Monday, March 16, 2009

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego - Part 3:"Friends" have moral obligations.

Daniel 1:5-14 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. Among these 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. 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 sympathy 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 then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, "Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see." So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

We've been talking about the three part process that the king was using to brainwash these boys to his way of thinking. We're on step number 3:

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For the past week, my husband and I took the kids and drove to Kentucky to spend time with my parents. We had a wonderful week, we even went trail hiking up the mountains while we were there. It was nice to get away from everything and have the opportunity to do nothing but visit with my family.

As God always provides - this is part of the process number 3 - hanging out with the wrong people.

The king had made it clear the boys from Judah were to be mixed in with the other boys in training from Babylon. Young teenage boys all mixed in together - it might become difficult to stand your ground and be firm in what you believe when others fight against you. But isn't it amazing how God worked it out to keep them separated. There's nothing like a good ol' competition to keep the teams working together. This is what God used through these boys to keep them safe from the temptation of being around others who do not believe the same way.

We are faced with it on a daily basis. How quick we are to succumb to the office gossip or the violent temper in a basketball game when others actions "started it". If we can steer clear of those we know lead us into temptation, it is so much easier for us to remain a Christ-like example.

Many people don't have the blessing of parents who are Christians. I do. Which is why it was so nice to get away and be surrounded by love and acceptance with a clear vision of what our ultimate goal in life is - to serve Christ.

So to recap:
1: Take care of the body God gave you, when our physical body is weak - it's hard to focus on what our goals should truly be.
2: Know that you are a child of the King and don't let Satan tell you anything different - and make sure you act like it.
3: Surround yourself with your brothers and sisters in Christ to be continually uplifted and encouraged to continue on our mission.

On a side note: My middle-school daughter has a friend who plays the piano in her praise band. She went into the hospital this weekend with severe headaches and they found a brain tumor. The are performing surgery at noon today to take the mass out and analyze it to see what they are dealing with. This is a strong Christian family in our church - and they sure could use your prayers. Her name is Rebecca and she's in 8th grade. If you get a moment - could you say a prayer for her and her family?

3 wonderful insights:

Chatty Kelly said...

Excellent writing as always. I loved the recap at the end.

I said a prayer for Rebecca.

Blessings to you.

Edie said...

Your message is always wonderful Dorothy. I have already prayed for Rebecca. I will put her on my prayer list this week. I hope the surgery went well.

Unknown said...

It has been years, but how is Rebecca now?