To start the audio of this message go to the bottom of this page and click on the arrow OR
read the synopsis below and then click on the arrow at the bottom of this page.
Synopsis of The Joy of Putting Holes in the Darkness
We’re about to slice a piece of the Bread of Life, the Word of God. And today’s slice comes from… Well, today, before I tell you the verse containing the key slice of the Bread of Life let me begin with a story told during a bible study by Anne Graham Lotz.
When the Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson was a child the story is told that one night his nanny found him looking out his bedroom window into the darkness. She looked over his shoulder to see what he was watching; a lamplighter lighting the street lamps. Little Robert said to her, “Look; I’m watching that man putting holes in the darkness.”
Have you been discouraged by looking into the darkness brought on by the spiritual and moral decay of our great nation? It makes me think, I know I can’t change the world, but maybe, I can put a hole in the darkness. That thought brings me to thinking about Daniel, a Jewish young man in the nation of Judah when the Babylonians from the East swept through and destroyed every thing in a series of ruthless operations. This was when the enemy King, Nebuchadnezzar, ordered the brightest young Isralites from the Jewish nation to be slaves in his palace. But as I read chapter one of the book of Daniel I see Daniel putting holes in the darkness.
Now, lets look at the first slice of the Word of God, 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. 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.
Wow! Can you imagine that; the king of the nation brings into the Jewish nation his own false gods. ( notice god is spelled with a lower case g ). Just how do you think these changes affected the average Christian , errr excuse me – Jewish, citizen. Also, how did they affect Daniel?
This brings me to think about the political changes happening in our nation. How do they affect you? Better yet, how do they affect the general population of this country?
Lets examine how the religion of the Babylonians differ from that of the Jews? Let’s check it out in Jeremiah 32:29 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it:And now lets see how it affected Daniel and his Christian, …. Errr, Jewish friends in Daniel 3:12.
This is where the Chaldeans accused them, now renamed as … Sadrach, Meshach and Abednego, to the king… There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? 15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. 19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
WOW! How did that affect their faith. Now, let’s examine the religious changes in our nation over the last ten years. Better yet, how have these changes affected the church in the last ten years. How has this impacted your faith? Watch it Bro. Dick, you’re getting personal now. Hmmmm…. maybe that’s my job.
O.K. How about verses 3 through 7 of chapter 1 about four more changes that happened in Daniel’s life: 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; 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. Sounds like an indoctrination through education to the King’s religious and philosophical and political thoughts.
5 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 at the end thereof they might stand before the king. Hey, hey…. Look how the nation is going to take care of you through it’s handouts of the best of the best.
6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego. Ah, now Jewish names in my nation; you are now no longer Jewish, you are Babylonians.
When so many changes take place at the same time, in the world, in our country, in our community, in our churches, and even in our homes and family structure. How does that impact you or your family? How might today’s changes make Daniel feel? Which changes, thus far, can you identify with. Think of your children and grandchildren and the nations educational system; and of the changes in the nations identification with your religious beliefs.
How did Daniel handle the changes as they swirled around him? But Daniel made up his mind not to eat the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the superintendent for permission to eat other things instead. Verse 9 Now as it happened…….
Daniel did not accept the King’s handout; he stuck to his guns. And how did that become a “Hole in the Darkness” example to others. Now, if Daniel had not been true to his conviction, his faith in his God, do you think anyone back home would have known about it. I think not. But, what a blessing he would have missed. What blessings are you or I missing today by not Putting Holes in the Dark. In our community, in our country, in our families, in our children or grandchildren.
Lets now shift gears and discuss Moses. How did he make a similar choice, and what was the result……? WOW ! What happens when God’s children follow his advice, and have faith in His promises, and stick to their core convictions, and “Puts Holes in the Darkness”? They reach their promised land. So, what are your core convictions? When have you intentionally made the choice to live by them? Have you followed through?
To listen to this message click on the arrow below.