Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: RESOLUTION (01/07/16)
TITLE: The longest Psalm
By Lisa Enqvist
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Even when they had him cast in a den of lions.”
This Sunday school song from long ago brings memories of a hero in the Bible.
Daniel and his three friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah did not follow fluctuating resolutions to keep them faithful to God. They were captives in Babylon, yet they were chosen to be part of king Nebuchadnezzar’s advisory team. They were offered the best education available and they were supposed to follow all the rules and regulations laid down by the king.
As Jewish children they had learned the Torah. According to some sources, Psalm 119 was written King David in a way that helped children learn the Psalm by heart. Each of the 22 stanzas follows the Jewish alphabet. These young men apparently had learned, not only the words of the Psalm; they chose to live according to its teaching.
Happy are all who perfectly follow the laws of God. Happy are all who search for God and always do his will, rejecting compromise with evil and walking only in his paths. You have given us your laws to obey— oh, how I want to follow them consistently. Then I will not be disgraced, for I will have a clean record. Psalms 119:1-6 TLB
The first test was about food.
But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.” Daniel 1:8-10 NIV
Daniel’s intention was clear.
How can a young man stay pure? By reading your Word and following its rules. I have tried my best to find you—don’t let me wander off from your instructions. I have thought much about your words and stored them in my heart so that they would hold me back from sin. Psalms 119:9-11
The second test concerned wisdom.
All the wise men of Babylon were to be put to death, unless someone could repeat the king’s dream and explain it.
Daniel prayed: Bless me with life so that I can continue to obey you. Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word. I am but a pilgrim here on earth: how I need a map—and your commands are my chart and guide. I long for your instructions more than I can tell. Psalms 119:17-20
He was given greater wisdom than all others in the kingdom.
In the third test Daniel’s friends proved to be just as resolute in the face of death.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18
These men knew their God and they trusted His Word, whatever situation they faced.
"Never forget your promises to me your servant, for they are my only hope. They give me strength in all my troubles; how they refresh and revive me! Proud men hold me in contempt for obedience to God, but I stand unmoved. From my earliest youth I have tried to obey you; your Word has been my comfort." Psalms 119:49-52
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