Let’s Read the Bible Together (January) Week 1
One of the great things I love about the Bible is that it deals with reality, the way things really are. The Bible is not a book of fables or fairytales, it doesn’t begin with “once upon a time” or “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.” When we read the Bible, we are reading about real events, real places, and real people. I was reminded of this once again as we began our Bible reading plan “Lets Read the Bible together (January).
Part of plan this month has us reading through the book of Daniel. Right in the very first verse we are told these events take place in the 3rd year of King Jehoiakim of Judah. These details are very specific as to what time in history the events recorded take place and exactly what happened. The King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar was given victory over King Jehoiakim by the Lord, and as a result the life of a young man named Daniel takes an entirely different direction.
As we read the text, we discover that Daniel is one of the young men taken captive and chosen from all of the tribe of Judah to be trained and enter the royal service of King Nebuchadnezzar. As Daniel find himself in captivity in a foreign land being forced into a job and role that probably never imagined he would be in, he still remains faithful to the Lord. The aim of Nebuchadnezzar was to force Daniel and his friends to conform to the ways of Babylon.
The aim of our enemy today is no different. Satan would seek to see each of our lives “conformed to this world” (Romans 12:1-2). What is so sad is that so many Christians today have given in to the pressure from this world instead of presenting their lives in complete surrender to the Lord and allowing Him to transform them into the image of Jesus Christ. As as result, many are living a Christian life devoid of power, joy, and any real testimony of the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As we look at the life of Daniel we read that he “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the kings meat” (Daniel 1:8). I like how it reads in the NLT “Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king.” Daniel made a decision in his heart that he would not compromise. They could change his name and try and educate him however they wanted and that did not bother Daniel. Daniel knew who he was and what he believed. Why then would he object to eating the kings meat? The reason is simple, it would be in direct disobedience to God’s Word.
Daniel has purposed and determined that he was going to live in obedience to God’s Word no matter what the consequences. It would have been easy to compromise while living in a foreign land away from the influence of his family and home and just give into the request of the king. Daniel is a great example for us as we seek to follow Jesus in this present evil world. Let us follow in his footsteps and purpose in our hearts that we will not be conformed into the image of this world, that we will seek to live in obedience to the Lord as we walk with Him day by day. In doing so, we will be like the wise man that builds his life on the rock (Matthew 7:24-27). And when the rains come and the wind blows our lives will be found standing. Lets purpose in our heats to discover the joy that comes from taking heed and living in obedience to the Word of God.