Monday, January 20, 2014

What have we allowed ourselves to become?

Daniel 1:8 (NIV) 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.

I couldn’t help but think about the reality of what’s going on in our world today as I read over the first few chapters of Daniel. Believe it or not, there are similarities between what was going on in Daniel's day and the world today. I had to contemplated the following questions: Am I allowing our current culture to influence or change me? Do I hold fast to the teaching of the Lord and abide by biblical standards? Have I compromised who I am and what I believe to look like the world?

Daniel was a young Israelite when he was taken captive by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. To help the Jews assimilate into their new culture, the Babylonians tried to change:
  • their thinking by educating them
  • their loyalty by renaming them
  • their life-style by the food they were given to eat.
Daniel drew the line when it came to food. People in the Jewish culture were forbidden to eat certain foods and Daniel refused to defile himself by eating what he was given. Although Daniel was in a culture that didn’t follow God’s laws, he didn’t compromise what he knew to be true. He remained faithful to God, and God honored him for it.

I see so many things we, as a nation and as individuals, have compromised. This great nation, founded on biblical truth, has grown “tolerant” of worldly things. I use Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (see About Webster’s 1828 Dictionary below) quite a bit in my research, so it was there I found the definition of the word “tolerant”.

Tolerant (TOL'ERANT, a.) Enduringindulgent; favoring toleration.

Wait… as a nation (and as individuals) we have become enduring and indulgent?

I had to look up the meaning of the words Enduring and Indulgent:

Enduring (ENDU'RING, ppr.) Lasting; continuing without perishing; bearing; sustaining; supporting with patience, or without opposition or yielding.

Indulgent (INDUL'GENT, a.) Yielding to the wishes, desires, humor or appetites of those under one's care; compliant; not opposing or restraining

What have we allowed ourselves to become? What have we allowed this nation to become? We have permitted ourselves to “yield to the wishes and desires” of this sin cursed world. Instead of standing out, we have “blended in” to the culture around us. As Christians, we are suppose to live by the standards of the Bible….without compromise.

The story of Daniel provides a great example of how to stand strong and remain faithful in the midst of an ungodly culture. Daniel resolved (dedicated to principle, to be committed to a course of action) to keep the commands of the Lord and not give in to the pressures around him.

Like Daniel, will you resolve to obey and remain faithful to God?

About Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:
This dictionary was the first dictionary of the American language. Mr. Webster, the father of American education, established this dictionary as a system of rules to govern spelling, grammar, and reading. He understood the power of words, their definitions, and the need for precise word usage in communication to maintain independence. Webster used the Bible as the foundation for his definitions.

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