Saturday, January 23, 2010

Will You Compromise?

Where is the line of compromise? Actually, what does compromise look like? Have you ever heard the comments "Everyone else is doing it"?

I find that temptation is at its greatest when the item of interest is the smallest. For example, if you are on a strict diet and have resolved not to eat any desserts you will suddenly find yourself interested in a small bite size snickers bar. Sound familiar? It should, because that's how temptation works. Once we have made that commitment, we usually don't have the problem with the entire bag of chips. It is that single chip or small candy bar that gets us.

We seem to be faced with these small temptations on a daily basis. These include the temptation to compromise standards and beliefs just to be accepted. We may not rob a bank or commit a major crime but we will be tempted to take that drink or cross a line of purity. When that happens we fail. Daniel was faced with the same things as we read in the opening chapter of the book that bears his name. 

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were faced with a dilemma on whether or not to eat from the King of Babylon's table. Jerusalem had just been besieged by the Babylonians under the leadership of King Nebuchadnezzar. After the takeover the king's desire was to select some of the children of Israel who had a high reputation and bring them under his direction and command. He wanted to train them in the ways of the Babylonians and feed them from the king's menu. He essentially wanted to brainwash them to become icons within his rein to entice the children of Israel to obediently follow his rule.

Daniel 1 verse 8 says:

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. [The New King James Version. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982).]

These four were given different names, a new home, a new education, and the best of foods. Daniel, however, decided to buck the system. He wanted no part of the food and wine. Why? Because it was against the standards of the Jewish law. What immediately comes to mind is the question "What would be wrong with 'giving in' on the food and drink issues?" Does this sound familiar? "Everyone else is doing it", or "a little wont hurt me".

God had set the standard and within it there is no room for compromise. They did whatever they could to avoid compromise and God honored their actions. The text tells us that God provided a way to glorify Him. Scripture also tells us that "God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams." [The New King James Version. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982).

You will be enticed to compromise every day you live on this planet. Just remember, it takes faith and obedience to overcome the pressures of this world. When you take that stand God will bless your actions.

In Christ,

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