Daniel would not have gotten in this trouble had he not been beautiful and intelligent. We would not have the book of Daniel to draw truths from had Daniel been ugly and ignorant. Everyone has trouble. Ugly people have trouble and ignorant people have trouble. However, beautiful and intelligent have trouble that modifies society. Because Daniel was beautiful and intelligent he was able to speak into the lives of kings and rulers.

DANIEL AND TROUBLE
By Delbert Young

The Beautiful And The Intelligent (Daniel chapter 1)

The Beautiful And The Intelligent

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THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE INTELLIGENT (Daniel chapter 1)

Scriptures: Matthew 5:13, Daniel 1:1-2, Daniel 1:4

if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

The Lord said that we are the salt of the earth, but if we lose our ability to flavor then we are good for nothing except to be cast out, and be trodden under foot to men. As we look at the Bible characters that did indeed flavor their worlds, we find one consistent trait. They had trouble. Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Peter, James, John, Paul, and even Jesus all had trouble. We all want to flavor our worlds. We want to be salty and useful for the kingdom. However, if we flavor society we will experience trouble. The carnal mind will lock up and retreat when trouble comes. The Spirit of God will take trouble and use it to advance. Trouble will attempt to make us normal. Trouble will attempt to make us fit. Many times we will do it the normal way if we can get out of trouble.

We are going to study the book of Daniel. Our purpose in this study is to find truths about handling and going through trouble. We are not going to do an exegete of the book of Daniel. However we will examine every event of Daniel’s life where he found himself in trouble and was able to influence others by the manner he handled his trouble. It will be a fun and exciting study as we move rapidly from truth to truth. So, let’s sit back and relax and become friends with Daniel.

Daniel 1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.

Daniel 1:2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.

TRODDEN UNDER FOOT OF MEN

Jesus said that when salt lost its ability to flavor it was good for nothing except to be trodden under foot of men. This is exactly what happened to Judah. Judah maintained a temple and priests, but vacillated between righteous kings and evil kings. After a while, evil kings ruled continually. The negative or unclean greatly affects the positive or clean. When a sanctified vessel in the Sanctuary was touched by the unclean, the vessel must be sanctified again. This is why it is important to have regular communion, Bible study, prayer, corporate fellowship, etc. These keep us sanctified.

The people of God went into idolatry. God sent prophet after prophet to the nation with a warning to turn from false religion (Jer 2:8, 11; 7:9). The prophets warned that if the kings refused to repent the Lord would destroy the nation (Jer 15:6). Being led by the kings, the people heeded not the warning.

It was the year 605 B.C. Jehoiakim was king of Judah and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD (2Ch 36:5). Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, marched through Judah and sieged Jerusalem exactly as the prophets had warned. King Jehoiakim surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar. Jehoiakim was placed in chains and taken off to bondage. Eventually the entire nation will be laid desolate and trodden under the feet of men.

The Lord’s purpose for Israel was to show the entire world the glory of God. It was not to be this tiny nation stuck off on a piece of dirt hidden from the world. The world was supposed to be able to look at Israel and be drawn to the one true God. Deuteronomy 4:6-8 says the nations would say what nation is there so great. Deuteronomy 28:37 says the nation should be an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations. However, Israel lost its savour. They told Samuel they wanted a king like the other nations (1Sa 8:5). The Lord told Samuel they had not rejected Samuel. They had rejected the Lord. It had become normal like the other nations worshiping idols and false gods. It would now be trodden under foot.

The principle is if we do not maintain our ability to be exceptional and to flavor, we will be trodden under foot. This is why we see so many sad and beaten Believers living defeated, walked upon lives. This is why so many want a rapture. They can escape this world that walks upon them. They have lost their savour.

SELF-INFLICTED TROUBLE BRINGS TROUBLE FOR OTHERS

The first principle of trouble I want to discuss is trouble self-inflicted verses trouble that comes upon me. For example, a hurricane is trouble that comes upon me. Not listening to God, his ministry, and counsel bring self-inflicted trouble. I have learned that most of the trouble I have experienced in my life would come under the “self-inflicted” heading. A child in disobedience finds trouble. So it is with us. When we are disobedient to the Father, trouble comes. The harmful part of this trouble is that it often affects others. The entire nation was placed in trouble because of Jehoiakim’s disobedience. Daniel was placed into trouble because of Jehoiakim’s disobedience.

My decisions and actions in life affect others. They affect some people more than others, but they influence someone’s life. My trouble becomes my wife’s trouble and my children’s trouble and the trouble of those close to me. My trouble affects their lives. Daniel was made a eunuch and spent his life in captivity because of Jehoiakim decisions. We must learn to meditate long and hard on decisions. We should ask, “What trouble can come from this?” Some decisions cause irrevocable trouble for ourselves and others.

I recall a true story about two young people about to be married. Just before they were married, one of them had a sexual relation with another person and contracted AIDS. Not knowing this, the couple was married. Of course the AIDS virus was given to the other spouse. Both died because of one irrevocable decision. Decisions we make do place others in trouble. One’s self-inflicted trouble can bring a hurricane upon another.

TROUBLE – GOD’S WAY TO BRING REPENTANCE

At this time Nebuchadnezzar did not destroy the nation, Jerusalem, nor the temple. Judah was a beautiful land. Jerusalem was an exquisite city. The temple was a marvel. This temple was the temple that Solomon built. It was plastered outside with silver and inside with gold. Cherubim, palm trees, pomegranate, and chains were engraved on the walls, ceiling, and floor. There were two huge bronze pillars on the porch named Jachin and Boaz. The enormous bronze laver bowl and altar were at the entrance of the temple. The gates around the temple were bronze. The temple was truly a marvel. Nebuchadnezzar ruled the empire. By destroying this beautiful city and temple, he would be destroying part of his empire. He did not desire to kill the people for if he killed the people Nebuchadnezzar could not receive taxes from them. Instead he confiscated part of the vessels of the house of God. He took the nation’s king Jehoiakim away in chains. And he removed the beautiful children. Nebuchadnezzar placed the eight-year-old son of Jehoiakim named Jehoiachin as king (2Ch 36:9).

One would think this visit by Nebuchadnezzar would bring the people to repentance. However, they did not repent. Jehoiachin was an immature, unwise, wicked little boy. After a few months, Nebuchadnezzar awarded another visit to Jerusalem by sending his army to remove Jehoiachin. He also removed more vessels from the temple in Jerusalem. Jehoiachin’s older brother Zedekiah was placed as king (2Ch 36:10).

Zedekiah was more vile than Jehoiachin. There was a progression we must not miss. Jehoiakim was evil, Jehoiachin was worse, and Zedekiah was the vilest of the three. He mocked the prophets, polluted the temple, defied Nebuchadnezzar. Zedekiah brought the people to a place where there was no remedy (2Ch 36:16). Nebuchadnezzar returned the third time. This time he returned to destroy. He slew young and old. He had no compassion on women or children. He removed the remaining vessels and treasures from the temple of God. He burned the temple and destroyed the city and its walls. He devastated the land. The Jews not killed were taken into slavery. That captivity lasted seventy years (2Ch 36:17-21). What good was their witness now? How could they flavor the earth? They were trodden on by the feet of men.

Let’s now draw our principle. It’s interesting how this bondage came upon Judah. It was in three stages and after many warnings. Had Judah repented after any warning, or after any of the first two visitations by Nebuchadnezzar, the land, the city, nor the temple would not have been laid desolate.

We learn the ways of God. God will warn us as he detects our going toward bondage and desolation. God will send people to warn us. The preacher will preach and forewarn us. Prophets will come and announce to us what is happening. If we refuse to listen, the thing comes and captures us. We find ourselves in chains. First we will lose part of our vessels. Our children will only partially be affected. If we continue to be hard headed and immature, the thing comes and addresses our immaturity taking more of our precious things. When we continue to rebel against authority, pollute our temple, rebel against the Lord, and mock God, the thing will desolate us. It will destroy everything from finances, precious possessions, home, family, and even life itself.

The book of Roman’s chapter one speaks of this process. First people that know God allow vain imaginations a place. Idols and gods of the flesh make us fools (Rom 1:22, 23). Those idols and gods will take part of our precious things. Our family and children will be affected. If we do not repent, we are given over to the next phase. We become unclean through the lusts of our own hearts (Rom 1:24, 25). We become immature in our understanding. More precious possessions are lost. If we do not repent, desolation takes place as we give ourselves to a reprobate mind (Rom 1:28). We lose it all.

I have an acquaintance that lived this. He was a very prosperous man with a beautiful loving wife and children. This man had a very successful business with quality savings in the bank. He was respected in the city. He knew God and was raised in the house of the Lord. However, he became a fool through lust. These lusts became his god. The Lord sent people telling him what was happening and begging him to repent. He would not. Next his home was affected. He began losing everything, but as a spoiled child, he became hardheaded and selfish. His bondage seized his business and all his money. Still, he would not repent. Nebuchadnezzar came for the third part. The man today is totally devastated. He has lost everything – home, family, all his money, his children, his wife, everything. What kind of witness is he now? What good is he for the kingdom? He is trodden on by the feet of men.

We must learn to investigate our trouble. Is it to bring me to repentance? People may see my trouble and even know it was self-inflicted. However, if I will repent, I will flavor them. They will see that I did the righteous thing and saved my land. One day they too will have trouble designed to bring them to repentance and need to make the correct decision.

Usually trouble does not sweep down upon us without warning. Usually we are warned again and again. God will allow judgment to begin in hopes we will repent. If not, more bondage will come and more precious things will be lost. If we continue to defy God, desolation will indeed come.

God’s judgment has gotten a bad rap. Judgment is good and precious and sweet (Psa 19:9, 10). Judgment or trouble, comes to warn us and bring us to repentance. God’s people should be intelligent enough to recognize what is coming upon us before we allow ourselves to be destroyed and placed into bondage.

THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE INTELLIGENT

Daniel 1:3 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;

Daniel 1:4 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.

Daniel is in trouble because of Jehoiakim trouble. Daniel was only a child. Still, Daniel was in trouble. Daniel was also in purpose. Trouble will bring you into purpose. Nebuchadnezzar took hostages. He took children. However, Nebuchadnezzar was “picky.” He only wanted the beautiful children and the intelligent children. He was not interested in bringing ignorance into his kingdom.

Babylon is not interested in people who do not care about their appearance. The world does not bother with people that do not want to learn. It passes over the “hicks” and the “red necks” and the ignorant. The world will leave them in their conquered state and even pay them to stay there (welfare). The world desires the beautiful and the educated. These are the ones who can affect. This was the description of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. We can take offence to this or learn from this. Jesus said, “for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light” (Luk 16:8).

Daniel would not have gotten in this trouble had he not been beautiful and intelligent. We would not have the book of Daniel to draw truths from had Daniel been ugly and ignorant. Everyone has trouble. Ugly people have trouble and ignorant people have trouble. However, beautiful and intelligent have trouble that modifies society. Because Daniel was beautiful and intelligent he was able to speak into the lives of kings and rulers.

In our drawing truth from this, we note that Jesus said, “ . . . I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (Joh 14:15-16). People who do not present themselves well, and people who have no desire to learn, have little effect on the world that we are to light and salt. Society today proves this truth. Movie stars, athletes, politicians, lawyers, corporate leaders attract and influence each of us. We observe their lives and their troubles.

Young beautiful lady, you will be approached by young and hopefully intelligent young men (and older men). You will have the opportunity to be exceptional and flavor them for the kingdom of God or be normal and do as the world. Young beautiful intelligent young man, you can approach and will be approached by beautiful and intelligent young women. You will be able to be exceptional and flavor them for the kingdom of God or be normal and do as the world. The beautiful and intelligent inspire both the beautiful and intelligent and the ugly and ignorant. We do not pattern the way we look after the ugly. We do not want ignorant people running our nation or corporations in which we work or invest our money.

However, being intelligent and being attractive will bring us into trouble. The nicer we look, the more brilliant we are, the more trouble we experience. These are the people that influence the world.

MAKE THEM EUNUCHS

There was a surprise awaiting these beautiful and educated children. Once placed into the world, the world would make them eunuchs. It was an attempt to neutralize them. They were not asked if they would like to be made eunuchs. This was not something they did for the kingdom’s sake (Mat 19:12). They were made eunuchs by men.

The world desires our beautiful and intelligent children. We know this is true. Also know that it is our beautiful and intelligent children that have the ability to flavor Babylon. The world will make them eunuchs. It’s not going to ask them if it can make them eunuchs. Nor will it ask their parents if it can do this to them. It will do it, period. What truth must we see about their being made eunuchs? Being made a eunuch definitely altered Daniel’s life. We can’t be silly enough to think that our children will not be affected and altered by the world’s system. I could raise my child in a home school protected environment until the child went to college. I would be silly if I thought that I could send my child to college and my child not be altered. We could take a step more. I raise my child in home school through college. When my child goes into the work area, my child will be altered. What I must do is be certain that woven into my child’s heart the desire to not defile himself by eating the king’s meat.

We began our church in 1986. We wanted to begin a school that would protect our seed and make our seed wise. We knew they could be wiser that all the wise men in Babylon. At one time our school went through all 12 grades. However, what we learned was that the number of youth in our church declined. We went from one of the most powerful youth ministries in the city to nearly nothing. We learned that we had taken our children and kept them from influencing the schools. Today we go through the eighth grade. Our ultimate purpose is not to bottle them up to keep them from Babylon. Our ultimate purpose is to weave into their hearts the purpose of not defiling their selves. This way when they get into Babylon and season it! We have been extremely successful. Nearly every child (98%) that has left our school for whatever reason has gone straight to the top of their class. Cream rises. Most of these have been placed in gifted classes. We have had several phone calls from teachers in public education expressing the excellence of understanding and knowledge with which our children come to their classes.

Daniel’s being made a eunuch did not catch God off-guard. Daniel’s being taken to Babylon did not catch God off-guard. God had prepared Daniel for such a time as this! Daniel’s heart was ready. Babylon altered Daniel’s life, but not Daniel’s ability to flavor the empire. The believer’s entire purpose is to flavor the world. Our corporate meetings should be fun and enjoyable and life changing. But if we do not flavor society then what good is it? Daniel was beautiful and Daniel was intelligent. However, Daniel was made a eunuch, but Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself.

Daniel is in trouble. The way Daniel passed through this trouble was by having woven into his heart the purpose to not defile himself.

Other Related Sermons:

Neutralized – sermon notes

Climb In The Chariot! – sermon notes

Growing Up in Serving – sermon series video audio notes