Read Daniel 1:1-23
What different name did the king give to Daniel?
Who was given the ability to understand dreams and visions of every kind?
What kind of diet did Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego have?
b. all pork
c. all meat
d. all fish
Daniel remained in Nebuchadnezzar’s court until the first year of which king?
a. King Nabopolassar
b. King Neriglissar
c. King Cyrus
d. King Nabodnidus
Lord, help me to stay on the straight and narrow. When tempted to compromise, give me conviction. When tempted to concede give me confidence. When tempted to be pliant, help me to stand on your principles; in Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Growing up as a little boy, I often heard seniors in my church admonish me to stay on the straight and narrow. With little to no understanding what that meant, I just assumed they were telling me to be a “good boy”. Later in life I understood that they were referring to a passage of Scripture found in Matthew 7:14 that says, “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it.”
Staying on the straight and narrow is much harder than it sounds. Daniel, and the three Hebrew boys can testify to that. Staying on the straight and narrow meant then, as it does now, on the path and course that God has for your life. Staying on the straight and narrow mean then, as it does now, to observe, obey and optimize God’s Word, will and ways. Staying on the straight and narrow according to the writer of Deuteronomy was not to turn to the right or the left. That’s why I believe Daniel and his three friends put their lives on the line by saying they would not defile themselves with the king’s meat. Daniel and his friends did not want to be change courses, or be diverted from the kosher diet that was prescribed to them in the law. This was their decision to stay on the straight and narrow.
The decision to stay on the straight and narrow is not without consequences. The decision to stay on the straight and narrow requires a willingness to Challenge the status quo, confront the norms, contest customs, and contend for changes. Daniel and his friends did not want to go along just to get along. Daniel and his friends did not want to be like the rivers of water.
All rivers have winding paths, and there are no two alike. The only thing they have in common is the fact that all of them are crooked. They are crooked because rivers take the path of the least resistance. Every time they come up against resistance, or anything that will block their work of erosion, they simple zigzag, or snake their way around it.
As Christians, we are not called to twist our way around temptations, or to evade enticements. We are called to stand and stay on the straight and narrow.
Questions to Ponder
1. Name a time when you had to wait as you trust God for the answer to a problem in your life? How hard was it? Describe the waiting process. How did God answer your prayer?
2. Name a time when you had to wait as you trust God for the answer to a problem in your life? How hard was it? Describe the waiting process. How did God answer your prayer?