"DARE TO BE A DANIEL"
"But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself…" (Dan. 1.8)
INTRO.: A song which exhorts us to be faithful unto Jesus all of our lives in the same way that Daniel purposed not to defile himself is "Dare to Be a Daniel." The text was written and the tune (Daniel) was composed both by Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876). The song was produced for Bliss’s Sunday school class at the First Congregational Church of Chicago, IL. It was copyrighted in 1873 by John C. Church Co. and appeared in Ira D. Sankey’s 1894 Gospel Hymns Nos. 1-6 Complete. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song appeared in the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 edited by E. L. Jorgenson. Today, so far as I know, it may be found only in the 1977 Special Sacred Selections edited by Ellis J. Crum.
The song encourages us to have purpose and dedication as we live for the Lord.
I. Stanza 1 tells us what to do
"Standing by a purpose true, Heeding God’s command,
Honor them, the faithful few! All hail to Daniel’s band!"
A. Daniel’s band must be standing: 1 Cor. 16.13
B. Daniel’s band must be heeding His command: 1 Jn. 5.3
C. Daniel’s band must be faithful: Rev. 2.10
II. Stanza 2 tells us why we need to be brave
"Many mighty men are lost, Daring not to stand,
Who for God had been a host, By joining Daniel’s band."
A. Physical might does not necessarily make one strong in the Lord, because not many mighty are called: 1 Cor. 1.26-28
B. Whether one is mighty in the Lord or not depends on whether he dares to stand: Eph. 6.11-13
C. Only by being part of Daniel’s band can we be a host of good soldiers for Jesus Christ: 2 Tim. 2.3-4
III. Stanza 3 tells us what we can accomplish
"Many giants, great and tall, Stalking through the land,
Headlong to the earth would fall, If met by Daniel’s band."
A. The reference is evidently to Goliath, the giant of the Philistines who taunted Israel: 1 Sam. 17.4-8
B. Today, there are many "giants" stalking through the land, opposing God’s people, such as all kinds of human philosophies and empty deceits of this world: Col. 2.8
C. However, those who stand with Daniel’s band can meet them and have victory over them by faith: 1 Jn. 5.4
IV. Stanza 4 tells us how to go about our task
"Hold the gospel banner high! On to victory grand!
Satan and His host defy, And shout for Daniel’s band."
A. Daniel’s band must hold the gospel banner high because it is God’s power to salvation: Rom. 1.16
B. Only those who stay with Daniel’s band will have the victory that God gives through Jesus Christ: 1 Cor. 15.57
C. To say that Satan and his host "shout for Daniel’s band" does not mean that they are shouting in order to call Daniel’s band to come, but that they are shouting because of Daniel’s band showing their fear, because Daniel’s band will resist the devil: Jas. 4.7
CONCL.: The chorus repeats the importance of following the example of Daniel and thus being in his band.
"Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm! Dare to make it known!"
Some people might dismiss this song as fit only for children’s Bible classes and not feel that it would be appropriate for a general worship service. Each person will have to decide what he thinks about this, and each congregation will have to make its own judgment. However, whether he is young or old, every Christian should strive to be faithful in his service to Jesus Christ and "Dare to Be a Daniel."