DEVOTION:Are You One Of The Few?

The book of Jeremiah ends with the complete destruction of Jerusalem by fire set by Nebuzaradan the commander of the imperial guard. He set fire to the temple of the Lord, the royal palace, and all the houses in Jerusalem. He also broke down the walls around the city of Jerusalem.

 

In the book of Daniel, we move to life of the exiles in Babylon. Daniel was among the exiles taken to Babylon by king Nebuchadnezzar during the reign of king Jehoiakim of Judah. King Jehoiakim was the third to the last king of Judah.

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god. Daniel 1:1-2

 

After reading through the book of Jeremiah, you get the impression that the people of Judah were all rebellious against God. But in the book of Daniel, we discover that there were a few who had remained faithful to the Lord. Here is the story that reveals this reality.

Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility—young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service. Daniel 1:3-5

 

In the text, a few of these young Jews are singled out and their name are given.

Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. Daniel 1:6-7

 

The following drama explains why these young Jews were singled out.

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you. Daniel 1:8-10

 

Imagine these young Jews in a foreign country. Despite of the circumstances that surrounded them, they did not give in to pressure or fear. Instead, they chose to do the right thing before the Lord.

 

APPLICATION:

  1. We live in a generation where the church of Christ is becoming more like the world instead of changing the world to become like the church. But the church is not the building; the church is we, believers. The truth is this: It is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish believers from non-believers.

 

  1. Based on our story today, there are a few among Christians who, like Daniel, are genuine believers who have not soiled their feet and hands. The question is this: Are you among these few?

 

  1. What forces or causes today’s believers to compromise their faith so that instead of becoming more like Christ, they are becoming more like the world?

 

  1. What do we need to overcome in order to stand firm like Daniel and his friends?
    1. Daniel and his friends overcame pressure. Everyone else participated in the meals, but these young Jews did not bow to peer pressure.
    2. They also overcame fear. Imagine refusing to take the orders from the king in a foreign country? Definitely, these young men did not fear anyone in power, they only feared their living God.
    3. Are you doing anything that you know to be wrong? But because of peer pressure, you are doing it anyway?
    4. Are you living in rebellion against God because you fear someone else in power or authority?
  2. What helped Daniel and his friends to overcome?

Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees

Have not bowed down to Baal

 And

Whose mouths have not kissed him!

I Kings 19:18

Are You One Of The Few?

Read: Daniel 1:1-10

Marked: 1:10

Pastor Shadrack [email protected]

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