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Summary: Just Say No to Evil.

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How To Do Right When Everybody’s Doing Wrong

Daniel 1:1-21

"But everybody’s doing it!!" Anyone who has children or grandchildren has heard this many times. Because a large group, usually not everybody, is doing it kids want to justify themselves engaging in whatever the it is that "everybody is doing." God has children as well and He hears this same comment often. It usually comes across to Him in "God, our preacher says it’s OK and so does Dr. Goodwords on the TV." "Other denominations do it." "It’s not clearly spelled out in the Bible so I’m going to join in with the rest of the people who say it is OK." "I’ll be considered a weirdo if I don’t." "The other preachers won’t like me if I don’t go along with them." The words may change a little and the topics vary, but it all comes to do everybody’s doing it so don’t get mad at me God if I do it.

No matter what our age we experience peer pressure and we either cave in to that pressure or take a stand. We tend to have a very small "world" so if in that world a large number of people are doing something then we feel like everybody is doing it. If we work in an office with ten other people and they all cuss and carry on then we feel like we need to do so to fit in. If there are other professing Christians in the office we say, "See, they are doing it, so it must not be that bad." We feel like it must not be a big thing and God does not concern Himself about little things. Does He?

Well, let’s look at some of God’s children in a strange land with what might seem like a small issue and see if this helps us to understand how to do right when everybody’s doing wrong.

Dan 1:1-21

1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.

2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.

3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes;

4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

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.

6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:

7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.

Being taken captive in a war is not something that we aspire to experience. Being taken from our homeland makes it even worse and when you are young, good looking and capable of having a good future from man’s perspective it is a downright nightmare. This situation is where Daniel and his three friends find themselves.

As we see, they are better off then most of the people taken captive and transplanted. They were considered the cream of the crop and were to be trained for three years and eventually become courtiers and advisors to the King. Most of the people taken were made slaves, but these lads would receive fine food, education and even mingle among the children of the royalty. If ever there was a reason to go along to get along this was one. Why mess this up and end up in a field or even dead because of your resistance to assimilation? Because children of God are children of God no matter what situation they find themselves in and they are to act accordingly.

Daniel and his friends chose to do right because they had the right perspective. You have to know that where you are God put you there. Even as a prisoner of war in a foreign land, Daniel and the boys were where God wanted them to be. The nation went into captivity because they turned away from God and it appears that our four friends realized that staying in God’s will was the way to handle the situation rather than by further rebellion and sin.

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