1999-05-14 - It's All a Choice
Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Everything we do in life is a choice. Whether it is to get up in the morning, or to sleep for ten more minutes: brush our teeth or share onion breath. Some choices are meaningless, "Should I have cake or cookies?" Other choices are eternal, "Should I defile myself or join the crowd?"
Making the right choice is hard sometimes. Usually it means to defy our friends and the world in general.
It is said that there were over a million Israelites in the wilderness. When it came time to cross the river, 12 spies went to see what was in the Promised Land, only 2 said, "It's GREAT! Let's go take it!" The crowd agreed with the 10 who saw the "giants in the land". They missed the fact that God had said, "This is the land which I shall give to you." Fear kept them out of the promise, and brought them into punishment. Only the 2 entered into the Promised Land.
It's been estimated that 70 young men were taken into Babylon, only 4 chose not to defile themselves. Most of the young men saw the delicious food and ate to their heart's content. They missed the fact that God said, "Thou shalt not eat food offered to idols." They forgot that David wrote, "When you are sitting at the king's table, do not be desirous of his dainties, for it is deceitful." Only those 4 were found to be 10 times stronger and smarter than all of the rest of the wise men in the kingdom. These 4 were given high places of position in the kingdom of their enemies.
Hundreds of men and women followed Jesus when He began His ministry. As He taught, and the way appeared to be too hard, it ended up with only 12 who followed closely and consistently. The masses have become nameless, but the 12 stand out, 2000 years later, we still hold them high is our memories.
God has a standard that at a glance is impossible. He says, "Be ye Holy, even as I am Holy." The one thing that we miss is that Jesus said, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the Age."
When the choice is hard, when no one else agrees, when the Bible says, "thus sayeth the Lord" … to do anything else is to defile ourselves. I think it is far better to face the laughter and mocking of the crowd for choosing to be Holy than it is to face my Master with excuses of why I didn't obey Him.
It's not about cake and cookies, it's about right and wrong.
Dear Lord, sometimes it is so much easier to give up the fight and just do what I am being pressured to do. Sometimes it is so hard to stand firm when the world is rocking. At those times I sometimes forget that You are with me. Thank You that You are not afraid to remind me that You are there. Thank You that You remind me of the Words that You have planted in my heart, and thank You for Your Word. Help me to stand strong and to choose to not defile myself. I love you, Lord. Thank You for first loving me. Amen