Self-Indulgence VS Self-Sacrifice

2018-02-06 09.41.39.pngThe Babylonians invaded Judah in 605 BC and took many young Jewish males into captivity. They took the best and brightest which included Daniel. Daniel may have been around 15 years old at the time (a teachable age). The Babylonians would then convert their captives to the ways of their culture. These young men after a three-year training were to become servants to the king. They would receive a privileged status.

That doesn’t sound too bad, right? Tempting, is it not?

Read the story of Daniel and his friends taken into captivity.

But Daniel and few others resisted assimilation. The Babylonians gave them new names, taught them their history, their gods, literature, and treated them to opulent food and drink. Daniel and his company protested by refusing the choice food and wine. They did not want to defile themselves with food that did not meet Judaic dietary restrictions. Also, the meat would have first been sacrificed to the false Babylonian gods.

Daniel and his friends worked out an arrangement with the guards to let them eat only vegetables and drink only water. At the end of their fast God rewarded them with health and nourishment that exceed the others who ate the choice food and the guards took notice. He also gave them knowledge and understanding, and Daniel was given the ability to interpret dreams and visions.

God uses fasting to be a witness to His glory so that others can see His works

God rewarded Daniel because of his faith. Daniel’s faith in God led him to sacrificially commit to abstaining from certain foods so that he would not stray from the ways of God. Resigning to the Babylonian ways may not appear all that destructive to us. If this is true we may have already made many compromises to our faith in regards to the opulence and privileges ingrained in our culture. We have stopped resisting the pursuit of wealth and power and have quietly assimilated to overindulgence.

In many ways, Daniel and his friends demonstrate a courageous and dedicated faith that is lost in today’s modern church.

Have you made compromises with your faith? Where have you quietly assimilated into the ways of this world? How can you resist? How might God reward you for your faith?

PRAYER

(Begin in silence. Start your prayer focusing on putting God first).

Eternal Father, thank you for the example of Daniel’s faith.

Forgive us if we have compromised our faith with the ways of the world.

Give us courage and commitment.

May we put you first in all things.

May we be like Jesus, the one in whom we place our trust. Amen.

 


 

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Jovan preaches for the Littleton Church of Christ near Denver, Colorado. Visit here to listen to sermons preached at the Littleton Church. 

Posted by jovanbarrington

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