Always Trust God No Matter What
ALWAYS TRUST GOD NO MATTER WHAT!
Daniel Chapters 5&6
A young man, who was preaching his very first sermon… announced his text in Revelation 22 and read, “Behold I come quickly.”
At that point his mind went blank and he couldn’t think of anything else to say.
Then he remembered being told that if this happens to you,
just repeat your text.
So, he said again, “Behold I come quickly.” but still couldn’t remember what to say.
Frustrated he decided to raise his voice and say it again.
Just as he did, he tripped and fell into the lap of a little old lady sitting in the front row.
Very embarrassed, he told the lady how sorry he was.
To which she replied, you don’t need to feel bad,
“you warned me three times you were coming…
and I still didn’t get out of the way.”
My message this morning is about a man in the Bible named Daniel & his 3 friends. What do you know about Daniel?
If Daniel could be here right now, I’m sure he would say to us: “Always trust God – no matter what!”
I would like to ask you to mentally repeat those words to yourself 3 times..
“Always trust God – no matter what!”
“Always trust God – no matter what!”
“Always trust God – no matter what!”
You see, Daniel trusted God for ALL his life. As a child he was growing up in Jerusalem.
His parents must have taught him about his wonderful God. They must have taught him that he should always follow God’s laws, no matter what.
Evidently, as a child, Daniel had some friends named Hananiah, Mishael, & Azariah. When they were all probably teenagers everything changed for them.
A Babylonian King named Nebuchadnezzar went to war against Jerusalem & he won! Now King Nebuchadnezzar had what I think was a brilliant idea.
That was to bring some of the older boys of royal or leading families back to Babylon, not exactly to be hostages, but rather to train them in Babylonian ways in order to be future leaders of their own people.
So, after winning the war, he took some of the older boys -- like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, & Azariah --- back to his country’s capitol, Babylon.
Now the people who lived in Babylon did NOT know about God. They did not know God’s laws, & they did not know that God loved them also. But Daniel remembered what his parents had taught him. Again we say “Always trust God -- no matter what!”
King Nebuchadnezzar put these older captive boys, including Daniel & his friends, in a special training program where they could learn all kinds of things that would make them capable leaders & friendly with the Babylonians.
Of course, this training program did not know or follow God’s laws. So, as favored trainees, they were served the rich foods that privileged people in the palace ate. But much of that food was the kind of food & drink that went against God’s laws for Israel.
So Daniel went to the official in charge of the trainees & said, in effect, “We want to obey our God’s laws. So please let me & my 3 friends just drink water instead of wine. And let us eat vegetables instead of what the others are eating.”
The official replied, “I can’t do that! You have to eat what the King provides!” But Daniel said, “We have to do what our GOD says. Let me & my friends eat the way my God’s Law says. After a few days, you will see that we will be stronger & healthier than any of the other young men!”
So the official decided to give it a try. God honored their efforts, & after a trial period of 10 days, it was obvious that Daniel & his friends looked stronger & healthier than any of the other young men!
And it was all because God blessed them & they remembered what their parents taught them. Again we say, “Always trust God -- no matter what!”
And if people trusted God, then we would be stronger & healthier, too --- because God’s Word tells us how to live a good & healthy kind of life!
Well, years went by, & God watched over Daniel & his friends while they grew from boys to men. King Nebuchadnezzar was so impressed with Daniel’s abilities to interpret dreams & with his wisdom that he placed him in a powerful position in Babylon.
He also gave Hananiah, Mishael, & Azariah, whose names were changed to the Babylonian names of Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego, important positions too.
For years they served God & King Nebuchadnezzar faithfully despite the fact that there were times they had to choose to disobey the King in order to remain faithful to God.
When some Babylonians reported to the King that Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego weren’t bowing down to the golden statue, the King commanded that they be brought to him. Remember that we will ALWAYS have others trying to put us down, trying to discourage us, etc.
Then the King ordered the 4 of them to bow down & worship the golden statue or be thrown into the furnace.
EXODUS 20:3-5 3 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them"
They refused & said, (Daniel 3:17-18) “If you throw us into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from the furnace. … But even if God does not save us, we want you, O king, to know this: We will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
Doesn’t that sound like they, too, believed “Always trust God – no matter what!”?
As a result of Daniel & his 3 friends, King Nebuchadnezzar began to respect their God even though he didn’t go so far as to worship their God himself. King Nebuchadnezzar had a long reign before he died.
Then a new king named Belshazzar became the ruler of Babylon. His father had really inherited the title & the throne, but he didn’t want the responsibilities, so he spent his time far away in a resort area enjoying himself.
Under this new King, Daniel no longer held the very important position he had under Nebuchadnezzar, & we don’t hear anything more about Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego.
Belshazzar was an arrogant ruler, & soon the combined forces of the Medes & Persians declared war & began a long siege of Babylon. But Belshazzar was confident that the defenses of the city were so good that there was no way the enemy could ever break through. And he was almost right.
This way of thinking reminds me of the FOOLISH and EARTHLY comment made by those who designed the TITANIC… that EVEN GOD HIMSELF couldn’t SINK IT.
So to celebrate how invincible Babylon was, Belshazzar threw a grand party for 1,000 royal guests. It turned into a drunken party, & Belshazzar ordered the gold & silver cups that had been taken from the Temple in Jerusalem to be brought in, & they drank from them while praising their own gods.
Suddenly the fingers of a giant hand appeared & began to write on the palace wall. The King watched this & the Bible says he “…was very frightened. His face turned white, his knees knocked together, and he could not stand up because his legs were too weak.” (Daniel 5:6)
He immediately sent for “all the magicians, wise men, and wizards of Babylon.” And he offered a great reward to anyone who could read the words & tell what they meant. But no one could, so he “…became even more afraid, and his face became even whiter.” (Daniel 5:9)
Then the King’s mother told him of Daniel who had been an advisor to King Nebuchadnezzar. When Daniel was brought in he reminded Belshazzar of all the things that had happened to King Nebuchadnezzar & how he had finally learned humility before God.
But despite knowing that, Belshazzar had not only ignored God, but had deliberately insulted God by his drunken use of the holy cups from God’s Temple to praise his own pagan gods.
Then Daniel translated the words & explained their meaning. God had passed judgment on him, & his kingdom would be taken from him & given to the Medes & the Persians.
The King ignored his words, but since Daniel had explained what the words on the wall meant, Belshazzar kept his word & ordered that rich gifts be given to Daniel & announced that Daniel would, under him, be the next most important man in Babylon.
But it didn’t make any difference. That very night the enemy broke into Babylon & King Belshazzar was killed. And within a short time the entire Babylonian Kingdom was controlled by the Medes & Persians.
The ruler of the new Kingdom was King Darius of the Medes. But no matter what King was in charge, Daniel remembered what his parents taught him.
“Always trust God - no matter what!”
King Darius reorganized his Kingdom & appointed 120 men to be Governors. Then he chose 3 men to be Supervisors over them. And Darius chose Daniel to be one of the 3 Supervisors! Now Daniel was one of the most important rulers in the new Kingdom.
Daniel was a good ruler. He was wise & fair & honest. In fact, Daniel was so good at his job that King Darius decided that he didn’t need 3 Supervisors. And he planned to make Daniel the only Supervisor of all 120 Governors.
Almost everyone appreciated Daniel. But a few did NOT. He was not a Mede or a Persian or even a Babylonian. He was just a captive Jew.
They did NOT believe in Daniel’s God, & they wanted to find a way to make King Darius stop favoring Daniel. But even though they spied on Daniel every day, they couldn’t catch him doing anything wrong.
They DID see that Daniel did something different from other people. Three times every day, Daniel would go to his window & kneel down & pray to His God. That gave these evil men an idea! They finally knew how they could get Daniel in trouble.
The men went to King Darius & said, “Oh, King, live forever…” (that’s the first thing everyone said to the King in those days). Then they said, “We have a great idea. To really unite the Kingdom, make a Law that says: For the next 30 days, no one can pray to anyone except to you, King Darius! And if anyone breaks this law they will be thrown to the lions.” Then they lied & said, “Everyone thinks this is a good idea.”
King Darius believed their lie. He thought everyone, even Daniel, thought this was a good Law. So he signed a paper that made it a Law. Now, here was the problem. Back then, if a King signed a Law, then no one could change it … not even the King!
Well, soon after Darius signed this Law, these evil men went to Daniel’s house & waited for him to come to his window & pray to his God. Daniel knew about this new Law. But Daniel thought, “All my life I have obeyed my God, & I’m not going to stop now!” Daniel remembered what his parents had taught him, “Always trust God -- no matter what!”
So, Daniel went to the window & prayed just like he did every day. Those evil men went running to King Darius & told him that Daniel broke his new Law. The King was dismayed because he liked & respected Daniel … but he couldn’t change the Law he had signed. So, he told his servants to arrest Daniel & bring him to the Lion’s pit.
When they threw Daniel into the pit full of hungry lions, the King said, “Daniel, may your God whom you always serve come & rescue you!” (Daniel 6:17)
Then the King went back to his palace afraid that he would never see Daniel alive again because he knew the lions were ferocious & hungry.
Daniel 6:18-24 says, “The King did not eat that night, he did not have any entertainment brought to him, and he could not sleep. The next morning King Darius got up at dawn and hurried to the lion’s den. …
“He called out to Daniel, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God! Has your God, that you always worship, been able to save you from the lions?’ Daniel replied, ‘O king, live forever!’ (Remember, they always had to start that way)
“My God sent his angel to close the lions’ mouths. They have not hurt me, because my God knows I am innocent. I never did anything wrong to you, O king.”
“The King … told his servants to lift Daniel out of the lion’s Den. So they lifted him out and did not find any injury on him, because Daniel had trusted in his God.”
“Then the King commanded that the men who had accused Daniel be brought to the lion’s den. They, their wives, and their children were thrown into the den. The lions grabbed them before they hit the floor of the den & crushed their bones.”
Then King Darius wrote a letter to all the people in his kingdom & in every language they spoke: (Daniel 6:26-28) “I am making a new Law for people in every part of my Kingdom. “All of you must fear and respect the God of Daniel.”
“Daniel’s God is the living God; he lives forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end. God rescues and saves people and does mighty miracles … He is the one who saved Daniel from the power of the lions.”
“So Daniel was successful during the time Darius was king and Cyrus the Persian was king.”
From the time he was a little boy -- all the way until he finally got old & died -- Daniel always remembered what his parents taught him: “Always trust God -- no matter what!”
May we ALSO ALWAYS Remember, “trust God -- no matter what!” Will you trust & obey Him?
You have that opportunity as we stand and sing.
Where and when we meet
Chardon, Ohio 44024