“Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its people and their animals, even if these three men – Noah, Daniel and Job – were in it, they could save themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD – Ezekiel 14:13-14 (KJV)
Accountability (responsibility for our own actions) requires action. Our words, even to those in positions of royalty, power and authority, can change the current atmosphere, culture, conditions and perceptions. As we learned from last week’s message, we are accountable to God for what we say and how we say it.
Daniel’s life and ministry bridge the entire 70-year history & period of Babylonian captivity. Deported to Babylon at the age of 16, and handpicked for government service, Daniel becomes God’s prophetic mouthpiece to the gentle and Jewish world declaring God’s present and eternal purpose.
Daniel’s name means “God is my Judge.” This name was changed to Belteshazzar during his captivity, however, we never mention this particular name with regards to Daniel because it did not reveal his true character.
In Chapter one of the Book of Daniel, he stood before King Nebuchadnezzar and declared his refusal to adhere to the king’s customs and ways (verses 11-13). He did not eat their food nor drink their wine as instructed. In Chapter two, Daniel acknowledged that he could interpret the king’s dreams (verses 24-28), when others failed, and the king thanked God for the revelation (verses 19-23). In Chapter three, Daniel’s influence, and resolve to remain true to his faith, convinced this three friends, Azariah, Hananiah, and Mishael to stand up to the king and refuse to bow before the 90 foot high / nine foot wide graven image that he erected.
Together, they withstood the punishment of the fiery furnace (that was turned up 7 times hotter than usual), and were rescued by God Almighty. This act convinced the king that there MUST be a God above and beyond what he had previously believed, and changed his life for the better.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me to speak words of affirmation, confirmation and truth. May the words that I select be uplifting and comforting, pointing people toward You. Amen.
Our words are powerful and they will create a positive or a negative experience to the hearer as a result. We are accountable to God for what we say and how we say it.
God created the world, as we know it, with His words. The days of creation are recorded
in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis =>
Day 1 – light (verses 3-5)
Day 2 – sky above and water below (verse 6)
Day 3 – land and sea/vegetation (verse 9)
Day 4 – sun, moon and starts (verse 16)
Day 5 – living creatures of water and sky (verse 21)
Day 6 – living creatures on land and humans (verses 24-26)
Day 7 – God rested (chapter 2:1-3)
The Apostle Paul taught an insightful lesson to the saints in Ephesus, with regard to their words, that are still pertinent today in the life of the Christian. They are:
Prayer: Dear God, I desire to speak kind and meaningful words to others so that I may minister grace into their lives. Help me to accomplish this so that You are glorified. Amen.
The Book of Jonah, although written in 760 B.C., is a reminder for us in 2017 to follow the commands of God with the right attitude. In these four short chapters, we learn that Jonah turns down God’s assignment to travel approximately 500 miles Northeast to Nineveh, to preach a simple message that will save its 120,000 inhabitants, and instead attempts to flee from God approximately 2,000 miles west to Tarshish.
Jonah, a prophet of God, whose name literally means “dove,” was hand-selected by God to deliver a message of repentance to the Ninevites. Although the preaching is a success (chapter 4), Jonah comes away angry and discouraged and must learn firsthand of God’s compassion for sinful men.
Jonah’s actions are documented as follows:
Chapter 1 – Disobedience causes us to run from God (verses 1-5); others know that you are not operating in God’s will (verses 8-10); and the consequences will certainly come (verse 17).
Chapter 2 – He prayed because of his disobedience and God delivered him.
Chapter 3 – A second chance is extended to obey God’s command. Our actions can lead to change, repentance and saving of lives.
Chapter 4 – God made Jonah check his attitude.
When we choose to obey God’s Word, He will always provide the vision and provision so that success, favor and grace will follow. Perhaps not when you want or expect, but always in His timing.
Prayer: Gracious Father, teach me to obey your Word and instructions with the right motive and attitude. Use me to proclaim your mercy and goodness even when I am reluctant, scared or feel unworthy. Amen.