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God Rewards the Faithful

Daniel 1v8-16

20th September 2019

We saw last time that Daniel and his friends were determined to obey the word of God, despite pressure from the Babylonian government to break it. We saw how Daniel dealt with the problem with tact and wisdom, gaining the friendship and trust of the officials concerned, so that he and his friends were granted permission to eat simple food, rather that the rich food from the king's table which was forbidden by the Law of Moses.

These four Jewish teenagers were faithful to God and God protected them. He also rewarded them:

Daniel 1:17-20
To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king's service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.

Many of God's people had been transported to Babylon, and a good number of them would have been enrolled to study for the king's service. But, so far as we know, only these four refused food that would have contravened God's law, and only these four were blessed by God with knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And only Daniel, who was the one with the courage – or faith - to speak with tact and wisdom to Ashpenaz and to the tutor, was blessed with understanding of visions and dreams.

Daniel respected and submitted to the divine revelation that he had – the Law of Moses. God saw his faithfulness and gave him more revelation.

To anybody who is struggling to hear God speak into his life, may I say, make sure you're obeying the Bible. Why would God give you more instructions if you're ignoring the ones He's already given you?

God acts in accordance with Luke 16:10 "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much". If we will be faithful in what we've been given, God will give us more. If we are unfaithful to what we've been given, God will not give us more, because we'd ruin it.

The Bible is one of God's greatest gifts to us. If we will humbly and diligently study our Bibles, and if we will do our best to obey it, and ask God's help when we find it difficult, if we will not water the Bible down or ignore the unfashionable passages - even if other Christians and other church do - and if we will apply the Bible to ourselves before we try to apply it to anybody else, then God will give us more and more wisdom and insight.

Many godly people have suffered for their obedience to God's word. But God will reward them generously, either in this life or in the next. And God's purposes will be fulfilled. God is perfectly capable of protecting those who obey His word, and giving them greater wisdom and influence. King Nebuchadnezzar was impressed buy these four young Jewish men, and took them into his service.

Daniel 1:21
And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.

God gave Daniel long life. And using the wisdom and insight God gave him, Daniel served God all of that long life, and he saw the day when God's people were restored to Jerusalem.

We're in a battle. As Paul says in Ephesians 6, we're not battling against flesh and blood, but against demons. But we are in a battle. We must fight to retain our integrity and our faith in God. We are His chosen people and we must be loyal and obedient to our heavenly King.

May we seek God's wisdom in scripture. May we diligently apply ourselves to the task. May God open our eyes to understand the Bible. May we treat the non-Christians around us – followers of any religion and none – with wisdom, humility and tact. May we also treat each other with wisdom, humility and tact. And may we trust God to give us lives that glorify His holy name, and hasten the day when our nation is restored to God's love, God's moral standards, and God's gospel of forgiveness and peace.