Times of Change
Psalm 31: 14 and 15
But I am trusting you, O LORD, saying,
You are my God! My future is in your hands. . .
1 During the third year of King Jehoiakim's reign in Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
2 The LORD gave him victory over King Jehoiakim of Judah . . .
3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, his chief of staff, to bring to the palace some of the young men of Judah's royal family and other noble families, who had been brought to Babylon as captives.
4 "Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men," he said.
"Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good judgment, and are suited to serve in the royal palace. Train these young men in the language and literature of Babylon."
5 . . . They were to be trained for three years, and then they would enter the royal service.
6 Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men chosen, all from the tribe of Judah. . .
8 But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. . . (New Living Bible)
Daniel was a young member of the royal family of Judah. He had been taught to love God and as we read his story we notice that from childhood he had chosen to be a person of faith and prayer.
But something upsetting happened in Daniel's life that had the potential to throw him off his chosen course.
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon - who didn't know or care about Daniel - came and took over Judah and decided that Daniel must uproot himself and move to live in Babylon, where they spoke a different language and where the king decided what Daniel must do with this life: what he must eat and drink and what kind of job he must be trained for.
How would something completely unexpected like that affect you?
Daniel took the wisest attitude to this upsetting change:
he quickly adjusted his life and expectations to the new challenge. He decided that he would not spend his energy longing for Judah, his own country. Instead he would trust God that Babylon was now his home and this was where his future lay.
Because Daniel took this stance in his inner person, he was able to see quickly that, if he was to maintain his obedience to God, he could not partake of the food and drink which the king had decided they must have.
This was because God had given the people of Judah rules about what they should eat and drink, and Daniel was determined to continue to obey and honour God with his lifestyle, no matter what happened.
Just like God knew that Daniel would have all these unexpected changes to cope with, God knows when sudden changes are going to take place in your life.
Like Daniel, you need to trust God that He is taking care of you through these unexpected events.
You need to be alert, just like Daniel was, so that you too can continue to please God with your choices and lifestyle, despite the challenges and upsets.
I ask that when sudden and unexpected changes happen in my life,
that I will put upset and confusion behind me quickly,
so that I can keep my focus on You,
knowing that You have great plans for my life
that will come to pass as I keep on obeying You.
I want to be like Jesus, who obeyed You fully throughout His life, Amen.