Bible Ballistics: BBs #703 Commitment With Character???
“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 requested
of the prince of the eunuchs
that he might not
defile himself.” Daniel 1:8
Last time we talked about the circumstances that brought Daniel to Babylon; and while they were difficult things to deal with, Daniel was a young man committed to God, as well as a young man with dignity, integrity, character and a most godly demeaner—also known as decorum.
Decorum: dignified propriety of behavior, speech, dress, etc.
WOW! What a mouthful! Many today don’t even know what decorum is, much less desire to exhibit it in their lives. Daniel could have been the poster-boy for decorum in all his ways—especially his devotion to God and the ways in which he reflected his God to a lost, pagan culture who had taken him captive far from his own home. For most of us, we’d have been ready to “doubt, pout and drop out”; in fact, I think most of his companions from Jerusalem did just that, for we never hear anything more of the others who were also chosen for training for service to King Nebuchadnezzar. But Daniel and his three like-minded friends became men of honor and valor in a difficult place, through whom God made Himself known in a dark place. A place where they were suffering the consequences of other’s choices. But their valor was evident to many in amazing ways.
Valor: boldness or determination in facing great danger….heroic courage; bravery.
Daniel and his friends determined to be faithful to their God with a heart of humility (not whining, pouting or blaming God for their situation!) that God used to make a difference; not only in their lives but also in the the lives of others, as they lived out their commitment to God with respect, and a character that set them apart from others. We will see this as we continue this series and see see what God provided for them in ways made evident to those willing to really see!
All this began with Daniel’s decision to set “his heart” on God no matter the consequences! Oh, that we could learn to have such faith, decorum and valor! Oh, how we need more “Daniels” today! Godly men, women, boys and girls, who love Jesus and are willing to stand against the tide of popularity and greed and be humbly faithful to our Lord Jesus and Father God, by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit and truth! Oh, God raise up Daniel’s to make a difference in our world today, and “let it begin with me”?
While Daniel had probably been ceremonially defiled already at the hand of his Babylonian captors, he made up his mind to never do anything to “defile” himself before his God! What about you and me? What have we decided to do about our lives in a world gone crazy? Will we “withstand in the evil day” (See Ephesians 6:10+) or will we just throw in the towel and quit? Will we cave to the pressure of our peers and join in the chaos or will we speak “the truth in love” (See Ephesians 4:15 & 1 John 3:18) regardless of the consequences. Remember that Jesus told us that when we follow Him and live righteous lives, as HE called us to, we will often have to endure persecution and suffering!
“These things I command you,
that ye love one another.
18 If the world hate you,
ye know that it hated me
before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world,
the world would love his own:
but because ye are not of the world,
but I have chosen you
out of the world,
therefore the world
20 Remember the word that I said unto you,
The servant is not greater
than his lord.
If they have persecuted me,
they will also persecute you;
if they have kept my saying,
they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things
will they do unto you
for my name’s sake,
because they know not him
that sent me.” John 15:17-21
I remember years ago when we were helping to start a new church, someone gave us some advice on seeking a pastor; they told us that we needed to look for the “oldest godly young preacher-boy” that we could find! I thought that was one of the most profound pieces of advice that I had ever heard; and we followed that advice and found a young man who had a great heart for God, and a wisdom beyond his “young years”—in other words we were blessed to find the “oldest godly young” man who served, blessed and helped us do God’s work in that little church! Daniel fit that bill! He was a godly young man with wisdom, devotion and character beyond his years. What about you and me? Now, I’m way beyond the “young” years part, but I know many my age who still have no wisdom and willingness to be “God’s” man and woman! How about you? Are you still stuck in what the author of Hebrews calls the “babies” of the faith? Or will you “quit you like men” and “withstand in the evil day”! And if you haven’t noticed, we are there!
“For when for the time ye ought to be teachers,
ye have need that one teach you again
which be the first principles
of the oracles of God;
and are become such as have need of milk,
and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk
is unskilful in the word of righteousness:
for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat
belongeth to them that are of full age,
even those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised
both good and evil.” Hebrews 5:12-14
stand fast in the faith,
quit you like men,
14 Let all your things
be done with charity.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
And in closing this session, Daniel gives us a great example in verse 8; “therefore he requested”! Daniel didn’t pout, pitch a fit, or demand his way! He simply made up his mind and set his “heart” on God and did right with humility, character, and respect for the authorities over him. He “requested” permission to do that which would be acceptable to his GOD and left the results with his God! Join us next time to see the results (or you could read ahead and see for yourself before then!)! What an awesome God we serve—the same awesome God that Daniel served with commitment and godly character! The choice is yours, but there is a test!
Amen and Amen!