Resolve to Take a Stand

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Map of the Babylonian Empire
City Pictures
Image of the City of Babylon
Hanging Gardens
Daniel 1:1–7 ESV
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god. 3 Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, 4 youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. 5 The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king. 6 Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah. 7 And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.

1. Resolve to Follow God in Advance

Daniel and his friends were God-fearing Jews, though they were of Royal lineage.
They had determined in advance that they would follow God and not defile themselves.
Think about it:
In a foreign land - “When in Vegas...”
Given new names and identities (form of brainwashing)
Daniel (God is My Judge) to Belshazzar (Bel will Protect)
Hananiah (God is Gracious) to Shadrach (Inspiration of the Sun)
Mishael (God Is Without Equal) to Meshach (Belonging to Aku)
Azariah (The Lord is My Helper) to Abednego (Servant of Nego) - Nebo = a Babylonian god
Life of Luxury - they were living in the King’s court and had a food allowance of things that most people would not have had. They were allowed to study rather than being put to forced labor.
Daniel and his friends determined not to violate themselves and break God’s laws.
Daniel 1:8–11 ESV
8 But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. 9 And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, 10 and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” 11 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
Have you resolved in your heart to follow God’s commands before temptation comes up?
Don’t wait until you get in the moment to tell yourself that you won’t sin. Decide in advance not to sin.

2. Resolve to Follow God No matter What the Consequences

Daniel and his friends demonstrated a willingness to follow God’s ways no matter what happened to them, but they would follow God and let the consequences lie wherever God decided they would.
Daniel 1:12–16 ESV
12 “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” 14 So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. 16 So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.
Daniel and his friends followed a vegetarian diet. This eliminated food that was sacrificed to idols or that had blood in it or that was from an unclean animal.
God blessed the decision more so than the diet. Some have tried to follow the diet, but that was never the point of the dietary laws in the first place.
God will not always deliver us from the evil intentions of others. But whether God does or not, is His decision to make. We are called to leave it with God and obey no matter what, knowing that God is good.
As we enter a new year, what are some resolutions that you have in your walk with God?
Resolutions come from resolves that we have.
Establish some of these resolutions to be in the Word, to pray, to spend time with God’s people, to give, to share your faith. Make these resolutions in advance and leave the consequences up to God.
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