“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 compassion to Daniel…” Daniel 1:8-9.
My goal in reading Scripture is to read until something “sticks” to me.
I have ongoing amazement over how approaching Scripture this way leads me into things that I had missed reading Scripture chapter by chapter.
The Scriptures are “living.” They applied to those who first read them, and they apply to me as I read them now.
Several days ago, in Lamentations 1:9, I thought about how sin clings to me and if I don’t do something about it, my future will be impacted. I read it, thought about it, wrote about it, and then moved on. Several days later I’ve now stopped on a verse that adds means to the Lamentation verse.
I’m in Daniel. I see right away that Daniel is very determined to do what God wants him to do. Daniel is an exile, but he has been chosen to receive special treatment.
Daniel’s determination to please God runs into conflict with those who are giving him the special treatment. Daniel doesn’t flinch. He doesn’t compromise. He will do what God wants.
God is already in the mix as He has caused Ashpenaz to favor Daniel. What a great arrangement!
The lesson for me? Daniel is determined to do things God’s Way. There are things in Scripture that are confusing and God does things that I don’t understand. Both are granted. But there are many things that I do understand, and I must be determined to do things as God would want.
When I run into a situation where God’s Way is clear, I must go that way.
Somebody did something wrong to me yesterday. I knew it and they knew it. I was bothered when it happened, and they weren’t. Later, they were bothered enough to ask for forgiveness. Good opportunity for me to put into practice all the things I’ve written about forgiveness……….but I didn’t. I nursed a grudge and hung onto it.
God has forgiven me a lifetime of sins. Why can’t I go and do likewise? Because my determination to do what God wants was, in this instance, the “fair weather” version. What God wanted, I didn’t want. Shame on me!
Daniel did what God wanted him to do in a situation that made that choice risky. When I accept someone’s forgiveness, I agree to let go of the hurt I felt. That is not natural or easy on my own terms. It takes someone filled with God to venture there. Daniel was. I’m a work in progress.
Conclusion: Doing what God wants is not a situational arrangement. I must obey Him in all circumstances.