when forget-me-nots are withered. Carve
your name on hearts, and not on marble."

Eccl.7:1 says, "A good name is better than precious ointment."

Integrity strengthens every proper relationship

Demonstrates respect

Preserves trust

God is the source of integrity

Moral change will only occur through spiritual transformation

Our teacher is the Holy Spirit

Our text of instruction is the Word of God


What helps us to maintain integrity?

Consciousness of our example/witness (Prov. 20:7)

Truth faith that God is real and alive (1 Kings 22:14; Jer. 10:10)

Remembering that God is faithful and all-powerful. (Jer. 32:17-25, Ps.


119:49-50, Lam. 3:19-23)

The aid of God’s Holy Spirit

Our “walk” is our lifestyle

It should be pleasing in His sight (1 Thess. 2:4; 1 John 3:21-22; Col. 1:10)

Our motives must be right (Eph. 6:6)

Even when doing good people often act with “mixed” motives.

God shall judge us according to our integrity (Ps. 7:8, Matt. 7:21-23).

Do you dare to ask what Job asked, “Let me be weighed in an even


balance, that God may know mine integrity”? (Job 31:6).

Practicing our faith serves as a witness to others

In Daniel 6:25-27 we see that Daniel’s faith and trust in God not only
resulted in his deliverance, but also a testimony to others. Because of
Daniel’s faith, King Darius recognized God and issued a decree
that all people must worship Him.

Daniel’s testimony then was magnified throughout the empire by the


King’s decree commanding that all people fear the God of Daniel, the
Living God, whose kingdom will never be destroyed, whose
domino has no end, who rescues and delivers (those who trust and obey
him) and who performs signs and wonders. (Daniel 6:25-27)