|Photo Credit: Leslie Maxey|
Our reading today takes us to two of the most well known stories in the entire Bible. It begins with Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah entering King Nebuchadnezzar’s service in the Babylonian government. It concluded with the famous story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego … Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah’s Babylonian names, or maybe you know them as Veggie’s Tales Rack, Shack, and Benny … being thrown into the fiery furnace for not bowing down to the statue. Today’s reading was very timely for me.
For whatever reason I woke up in a foul mood. I was not happy. I did not want to do anything. I did not want to be nice. Little things were making me made. I simply did not want to do the things that I knew were right. And then here comes Daniel, being presented the best food that Babylon had to offer. He pleaded to not partake of the food and was granted that request. God even provided for him and his three friends through all of this.
While reading it made me wander about the battle that Daniel may have had in his own mind. Daniel and his friends were from Jerusalem. They were rising stars in the Jewish government. But when Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem he took Israel’s finest. Now they are in Babylon, being treated like royalty, being introduced to new customs and culture, and I am sure temptation was there. How did Daniel fight it off? How did he put God first? How hard of a decision was it for him? Those are questions I do not have answers for. However, I do know that no matter the battle that raged in his own mind, Daniel ultimately did what honored God.
Honoring God is something we all must do no matter our moods, our attitudes, or the days we have just had. Thank you God for the timely lesson you gave me.