By O.S. Hawkins
Thursday, May 01, 2003
Often the tendency of so many of us is to be overcome and overrun by the culture around us. For some it becomes easier to simply give up trying to hold on to biblical principles and go along with the culture. If Daniel is saying anything to us across these centuries he is challenging us to not give up and to be consistent. Daniel was a young man who would not compromise and would not quit. Daniel stated to the chief of the eunuchs that he would not defile himself by eating the King's unkosher meat. (
The single characteristic of those who succeed in the challenges of life is this element of consistency. Joseph, in an Egyptian dungeon, did not give up. Paul, in a Philippian jail, did not give up. Daniel, in Babylonian captivity, did not give up. And God did not forget any of them.
So often in a culture that is crumbling like ours we're tempted to ask, "Where is God?" He was there with Daniel and He is here with us. Note the quote, And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand. (
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Many are prone to give up what they stand for when they're out in the culture. Some of us seem to be geared to think that if we do not compromise we might lose our position or even our promotion. Daniel had figured out who he wanted on his side. It was not his boss, it was his God. He knew the truth of
So, what is the point? If we're going somewhere in life we need to learn some lessons from our friend Daniel. Don't play politics. We should live our lives in such a way that they line up with the Word of God and please him in the process. And then we can watch Him work on those around us as he did in Daniel's day. It is not enough to simply be resistant if we're not consistent. Some start well but give up and go with the crowd around them.
Oh that we could grasp Daniel's spirit. He purposed in his heart. This is not a guy trying to prove something to someone with a bunch of self-righteousness. This was no show. This was from his heart. There are some who don't give in and are resistant but who become caustic and crude when trying to resist a culture. The Bible reminds us that a soft answer turns away wrath. Daniel has a disarming way about him that honors God. He not only calls upon us saying "Don't give in, be resistant," but he challenges us by saying, "Don't give up, be consistent!"
O.S. Hawkins is president and chief executive officer of the SBC Annuity Board. He is a Contributing Editor to Preaching.