“[…] As soon as Daniel knew that the decree had been signed, he went to his house, which had the windows of his roof chamber open toward Jerusalem. And three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed […].”
Daniel had not seen Jerusalem since his childhood, and would probably not see it again in his lifetime.
Still, the values his parents instilled in him at a young age guided him until he was elderly. (Prov. 22:6)
He never lost view of what the most important thing in life is: one’s personal praise toward God. (Ps. 145:2)
Jerusalem was supposed to be the hub for pure worship of Jehovah, and Daniel regularly reminded himself that was where he came from. (2 Chron. 6:20,21)
He realized God’s purpose endures forever and it had not been lost with the exile of the Jewish people. (Jos. 23:14; Isa. 40:8; 1 Pet. 1:25)
Daniel set an excellent example of being spiritually constant despite difficult, changing circumstances, conscientious of the most important things. (Phil. 1:10)
“Why have these, my people, said, ‘We roam freely.
We will come to you no more’?”
God was asking his People why they had forsaken him and turned to worshipping material idols. (Jer. 2:11)
Although God gives us freedom of choice, to assert that freedom to pursue “what is useless” would be to waste the precious gifts of life, time and energy he has given us.
Today’s equivalent of useless idols may not necessarily be a stone, ceramic or wood sculpture one kneels to.
It may be selfish conduct that is in direct conflict with God’s norms, or maybe even a vain hobby that consumes valuable time we could otherwise be using to help others. (Eph. 5:15,16,18; Php. 3:19)
Or perhaps we are obsessed with achieving something like a social status that is beyond our means of living and which forces us to spend so much time at work, we end up neglecting family life, sacrificing Bible study or meditation time. (1 Tim. 6:9,10)
Whatever internal or external “god” may be rivaling our one True God, if we let our worship be derailed, we will reap the bitter consequences of that choice. (Jer. 2:19)
“Now you are saying, ‘Go and tell your lord: “Elijah is here.”’ […] When I tell Ahab and he does not find you, he will surely kill me. Yet, your servant has feared Jehovah from his youth.”
~1 Kings, 18:11,12
The man saying these words, Obadiah, was a servant to the apostate king of Northern Israel, Ahab.
While Ahab and his pagan wife, Jezebel, were determined to execute every one of Jehovah’s prophets in the land, Obadiah bravely hid the prophets in caves (1 Ki. 18:3,4).
The prophet Elijah’s soul was much sought after in royal excursions, for Elijah had caused a severe three-year drought to plague the land, on account of the people’s unfaithfulness to their God (1 Ki. 17:1).
That is why when Elijah asked Obadiah to tell Ahab that he would meet with him to relay a divine message, Obadiah hesitated.
He thought Elijah would immediately be sent elsewhere by God, thereby eluding King Ahab once more.
Then surely Ahab would take his wrath out on Obadiah himself.
“However, Elijah said: ‘As surely as Jehovah of armies whom I serve is living, today I will present myself to him.’
“So Obadiah went off to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah.” (1 Ki. 18:15,16).
What impresses me about Obadiah is his ability to have kept his zeal for true worship alive even under extremely dangerous circumstances.
His loyalty to Jehovah came first, even at the risk of his own life.
He collaborated with Elijah and put faith in him as God’s messenger.
As for us, do we let our bosses or professors order us around into a frame of mind in which God is no longer a priority for us?
Do we let work or school dictate our priorities, constantly leaving out spiritual activities because we are afraid of what our superiors will think?
Like Obadiah, we need to know where to draw the line when someone influential tells us to go against God’s principles.