Tuesday, May 20, 2014

God's Favored Servants

"God's Favored Servants"

Dan. 1:1-21 [vs. 1-2, 8, 9]

5-14-14 Wed PM

There are twin themes in chapter 1:

A. Conviction [v. 8]. Biblical convictions

Someone said that a belief is something you hold; but a conviction is something that holds you. Biblical discernment and Biblical convictions are a endangered traits today.

Daniel held Biblical beliefs, but he was also held by Biblical beliefs that showed in his convictions and choices.

Conviction could mean being convinced of sin and the Savior, being cut to the heart [salvation conviction], or believing the Word of God without compromise.

Compromise is defined as the inability to deal with the biblical data as God intends because we are overwhelmed with our own personal desires. We substitute ourselves as the one to be pleased rather than God.

What is it that you are compromising today? What keeps you from your Bible study? Your witnessing? Your praying? Your doctrinal and moral purity? What is it that keeps you from faithful church attendance and ministry?

We will see in our text how God used 4 young men out of possibly 50-75 men to show us today that one can live an uncompromising life in a compromising world. That it is possible to walk Godly in an ungodly world, to live right in a wrong world with God's favor on you..

B. Favor [v. 9].

We will also see the sovereign hand of God in the affairs of men and nations by bring these men into favor with God.

1. What does it mean to have God's favor on you?

The best definition of the word favor is “demonstrated delight.” The favor of God can be described as “tangible evidence that a person has the approval of the Lord.”

2. How can you get God's favor?

(1). God shows favor to the ones who delight in and give honor to Him.

Isaiah 66:2 says, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.”

Second Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong on behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.”

To be “perfect” toward Him means we seek His favor more than we seek the favor of anyone else, even ourselves.

(2). God seeks out those who love Him and love His commands so that He can bless, guide, and protect them (Psalm 37:23; Proverbs 3:5–6).

This does not mean that everyone who is prosperous or healthy has found favor with God (Jeremiah 12:1; Psalm 37:7; 73:16). Nor does it mean that those whom the Lord favors will never suffer difficulties.

Those who are favored of God know that God is with them and that nothing can happen to them apart from His good purpose (Romans 8:28).

(3). One way to obtain favor from the Lord is to seek wisdom.

Proverbs 8:35 says, “For those who find me [wisdom] find life and receive favor from the LORD.”
Psalm 5:12 says, “Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”

(4). Finding favor with the Lord keeps our lives and thoughts pure because we desire to please Him more than we desire to please ourselves.

Hebrews 11:25 says of Moses, “He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.”

When the same can be said of us, we know we have found favor with God. His delight in us will be demonstrated.

Exception Clause

What is the "Exception Clause" in Matt. 19:9?

 Matthew 19:7-10, They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?  (8)  He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.  (9)  And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.  (10)  His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.

The “exception clause” in Matt. 19:9 extends to Gentiles as well as Jews in the Sanhedrin [Matt. 19:3]. Some believe this clause is not for us today but the Jews in the Sanhedrin finding out their bride was not a virgin.

What does verse 9 say?

1. “Fornication” covers a multitude of sins not just pre-marital sex. It also covers extra-marital sins.

2. There is no mention of the “betrothal stage” in the text as some believe putting it in relation to the Jews in the Sanhedrin.

3. The disciples asked Jesus, not just the Jews.

 (1) Matt. 19:10-12

 (2) Matt. 5:31-32, note here that the context is the Sermon on the Mount which is written to believers in kingdom living.

4. Note Matt. 5:31 where Jesus is talking about Moses but in v. 32 he says, “you.” In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus is talking about how our inner righteousness must exceed the outward righteousness of the Jews. “You,” refers to the disciples not just the Jews.

Therefore we believe there are two Biblical reasons for divorce (1) Unfaithfulness (Matt. 5:31-32; 19:9) and (2) The unbeliever divorces (1 Cor. 7:15-16).There is no mention of remarriage in the case of the second.