Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

Posts tagged ‘respect’

Dare to be Like Daniel & Friends

Daniel

Prophet Daniel photo by Allie_Caulfield on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

The book of Daniel is rich in history and prophecy. The key point to be taken from the book this time around involves the impeccable character traits of Daniel and his three friends mentioned in the book: Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. First of all, they were given Chaldean names, respectively, Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego when they were conscripted as teenagers into King Nebuchadnezzar’s service.

The young men stood up for their faith when served food from the King’s menu that was not acceptable to their Kosher diets. Rather than arguing about the food, Daniel asked for a ten day trial during which he and his friends would only eat vegetables and drink water. Daniel and his friends looked so much better than the rest of the men after the ten days that all of the young men were put on the diet. (Daniel 1: 3-4)

God’s favor was on Daniel and his friends and they were given positions high up in the kingdom. (Daniel 1:19-20; 3:30)

Despite the fact that Daniel and his friends were captives in a foreign land, they maintained attitudes of honor, honesty and respect for all the kings. Daniel had the reputation of having “the Spirit of God in him” (Daniel 4:18; 5:11, 14) and the only fault that his enemies could find in them was their faith. (Daniel 3, 6:4-5)

Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach) and Azariah (Abed-Nego) refused to bow down before a 90 foot golden statue of Nebuchadnezzar. They were thrown into a fiery furnace, but were miraculously delivered. (Daniel 3)

I don’t know about you, but if my country were destroyed, thousands of my countrymen were killed by hostile forces, it would take everything I could muster not to be bitter and vengeful towards my captors, but there is no reference to this attitude by Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael or Azariah. On the contrary, their exemplary service and attitude earned them positions high up in the kingdom. Little is known about Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah after the furnace incident, but those are examples enough of the impact their faith had on the King.

Daniel served four great kings during his captivity: Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, son of Nebuchadnezzar, who used the gold and silver tableware from the Temple in Jerusalem for a party (Daniel 5); Darius, king of the Medes & Persians who conquered Babylon soon after Belshazzar’s ill-fated party; and Cyrus, who allowed the Jews to return to Israel/Judah and commissioned the reconstruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. (Ezra 1)

The impact that the faith of these men, especially Daniel, had on the Kingdom of Babylon may never be fully known, but tradition suggests that the Magi who visited the baby Jesus may have been from the Persian region.

What we do know is that Daniel and his friends set a great example for us all by their faithfulness to God in the roles to which He called them; captive servants and advisors as they were.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to three boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside. Lisa is a member of the Central Oregon Writers Guild.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, studied Christian Apologetics at Simon Greenleaf University, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon. 

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One Hundred Percent

david-goliath-5490152-l

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

David is one man who stands out in the Old Testament as “a man after God’s own heart.” (Acts 13:22) The youngest of seven brothers, David was the ruddy-complexioned runt of the family who was sent out to tend the sheep and then forgotten when God’s prophet Samuel came to anoint one of Jesse’s sons (David) king. What was so special about David? What did he do to earn this honor from God? His own family did not seem to be very impressed with him!

David had bold faith. When he went out to fight the Philistine giant, Goliath, David first told King Saul that since he had killed a lion and a bear to protect his family’s sheep, he knew that God would give him the victory over Goliath. He then told Goliath, “This day the Lord WILL deliver you into my hand, and I WILL strike you …that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.” David’s words were resolute and his actions were not self-serving.  David was extremely offended by the giant’s taunting of God and the Israeli army and was intent on doing something to restore respect to Israel.

David respected authority. Even when King Saul was tracking him down to execute him, David refused to do the king any harm even when he had two opportunities to kill Saul. (I Samuel 24:4-7, 26:5-12) David understood what so few Christian Americans get, that God sets up governments and He takes them down according to His purpose. (Daniel 2:21) Rather than spending the years in hiding from Saul bemoaning his circumstances, David helped people when he could and gathered a faithful following of warriors who would be his royal army when the right time came for him to rule.

David repented completely. David was not perfect and when he did sin, he did it big. Although he already had several wives, King David seduced Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, a soldier in the Israeli army. Bathsheba became pregnant by David, so David had Uriah killed in battle to cover up the misconduct. After avoiding God for a year and a half, the prophet Nathan confronted David with his wrongdoing and David confessed and repented before God. He did not try to blame anybody else, he did not try to rationalize his sins, he just fell on his face before his merciful God. Psalm 32 is David’s beautiful song of repentance and praise for God’s forgiveness.

There are many lessons to be learned from David’s story, but being open and honest before God and giving 100 per cent of ourselves to God are two of the keys to being a man or woman after God’s own heart.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

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