Deciding In Advance — Daniel 1 & 3

In chapter one of Daniel, the king probably intended for his counselors in training to have the best food and drink to benefit their development and study; after all, he wanted them to eat the food and drink the wine from the king’s table. When Daniel fully committed himself to trusting in God, probably in Judah before his exile, he decided in advance not to disobey God; therefore, God showed him a way to obey God and obey the king’s probable intention at the same time. Daniel did not need to struggle about who he was going to obey, God or the king; therefore, he was more open to learning from God how he could wisely disobey the king.

In chapter three of Daniel, the king’s wise counselors, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, had spent many years having already decided in advance to always obey God. Therefore, God gave them wise and respectful words when the king commanded them to bow before an idol and they knew they had to publicly disobey the king: “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty's hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18). Because of their faith in and obedience to God, either way God would save them: God would take them to heaven or God would save them from dying in the furnace. God had grand reasons and plans for delivering them. Their courageous and wise way of disobedience would become an example for believers around the world for hundreds of years; the king would acknowledge that their God is the Most High God; and the king would command that no one was to say anything against the God of the Jews.

Today, thousands of Christians face persecution and many are dying because they have decided in advance to always obey God. If at this time we are not facing persecution we are facing temptations daily, and we can more easily overcome these temptations if we have decided in advance to always obey God. When we pray to Jesus to show us His way of escape, He will. Facing temptations, persecution, and death, Jesus is our way of escape either by taking us to heaven or saving us as part of His plan for others and us.

God is glorified in our obedience.

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