Commentary by Walter Albritton

April 6, 2008


Daniel’s Example Continues to Inspire God’s People


Daniel 1


Key Verse: But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the royal rations of food and wine; so he asked the palace master to allow him not to defile himself. – Daniel 1:8


          Daniel and his young friends set an example that still shines like a star in the moral darkness of our world. Though their lives were at risk, the four young men refused to compromise their principles. They continue to be admired for their courage to do what they believed to be right rather than cave in to the pressure to do otherwise.

          Daniel took God seriously. His first concern was to obey God by not eating certain foods. Wisely he devised a plan to prove that God was right. Vegetables and water made Daniel and his friends healthier than those who dined on meat and wine.  Daniel was not only morally strong; he was also wise enough to win the admiration of the king.

        America desperately needs young men like Daniel today. Our society is coming apart at the seams because of unbridled moral corruption. Political leaders, and sometimes religious leaders, are disgracing themselves in one disgusting scandal after another.

        Gambling, like a huge octopus, is grasping our entire nation in its powerful tentacles. Alcoholism is crippling and killing thousands by the day. Pornography, one of the biggest businesses in the United States, is wrecking marriages. Drug addiction is inflicting pain upon almost every family in America.

Our prisons are bulging with young people incarcerated for criminal activity. A recent study of prisons reports that the number of people in jail in America is at an all-time high, with one percent of the adult population behind bars. One of every 54 adult males is in prison. Believe it or not, the American prison population is greater than that in Russia or China. Last year imprisonment costs soared above 49 billion dollars in “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Sex toy stores are cropping up in towns everywhere. In North America sales of sex toys have made this a 500 million dollar a year industry.  Sexual perversion is rising and what is worse, it is more and more tolerated by our courts and judges. Prostitution is rampant. Adultery is widespread.  Homosexuality is not only socially acceptable; its acceptance is being demanded by the courts and some of our school systems. Prime time television looks more and more like a cesspool of gutter vulgarity. It appeals more to the lusts of the flesh than to character-building.

Opinions about these observations will differ even among Christians. Some Christians will label me as far too conservative; others may believe I should wake up and embrace the new thinking of our modern, more liberal society. Each of us is free to choose his or her moral ground.

As for me I feel compelled to choose the moral high ground. That is the only choice available to those who take Jesus seriously. To ignore Jesus is to reject basic Christianity. Once we embrace the teachings of Jesus, we are bound to live by the highest moral and ethical principles. Moral purity will honor the kingdom principles taught by Jesus. Though none of us can achieve perfection, we can seek to live by the highest standards of decency, honesty, integrity, and respect for human life.

Daniel and his friends are no longer with us though their example can inspire us. Today our nation needs a new generation of Daniels, men and women who will put God first and live by the biblical principles Jesus endorsed and exemplified. Despite its critics, the Bible remains our Creator’s “Manual for Living” and the best life guide available.  

Our secular culture cannot save us. It offers us nothing more than momentary pleasure and an enticing pathway to destruction. God offers us new life in Jesus Christ, a life that can empower us to resist being squeezed into the molds of this world. Thank God, we have a choice. With God’s help, Daniel made the right choice. We can too.

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