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Daniel 1:17



Speaker 1: Hey, men. Thank you. May be seated. For that. Take your Bibles if you have them and turn to the book of Daniel. Daniel, chapter number one is where we're going to be tonight. Daniel Chapter one. And I'm not going to read the whole portion of scripture that we're gonna look at this evening. We're going to read one verse because I kind of want us to think through some things as we go through the passage. So be a little bit different than normal. But if you find your place in Daniel chapter one and you wouldn't mind standing in honor of reading God's Word if you're physically able, we're going to read just verse number 17 is all we're going to read, and then we'll kind of unpack some things here in chapter one together as we go through Daniel Chapter one, verse number 17, the Bible says. 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. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, we ask once again that you would meet with us here tonight, that you would give me the words you would have me to say, help the folks that are here to listen and apply with you here to their lives or we do love you so much. Now we ask that you would speak to our hearts. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen. Thank you. May be seated. All right. I know this is going to be painful for most of us when you go back in your mind to March, April of 2020. Uh, there was one word we heard once. We heard it a million times, and it was that word unprecedented. In these unprecedented times, how many times we hear an unprecedented through the matter is the Bible tells us nothing is unprecedented. There is nothing new under the sun. Is there? Same song, second verse as my wife would say a little bit louder, a little bit worse. You know how many of you watch reruns, watch reruns of things? And never fails. When I go to visit our seniors, they're watching reruns of something, usually Gunsmoke. If I if I'm visiting several of them in a row, I can usually follow the whole episode. I leave during a commercial break and I've got a few minutes to get to the next house, though I can catch up on what's going on. But it's that's the way it works in life and it applies to everything. A lot of times, you know, it's not just things like a pandemic where people complain about things being unprecedented. We talk about the children and the next generation and say, what are the challenges of this new generation? They are unprecedented. They're not. They might be different, but they're not unprecedented. The same lusts and temptations that have been presenting themselves for all of human history are still presenting themselves today. We're going to look at a passage, of course, you read it with me a second ago, talking about children. And this is a passage that a lot of times at least I've used it this way is directed towards teenagers. It's directed towards children. Why? Because the Bible calls Daniel and his friends children when they were taken from their homeland and brought to Babylon. But what I want for you to do tonight is not to listen to this and try to pass it off on someone else. Don't try to make it someone else's problem, someone else's message. I want us to apply this to ourselves because all of us are facing similar things to what previous generations faced. The technology may be different, the fashion may be different, the politics may be different, the culture may be different. But really, there is nothing new under the sun. I believe that God has given us the Old Testament largely for an example for us. We look and we see how these people followed God through what they might have thought were unprecedented times. And so you and I can then learn from their decisions, learn from their faith, learn from their mistakes, and apply them to our lives. And so I hope to show you tonight that there are a lot of similarities between what Daniel and the other three Hebrew children faced and what we faced. Now, I need you to I know it's summer, but you put your thinking caps on for just a second. And nobody did it. Yes, please. Put them on. Strap them up. Buckle them. Yes. Thank you. There you go, brother. Alan. Very good. Okay. That's why you wear it while you're working. Okay, I get it now. Yeah. You got to put these on. Okay, so what I want you to try to do is I want you to try and imagine or pretend. How about pretend? Let's pretend. Pretend you've never heard about Daniel. Never heard the name Daniel. You've never heard of Hint and I, Michel and Azariah or Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. You don't know who never can. Ezra is never heard of Babylon. You know, a lot of times I think we get into the habit of assuming that everyone just knows all the Bible stories when we start talking about them. Miss Nancy, you're the one who helped me with this. Sometimes there are people who sit in a church service who don't know, and you start talking about things and they're like, I don't even know what he's talking about. All right. So I want you to try and put yourself in that position tonight and look back at verse number 17 with me. And just let's kind of think about what we just read and what we might assume is going on. If we knew nothing else about the context of this verse, it says, As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill and all learning and wisdom. And Daniel had understanding and all visions and dreams. So you don't know where they are. You don't know when this is written. You don't know how they got there. The name Daniel means nothing to you. Now, what would you assume is true about the circumstances surrounding these four children giving, given the development that is happening in their life? As you read about how they're growing and maturing and developing and increasing? What would you think is their situation? From this passage, we learn that these boys are maturing into grounded, intelligent humans. Their knowledge and skill are increasing, their increasing in their ability to learn and exercise wisdom. And I think if we really could completely separate ourselves from what we know about this story, we might be tempted to think that these boys must be living in some sort of idealized atmosphere. I mean, surely with this these kind of results, these guys must. I mean, they must just have the perfect life, you know, their family, their education, their religious training. They must all have been working together to cultivate this growth. What it would be, would we be too far off to assume something like that? Is this too hard of an exercise for Wednesday night? Okay. I mean, mom and Dad must just be, like, totally engaged with these boys in order for them to be so spiritually mature, right? In order for them to have such a connection to God. Surely, mom and dad, they're not just spending quality time with them. They're spending quantity time with them. I mean, for them to be like this, they're their education must be top notch. I mean, you look at the way God's blessing them. They obviously, you know, are getting fed a biblical world view of how the world works. And they must be thriving because of their education. And don't even get me started about their religious training. I mean, surely they have like the perfect pastor, the perfect youth pastor that is always there for them. I mean, the guy works 25 hours a day, eight days a week. I mean, this just must be the perfect scenario. I mean, I'd like to know the names of this highly effective team of parents and teachers and coaches and pastors working together to make this this happen. I mean, if you ran across a teenager that matched the description of nurse number 17. How would you respond? I mean, if we had no where if you met a teenager like this, what would you do? Spent some time. Maybe you hired him. Maybe you're spending time with him. You noticed his knowledge and skill is is great. He's capable of learning. He's full of wisdom. You'd want to know what's the secret? What's going on in your life so that this is possible. I mean, you'd probably make some assumptions about their home life. If you met a teenager like this, who would you give credit to? Huh? Parents. Yeah. Most likely the parents. Now let's reconnect with the reality of these four children. Daniel Chapter one If you go back to verse number three. Tells us the truth. About what is really going on in the the atmosphere, the circumstances that these boys are are thriving in. Says a person or three in the King speak and to Ash Bin as the king is Nebuchadnezzar, the master of his eunuchs. He should bring certainly the children of Israel and of the kings seed and of the princes, children in whom was no blemish, well favored and skillful in all wisdom and cunning in knowledge and understanding, science and such as had ability in them to stand in the King's Palace, whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. In these two verses, we are reminded that these four children are not living in the idealized atmosphere that we might expect. It's not in my notes. I'm not going to say a lot about it. But you do notice first thing in verse number three, who it was that never, never sent to do this job. It's the master of his Unix. And so you can make the. You can connect the dots as to what that means for the children that he's going to go and pick out. Okay. Not only that, these four children are going to be removed from their families. These four children and many others will be taken from the familiar communities where they had spent their childhoods. I grew up in Allen, Texas. 18 years old. I went back for my sophomore year. Never went home, really, to live again. That was it. I didn't know it. Anybody else did you have to leave home? And you thought, well, I'll come back next summer and live in next summer. Never came. I mean, your life just kind of took off and that was it. Never went back. And, you know, when I go back home, there's a certain part of me that feels reconnected to who I am, who I am, or who I was. But these boys, they're going to be taken from their homes, their communities, everything that's familiar to them. Surely they had their favorite, like, you know, walk through restaurants that, you know, were in the bazaar, are in the shops that they like to frequent. They had certain foods that only grew in their area. Maybe they made their burgers. Yeah, they can eat burgers. I mean, beef was good for them. You know, they had burgers that they liked that they would never eat again. That removed from everything that's familiar. Their education would be hijacked to impose a worldview and a way of thinking that was contrary to everything that they had experienced to that point. And if you look at verse number seven, you'll see it as if it wasn't enough to take away everything they've known. In verse number seven. It says that unto whom? The Prince, the eunuchs, speaking of the four boys, gave names for he gave them to Daniel, the name of Bill to Qaiser, and the head and ear of Shadrack and to Michelle of Meshack and the Azariah of Abednego. So not only did they have to leave the physical surroundings that they were used to, but then they're also having to leave the let me say this way, the philosophical surroundings that they're used to. They're having to give up their language. And we're not even going to call you by your name anymore. We're going to give you a new name. This is jarring. I would dare say if if this happened to us as adults, we would have a hard time dealing with it. But can you imagine taking what is really going to amount to a bunch of teenagers and doing that to them? How messed up this could possibly make them. Some of you because I can see it in your eyes. You're saying, uh. Kids are resilient. We've said kids are resilient so much. And yet. Maybe they're not as resilient as we think they are. Maybe that's why we have so many children with psychological issues that that have to be dealt with later in life because we're just like, Yeah. Kids are resilient. When we moved here from Virginia, we were concerned about Titus. Titus was four at the time. You know, he was old enough to know who the people were at church. He still remembers, or at least says he remembers our house in Manassas. He had a climbing tree. He says, I miss my climbing tree. We found out later that the climbing tree was cut down so that that got taken away. Titus really didn't struggle all that much with moving here. You know who did struggle, though? Jackson at 18 months old, it was jarring for him. You think in 18 months he barely knows up from down? Why does he care if you move? It was jarring. Everything that was familiar to him was taken away. The faces he was used to seeing when he got dropped off in the nursery were gone. Or all of the old faces. It's just it's a hard thing. These kids have their lives have been upended. The lives of these children. Can we say this? They're in chaos. Far from the idealized circumstances that we would assume based on what's happening in their life. When we look at the reality of what they're facing, we find that everything's messed up. Everything's twisted, everything's perverted. Perverted just means it's jumbled up. It's not the way it's supposed to be. It's been corrupted from what they're used to. Nothing about their situation indicates a situation conducive to what we've seen. So how is it possible? How is it possible for these four young men to be thriving? Verse 17 Increasing in knowledge and learning and wisdom. When their life is in chaos. The circumstances around them are are not good. How did Daniel and his friends become so successful? Well, there's two things I want us to look at. Number one, I want us to look at the things that we can't see. As I did. So, I want us to look at the things that we can't see. I don't know how we're going to do that. We're going to try. And then I want us to look at the things that we can see, because part of the answer is hidden from us. Daniel If you do some of the math, it's hard to tell. But Daniel is most likely a teenager when he's taken probably between the ages of 14 and 17 at an extreme. He's no older than 20 years old. At the other extreme, possibly 11. So we got a ten year window here in which he is probably aged. He's taken in the third year of the reign of Joya Kim. If you're here on Sunday night, you'll remember that Joya Kim is the father of Joya Chinh, who we looked at. Now, Joya Kim is the son of Josiah. So in their line of kings, this is really exciting stuff. Josiah Troyer. Kim Troyer. Chin. And they always need a lot of amends over that one. So we'll just move on. It is kind of important, though, that Josiah was Joi Kim's father, because you'll see that Nebuchadnezzar comes in the third year of Joy Kim's reign. And if Daniel gets taken 14 to 17 years old and why, Kim's only been reigning for three years. That means that Daniel has had the privilege of growing up for anywhere between 11 and 14 years in a culture of revival. Josiah was a godly king. He led reform, a godly reform in Judah. And David, growing up, got to grow up in a time where exciting things were happening and there was this renewed interest in the law and in God and being true and faithful to him. And so even though we don't know what these boys homes were like, I mean, to be honest, we don't even know who their parents were. We don't even know. We can maybe assume that they benefited from the spiritual revival going on in the country, which most likely trickled down into their homes. But we don't know that it's hidden from us. For some reason, God chose not to let us know what Daniel had. And I, Michel and Azaria's parents were like, We know that they were important people in Judah, but that's about all we know. But there's another part of this matter, something that is not hidden, and it points back to the things that are hidden. You see pre exile. Is in. It has an effect on post exile. So what we read about them after after having been taken into Babylon is informed by what had happened to them before they were taken into Babylon. Daniel and the other three boys had, obviously, based on what we'll see here in just a moment. They had obviously internalized their devotion to God. Unfortunately, we don't want this. It's not the goal, but it's reality. Doesn't matter how effective the Children's Ministry is or the youth group is, or even the church service is. There's two types of people. Each one of these groups. There are some people that have religion and morality. Not forced, but pressured onto them from an external place. It's not springing out from from the inside. It's kind of expected. There are perhaps social pressures and family expectations that are coming at them from an external source that produces the semblance of spirituality that happens. I've said this before. As as parents, our goal is not to get our kids to do right for our sakes. Our goal is to help our children do right, for God's sake. We want them to please him. First of all, if they please us, it needs to be because they're pleasing him first. Okay? Yeah. We'll just leave it there. The same is true with with marriages. I'm I strive to say stay pure and faithful to my wife, not for her sake, though she benefits, but for God's sake, if I'm doing it for her sake, then as soon as she makes me mad, there goes my motivation. Right. And so we have to have the proper motivation is an external motivation that produces morality in our life. Or is there an internal motivation? And some of our children yes. Some of our children have already internalized what they believe. Then don't you believe it's possible for a child to internalize their faith and to already be convinced not to say they'll never have a doubt, but to be convinced that the Bible is true and what God says is true and that all they have to do is obey him. Absolutely. We've got children. We've internalized their faith. We've got teenagers. They have internalized their faith. I would hope that in this crowd we have adults that have internalized their faith. And so now morality and in serving God and obedience to God springs from us not because of external pressure, but from an internal transformation. And that's exactly what we see here in Daniel, because Daniel is going to go to Babylon and all those external pressures to to live a moral life and a life of obedience to, in his case, the law. They're all gone. Watch what happens when the king sends a command to the Hebrew children in verse number five. Bible says, 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 in there of they might stand before the king. Now, you should read that. And you kind of have to wonder, well, what could be wrong with this pastor? Didn't you just a few weeks ago preach a message lauding and commending David for offering the fiber chef a similar deal to sit and eat at his table? Weren't we all like, Oh, my goodness, this is amazing. David's letting the chef come and eat with him. What a great blessing. Esther, didn't you just say on Sunday night that Joshua Chin was offered to eat at the table of evil, married the son of Nebuchadnezzar, and we all said, Oh, look at how his fortunes have turned. Look at the favor that he has received, undeservedly. First number five, sounds like good news. But there is a problem. The Kings meet the Kings y. Is this really a privilege? Is this really a great kindness? Well, as hard as I've tried, I know that you're not unfamiliar with the story of Daniel. You know, Daniel's got a problem with it. Verse number eight. Bio says. 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 demanded of the Prince of the Eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Is that what it said? What does it say requested? You see the kind of young man Daniel was. Stop his feet and sigh and roll his eyes and say, I ain't eating it. You can't make me. Oh, he he just. You requested would be allowed. He'd not partake. Why? Because he was concerned about defiling himself. In Daniel's eyes, the king's meat and the king's wine was a source of defilement. Now, I don't know how big a deal food is to you. I don't know if maybe you spend a lot of time during the day thinking about what you're going to eat next. Maybe it's an afterthought. You're just like, Oh yeah, it's 9:00 and I haven't eaten since breakfast. I should probably eat something. I'm not that way. I understand some people are that way. You read these articles about these people who claim to have not eaten in years. You never read this? There are people who claim to have not eaten in like four years. They drink water and breathe there. And that's that's it. They claim to be able if somebody is not telling the truth, I don't know. But, you know, it's I'm not that person. Okay? I got home, you know, this this this afternoon, you know, 430. And I'm like, what's for dinner? You know? And I'm ready to eat and I'm pretty full now, so I'm not thinking about eating right now, but I could I could eat. Anyways. What is defiling about the kings. Me? Well. What are Daniel and his friends? A Jewish. Aren't there like kind of a lot of animals that the Jews weren't supposed to eat? Namely pork. Macon, have you? I mean, nobody can. Ezra's over there, got a a a bun with, you know, pulled pork and some head country, and he's slathered all over and he's like, Hey, Daniel, you want some? And Daniel's like, I can't defile myself with your meat. You know, if if Gary was one of the Hebrew children we like. All right, give me some of that. Daniel purposed in his heart internally not to defile himself. Daniel was not coming to this decision because he was afraid that there was some Jewish rabbi that would see him eating that whole pork sandwich and say, Ah, ha, ha. Look, that kid did. There's nobody. There's no one there to to get him in trouble. I mean, the Jewish authorities, his parents, the the law police there, they're all dead. It's not even like Shadrach is going to him and write a letter home and say, Oh, by the way, Daniel pulled pork sandwich. Daniel is acting based on the knowledge and understanding that he had received and he had then incorporated or applied into his own life. So it would not defile himself with the portion of the king's men. But what is defiling about the king's wine? I mean, I've been told by a number of very reliable sources that all wine in the Bible is alcoholic. Okay. This. What's the feeling about the wine if it's all alcoholic? More alcoholic. There was something about the wine that Daniel said, I can't drink of that this would be defiling. Daniel here is resisting the pressure to conform because he knew what he believed to be right. Daniel is unwilling here to abandon those beliefs simply because of the influence or the pressure of others that was coming against. You see, social media didn't invent peer pressure. Right. And you know, it applies to kids and teens and parents. Parent guilt, anybody? Oh, look what they did on their vacation. Oh, they're such better parents. You know what I love? And I've seen some of my friend, some of my acquaintances do this. Where they video their family devotions and then post them like, what is wrong with you? Have you seen that? No, I've seen it. I just want to encourage other people night out. I mean, pastors feel it, too. So and so does this program at their church. And you look and you see and they're like, we had.

Speaker 2: An amazing.

Speaker 1: Turnout out. You're like, Oh, I guess we should do that too. Everyone experiences pressure and it's not social media that brought it on. Here we see Daniel. He's experiencing pressure from the king, from Ashman, as from the other Hebrew children. I mean, there's only four that we find out that that actually stood up and said, no, we're not going to do this. How many others were there? Hundreds. They're all going along with it. Hey, hey. I'm a Jew, and I'm doing it. Or as our kids are probably here. Hey, I'm a Christian and I'm doing it. Daniel, what's wrong with you? Well, you think you're better than everyone else. Look, Bartholomew over there. His dad was a Levite. He was one of the priests. He's eating from the king's table. What's wrong with you? You think you're better than him? Everyone deals with pressure. In verse 17. We only see four. That are specifically called out as blessed by God. Why did God bless Daniel and his friends so much? Simply because they refused to eat and drink something. I mean, how big a deal is? Daniel. It was a very big deal. Big enough, if we would be honest, to risk his life. He's really going out on a limb. And saying, could we not eat this? Thought about whether or not to say this. Somebody put a gun to my head. And said, You drink this glass of wine or I'm going to shoot you. I'm probably drinking it. I hope that doesn't disappoint you too much. I just. I probably am so. I don't know. Is it wrong to say it's just being honest? Most of us would probably not consider food to be that important in the morality of our lives. I know Proverbs talks about the glutton and all of that, but I mean, like from day to day. When you think about your sin and you're convicted of your sin, is food really high on the list? Probably not. It's kind of a small thing. But you know, there's a biblical principle that is referenced by Jesus in the New Testament, which I feel is playing out here in Daniel one. SIMON Luke 1610. Jesus says he either is faithful in that, which is least is faithful also in much he that is unjust. In the least is unjust also in much. It seems like Daniel and his friends had applied that principle to their lives. And then in verse 17, we see that God blesses them for being faithful in that, which was least. God bless them with more of what they already had. Wisdom, knowledge and understanding. They were acting with those things already in in in making this decision. But God says, Hey, you've been faithful in what I've given you. I'm going to give you more. Because of their faithful use of the knowledge they had. God granted them deeper wisdom than they had before. That is how Daniel and his friends could thrive and increase all while living in Babylon. See, they no longer enjoyed the safety and comfort of the familiar. If we were being honest, we would say that they were being inundated by paganism. They were surrounded by their enemies, people who had not just threatened physical harm but had actually killed a large number of their social groups, family groups. There were far from home. No longer had families. And yet we find them growing and maturing. Have you ever heard the question, what is nature or nurture? It's obviously a bit of both. But here we see that for Daniel and his friends even when their surroundings. Where A.I.. God, there was something inside them that worked against them. My question for us this morning. Evening is, can we experience the same thing today? As I said before, Daniel is often a message directed at children. Our kids are in the back. Our teens are upstairs. It's just adults really in here tonight. So why waste time with this? If there wasn't something that we were supposed to learn from it. I believe we as adults need to be reminded of this passage to. There are significant obstacles that all of us face, obstacles that are resisting our own spiritual growth and development. Do you believe that the the the the power of your flesh, the forces of the world and the power of Satan? Do you think any of those things are really excited or interested in promoting your increase of spiritual knowledge, your increase of wisdom? And there's no. Were the mats going to, Lord willing, start some more school classes coming up in the fall semester? So please pray for him. But one of the classes that he took, I remember when I took it, he came and got my book this morning and I was just thinking back through that book and it deals a lot with the the enemies we face the world, the flesh and the devil. Real enemies. That are not interested or not approving of you growing in your spiritual life. There. There is opposition there. There is resistance. There is pressure from the outside to conform. But you and I, like the Hebrew children, can overcome this resistance, and we can grow in understanding, in knowledge and in wisdom. You know what the great thing is? We actually have more going for us than they did. Because we have the Holy Spirit. That will guide us into all truth. And so, yes, the enemy is strong. Greater. See, that is in me. Leaders in the world. We face challenges, but they're not unprecedented. You deal with pride. All of human to all humans have dealt with pride. It's all with all the lust, the eyes, lust of the flesh. The pride of life. Those are things that every generation of humanity has had to face. You know, it's great. I read an article this morning by Jen Wilkins that a lot of you ladies have read some of her books here recently. And she was talking about the comfort that we we draw from the verse that with every temptation. God always makes. What? A way to escape. It's always a means for us to escape that temptation. So how do we in a in an increasingly wicked world, how do we grow and increase in knowledge and wisdom and understanding? Well, I believe it's very simple. It's not complicated. God is not the author of confusion. I'm not going to give you a 12 step in a 12 step process. You have to go through. It's very easy and simple. Simply do what Daniel did. Just do the next right thing that we know to do. That's it. So see, you had to make a decision, didn't you? You're sitting at dinner and. You know, summertime. Talk about pressure. We're talking about churches that cancel their Wednesday night services during the summer. You think your pastor doesn't sometimes feel like I don't really feel like leaving the house again? Sometimes I do. Now, if I made the decision not to go, that would be pretty. It would have an effect on the service. Okay. But you all had to make a decision. Are we going to go tonight or are we not? By morning, you're gonna wake up. You're gonna have to make a decision. What? I'm gonna. What am I going to do? To start my day. Start with the Lord. Am I going to try and get this thing going by myself at some point during the day? You're going to have to decide, am I going to spend time with God today? Tonight some of you are going to go home and you're gonna be faced with the decision. The kids are going to be in bed. Your wife's going to be getting ready. Perhaps you'll be laying there or sitting in the living room all by yourself with your phone in your hand. You'll have a decision to make. Am I going to go and look at things that I shouldn't look at? Or am I going to keep my eyes and my mind pure? Maybe it's giving for use. You have to make a decision on Sunday. Am I going to be faithful to give to the Lord as He has prospered me this week? Or am I going to keep it for myself? And after all, inflation is sky high. Gas is costing us more than it has ever cost us. Lord, surely you understand that right now. I just can't do it. You have to make a decision. With every decision that you make. To. Trust what God has written in his word, and then to obey what God has written in His Word. You increase in learning, knowledge and wisdom. It's it's that. It's that thing that we've talked about so often. The Christian life is a journey. It's a path that God has set before us. We are traveling down this road and in every decision that we make, to obey God is a step. And another step. And another step. I don't know if you've ever gone on a hike before for the deer, and I'm sure you probably done longer hikes than I have. I've been on some long ones, and sometimes it feels like I'm never going to get to the end. You know, the hike we did in Montana last year? I didn't think it was ever going to end. I don't know why I brought my backpack, but I had sweat marks, you know, on the backpack straps. It's just like this thing's never going to be over. But as long as you keep putting that foot in front of the other and you keep making the next right move and the next right move and the next right move, even though you may not notice that you're making progress, you are making progress. Some of you have been living the Christian life longer than I have, and you can look back and you can see where you were at one time. And you can see obstacles and and points of resistance that probably before you got to them, you looked ahead and you thought, how are we ever going to get over that hill? How are we ever going to get past that? That right there is unprecedented that nobody's ever gotten over that bill. But she kept moving, kept trusting God, kept obeying him, kept doing the next right thing. And what did you find? The Lord helped you over that hill. Walk up to get out. Daniel and his friends. Four buddies on a trip. On a journey. For them, it was an unprecedented path. But others had been down that path. Say who? Remember that little servant girl? That spoke to naming. Naming the leper. Remember him? She had been taken from her home. Her parents had been killed. She was forced to go to a place that had a different culture and religion and language. And yet, that little girl. Do you remember what she did? She just kept trusting God. She kept she kept obeying God. Her faith and her obedience to God influenced name and his family so much that name and took the word of a little girl and went to Israel to find the prophet. You see, it was unprecedented for Daniel friends, but it was not unprecedented. Other children had done the same thing. Wisdom doesn't sprout overnight. It's nurtured and developed. It comes from saying yes to what is right and no to what is wrong. Success has been defined as doing the right thing for a long time. The world is trying to get us. The question what is right and wrong to question what the next steps should be? We make things too complicated when we try to justify or exempt ourselves from simple obedience to God. We harm our own spiritual lives by giving in to what the flesh wants rather than what God said. Then when we lack discernment or wisdom and understanding. We wonder. Why am I not further down the path? You need to learn to obey God in the simple matters, or we will struggle to obey Him in the heavy matters. What are the simple things, you know, without question, that are right to do? Simple things, you know? No doubt this is the right thing to do. Okay. Give me a few examples. Tell the truth. Okay. Good, huh? Steel. Don't steal the ocean. Steal. I was like one of those Bible misprints, thou shalt steal. That's right. Read your Bible. Huh? Right? Right. You think with these ears, I can hear a pin drop?

Speaker 2: Meaning.

Speaker 1: I can't read lips, Miss Yvonne. Oh, I said, what are what are some unquestionable right things that we all know to do? The world. Yes. You're all right. See, we know what the right things are to do. And if we just did, the things that we know are right to do that, keep us pretty busy. Think to yourself, what are some harder issues that you need wisdom for? Don't you think that if you're following God on the path where you are now, that when you get to that, He'll continue to make your pathway clear? Yeah. These four children. God gave them knowledge and skill and all learning and wisdom. And Daniel had understanding and all visions and dreams. All this happened in exile in Babylon. Under the tutelage of that godly man. Never as. We live in a wicked world, too. But if they can serve God, they can stand for what's right. I think we can as well. They can thrive in that country. We can thrive in this country. I can't. Absolutely possible. Heavenly Father, we thank you for this day. Thank you for the attention to the folks that are here. What I asked you would help us, Lord, each one to trust your word and to obey it. God, that we would internalize the things that we believe in, not just live out our our devotion to you because of external pressures. Lord, help us to. To follow you, to be faithful in the little things so that you can help us to be faithful in the big things. Or we love you so much. Thank you for all that you've done for us. Help this this message to affect our hearts. And it's in Jesus name. I pray. Amen

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Isaiah 1:10-17