Standing Firm For Principle. 07/21/2014 (Evening thought)

Psalms 15:1 Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

This passage of scripture gives us several examples in which principle is manifested in those who are under the guidance and leadership of the Holy Spirit. The verses speak about avoiding gossip, backbiting, speaking the truth internally, and doing no evil to one's neighbor. Then it addresses the issue of making personal vows, and keeping them, even though it may be with great inconvenience or actual loss. Human nature naturally tends to avoid keeping commitments, when those vows begin to cost us in some way, form, or fashion. Especially is this the case when unforeseen circumstances which we did not cater for, arise in connection with the vows we made.

In the case of Daniel however, we have a shining example of standing firm for principle, on the issue of diet. After Daniel and his companions were taken captive by the king of Babylon, they were selected as part of a special group, who were to learn and understand the Babylonian language and culture, and in the accomplishment of this goal, Nebuchadnezzar the king stipulated to the chief cook, that the chosen Hebrews were to eat of the same food that he ate of, in order that they might be thoroughly nourished, or so he thought.

Daniel had previously decided that he would not defile himself with the king's meat and drink, and so he made a special request to Melzar the cook, so that he and his three companions could have the simplest God-ordained food of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains. This request greatly alarmed the cook, for if he were to be found deviating from the king's orders, both he and Daniel could potentially be beheaded. Let's read:

Daniel 1:5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. 8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.

It is apparent that there were other chosen Hebrews who ate freely of the king's meat, and drank his fermented wine, without any compunctions of conscience, but not so with Daniel and his friends, who were willing to risk death over a plate of food. Some may be wondering what's the big deal over something as insignificant as food, but before we rush to conclusions, we should remember that is was food that got us in this mess that we are in today, and the climax of this earth's history will have food at the forefront of the final conflict. Therefore, standing for principle on the matter of food is not a small matter at all, and in fact, if we were to gain the victory over diet and food, we will have power to be victorious over every other temptation that the devil can throw at us.

In our everyday experiences we are often tested on principle, in what we may call small matters, but the way in which we react in any given circumstance, actually affects our character building process, for time and for eternity. Let us therefore, by the grace of God, be found faithful to principle in that which is least, and when the big one comes around, we would have already established a firm resolute mind in resisting evil and choosing only that which is good. We therefore end with a passage of scripture which encourages us to be decisive, and not wavering, to be resolute and not halting between two opinions. Let's read:

 2nd Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

May The God of heaven empower us by His Holy Spirit to "live strong", trusting in His omnipotent power to be victorious in every situation. "Good night" and God bless!