Godly Character Shines!
Scripture reading for September 1st: Daniel 1-3
Have you ever moved into a strange neighborhood and different culture where you didn’t speak the language of the people around you? Have you gone on a mission trip and lived outside of your comfortable culture? These experiences would help us to understand what Daniel and his three young friends experienced in their 800 mile trip across deserts from Jerusalem to Babylon. They were the best and brightest of the Jewish people of God. They were re-trained to think “Babylonian” by being placed in the prestigious “University of Babylon” and given a rich diet from the king of Babylon’s personal chef. (Daniel 1:1-6)
These men had good training in their home and church community. As young men, they would have memorized the Pentateuch (Books of Moses) by the time they were thirteen. They would have read the prophets and would have begun an apprenticeship for a trade. Their character was shaped by the Law of God in the ten commandments and through Moses’ writings. They also had dietary laws that were given to keep them healthy and set them apart. Their godly character helped them to walk with integrity and reap God’s blessing and favor.
Daniel resolved not to defile himself with food that was not allowed by God’s law. He appealed to the one in authority over him for a different diet. (Daniel 1:6-14) Daniel listened and was respectful to the one in authority. These wise ways came from godly character through the Word of God. They looked better with the diet of vegetables and water than the rest who had the rich food and wine! (Daniel 1:15-16)
Honoring God brought these men lots of additional blessings. God gave them wisdom and understanding in all kinds of literature and learning in this ‘secular’ university. They excelled above all others and no equals were found! They were “10 times better” than all the others in the kingdom. (Daniel 1:18-20)
It pays to live a godly life and to purpose to honor God and not defile yourself with things God forbids! Godly character brings wisdom to live wisely in a wicked culture. Take time today and allow God to show you how to live separated lives in this culture. What things should you purpose not to defile yourselves with? You will shine for Him too!