GOOD SET-APART BEHAVIOUR AMONG THE NATIONS!

14th of the 4th month 2018/2019

Shalom all,

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2: 11-16Beloved ones, I appeal to you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the life, 12 having your behaviour among the nations good so that when they speak against you as evil-doers, let them, by observing your good works, esteem Elohim in a day of visitation. 13 Be subject to every institution of man because of the Master, whether to the sovereign as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of doers of evil, and a praise for those who do good. 15 Because such is the desire of Elohim, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men, 16 as free, yet not using your freedom as a cloak for evil, but as servants of Elohim.

These words of Kěpha struck me greatly again this week as I pondered on the state of the chaotic lawlessness and injustice we see being that which plagues the earth, as corrupt leadership is not governing mankind according to the Torah of Elohim but is doing as they see fit in their own eyes, to the peril of the people!

How do we live in a society that does not submit to the clear standards of יהוה’s righteousness? To answer that, we need to take heed of the appeal that Kěpha makes to us, the chosen, royal and set-apart priesthood of Elohim!

When our Master comes again He will establish His Reign here in earth and govern the earth according to His clear standards of righteousness as outlined in His Torah. Until that time, we, His called-out ones, are to submit to His Torah, meditate on it day and night and walk according to it, so that we can be properly equipped to abstain from the corruption that defiles. As ambassadors, we have a huge responsibility in doing what is right in the eyes of יהוה and in doing so, we recognise that we may not always be well received by most in this world as they do not submit to walking in the Torah of Elohim but rather do whatever is right in their own eyes!

Until He comes to establish His Reign on earth, we need to realise that we are ‘sojourners and pilgrims’ in a foreign land! I love this passage of Scripture, as we are reminded that we are called out, we are chosen and we are His possession!!! We belong to יהוה, for He bought us at a price and we are His!!! And knowing this, we ought to live like it, even while we are ‘in exile’, so to speak, as we are not yet in the Land He has promised us!

As part of this week’s Torah reading, from Wayyiqra/Leviticus 14-15, we will be addressing the Torah for the one with leprosy on the day of his cleansing, and in line with that theme, I felt it fitting to address the need for us to be reminded that we have been cleansed by the Blood of Messiah and have the vital responsibility of keeping clean and unstained in a defiled world, as we keep our set-apart behaviour good among the nations, where we find ourselves sojourning until our Master and Redeemer comes!

As we look at the world around us today it is plain to see that in almost every sphere, whether it is in politics, religion, medicine, education, the arts, sport or even family life, there is indeed an integrity crisis. The once long accepted ethical codes of conduct are quickly being disregarded and this has given way to simple short-term pragmatics of ambition, profit margins and pleasure! In other words, morality and integrity has been, at large, thrown out of the window and replaced with the pursuit of self and selfish gain, no matter the consequences of one’s actions. What makes it even more shocking is the mere fact that this ‘lack of integrity’ that we see today no longer shocks anyone. Instead, it is gaining popularity as a means of living, sadly so, as this is contrary to the words we find in Scripture!

Business deals are riddled with corruption and many relationships are poisoned with compromise in varying degrees! And so, in a ‘dog eats dog’ society, the main priority for most is to look out for self as being the only seeming key to surviving today! Governments have varying agendas that, in some way, diminish one group of people while favouring another, as equality and fair rights are being discarded under the banner of so-called reforms that only benefit the one’s in power and their followers. While we could go on and highlight various examples of this, the point I am trying to make is simply this: we are living in a world that does not respect, acknowledge, accept or adhere to, the Torah and commands of יהוה El Shaddai, Creator and Ruler of the heavens and the earth!

 

Integrity is described as, ‘a firm adherence to a code of moral or artistic values’, which speaks of being incorruptible, complete, honest and undivided. In facing an integrity test, the majority in the world today would certainly fail – how about you?

An excellent handbook for us on how to live and maintain this set-apart life, while in exile, is Dani’ěl, as his life and character pictures for us a number of great lessons for us to follow, in carrying and displaying the character of set-apart living.

Please turn with me to Dani’ěl/Daniel 6:1-16 (Read)

This chapter can be a mirror for us, as we look intently in to the Word in order to reveal how we look, as we are exposed to the life and character of Dani’ěl. In this chapter, Dani’ěl is around 80 years of age – for this was the 3rd king under whom he had faithfully served; and so, for many it may, in itself, be an eye opener that he was in fact about 80 years old when he was thrown in to the den of lions! He was not a little boy, as the world has erroneously portrayed in its attempt at diminishing the validity of the Truth of the word of Elohim into mere fables or ‘nice stories’.

No, these are real events of real people and they are recorded and written for us as warnings and instructions on how we are to live set-apart lives amidst a corrupt and wicked generation! Although we will not be looking at the lion incident in this message, we will be looking are looking at the events that led to Dani’ěl being thrown in with the lions – events that truly mark the great integrity and character of a man that was chosen by Elohim and one who was well equipped to endure to the end.

From this section that we have read we are able to see 3 critical qualities being clearly displayed in his life! Qualities that, as we look into the mirror of this passage, ought to be in our lives today too! These qualities that Dani’ěl had, kept him strong and of good faith, amidst a very corrupt political system, and got him thrown to the lions and was delivered by the mighty Hand of Elohim!

Our Master יהושע tells us in:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:16 “See, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

He goes on to say that men will deliver you up to the authorities and that we should not fear what we should say, for the Spirit will equip us with that which we should speak in faith! He tells us that brother will deliver up brother and we will be hated by all for His Name’s sake, but those who endure to the end shall be saved!

Well, we certainly see this happening more and more today – brother against brother – being hated for His Name’s sake! And we know what will be coming in the days ahead: the identification or the mark of our worship becoming evident! Those who endure to the end will hold fast to the keeping of the Sabbath and Feasts of יהוה as the sign of who they submit to and worship, while many will fall away to a ‘Sun-day’ observance enforced by man!

Those who keep the Sabbath and do not adhere to the, soon to be enforced, ‘sun-day’ laws of worship will be delivered up for persecution.

Now, how ought we to be equipped in our sojourning in order to face and handle these days?

This is where the life of Dani’ěl is a great mirror for us to measure up to, as we walk in Messiah and stay in Him.

As we therefore look into the mirror of the Word, let us take a closer look at 3 great qualities, or character traits, that Dani’ěl had, and as we look at these, this can, in effect, be an integrity test for each of us!

1 – PERSONAL INTEGRITY (6:4a)

“They could find no occasion or corruption in him”

His fellow governors and viceroys did not like him, for Dani’ěl was ‘too clean’ for them. They tried all they could to find fault with his conduct of government affairs – always looking for some occasion where they could find a mistake or flaw and they were unable to and this frustrated them!

Today, it is the same as you get those who are constantly trying to find fault with others – perhaps it is a way to steer away the focus of their own faults and insecurities!

Imagine, for a moment, coming under this kind of scrutiny – having your life come under the microscope and laid bare for all to see!!! This is worse than the Paparazzi! Let me ask you right now – If some serious questions arose about your life and your character was being ruthlessly challenged, how would you hold up?

Would you be nervous and anxious as to what may be exposed? Would there be some evidence that you may just like to burn or destroy? Imagine being dissected by one and all in their attempt to find some flaw.

Well, the test of personal integrity is an ongoing occurrence of how you handle yourself in your daily life, be it at work, at home or at play! Yes, that is: in every area of your life. Dani’ěl did not divide up his life, so to speak, and live differently in one area and another way in another – he did not ‘wear different hats’ or divide what is commonly called today secular and sacred! NO, he lived out his whole life in full obedience unto יהוה and in every area of his life he worked unto, and devoted himself unto, יהוה – giving the highest regard for excellence in every situation, as he served the King above all kings! And this is simply the reason that they could find no corruption in him.

Let me make it very clear – when you live as Dani’ěl lived and you take a firm stand of integrity, that is in living in firm adherence to the instructions/Torah of Elohim in every area of your life – then know this: you WILL face opposition:

Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 3:12And indeed, all those wishing to live reverently in Messiah יהושע, shall be persecuted.

Taking a stand of personal integrity, in Messiah, will result in opposition and trouble from your co-workers, colleagues, family and friends – especially if they are lazy and lack true integrity in the Word of Elohim.

They will naturally become envious of you and jealous of you and may even plot harm against you!

Let me ask you straight up – Are you a man or woman of integrity like Dani’ěl?

His name gives a great key to his adherence to living right according to the Torah of Elohim! The name Dani’ělדָּנִיֵּאל Strong’s H1840 means,my El is judge, El is my judge

Daniel knew who he had to give an account to and he lived accordingly and did not take lightly the instructions of Elohim!

Do you live out your life in giving your all – giving your 100% best unto יהוה, no matter where you find yourself and no matter what the circumstances might be? Or do the circumstances you find yourself in determine your attempted level of obedience?

Personal integrity is key to walking out reverently in Messiah, in our sojourning right here right now.

Looking intently into the mirror of the Word and seeing the life of Dani’ěl – how do you look?

Is there some adjustment needed? For each one must work out their own salvation with fear and trembling!

How did Dani’ěl live out his personal integrity? – Character number 2:

2 – STEADFAST FAITHFULNESS (6:4b)

Because he was steadfast, and no negligence or corruption was found in him.

Whatever, and I mean whatever Dani’ěl did, he did faithfully – even at 80 years old, as he never tried to cut any corners!!! He didn’t try to learn some ‘tricks of the trade’ in order to overlook or override that which is required!

He was ‘steadfast’ and there was no ‘negligence’ or ‘corruption’ in him!

Looking at these root words helps us see and understand just how personal integrity in the Living Elohim is lived out fully:

A – Steadfast

The word that is translated as ‘steadfast’ comes from the root word אֲמַן aman – Strong’s H540 which is the Aramaic word that corresponds to the Hebrew root word אָמַן aman – Strong’s H539 which means, confirm, support, be established, be faithful,, stand firm, trust, be certain, believe, be trustworthy and loyal, be reliable and dependable, be confident and is written in the causative action which means it is actively present and consistent.

He was a trustworthy ambassador of Elohim!

A word that is derived from the root אָמַן aman – Strong’s H539, is the Hebrew word for ‘truth’, which is אֱמוּנָה emunah – Strong’s H530 which means, firmness, steadfastness, faithfulness, stability, trust, truthful’. We serve a faithful and trustworthy Elohim – and in Him we find true stability, as we stand upon the Rock of Truth!

 

When looking at אֱמוּנָה emunah – Strong’s H530 in the ancient pictographic script we are able to learn the clear characteristic of trustworthiness, as it looks like this:

 heynunwawmemaleph

Aleph - אֱ:

The ancient script has this letter as aleph and is pictured as the head of an ox, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!

 

Mem – מֶ

The ancient script has this letter as mem and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. This also carries for us the picture of washing, as we understand the function of water being that which cleanses us and sustains us, showing us how we are washed and sustained by the Living Waters of the Word!

 

Waw/Vav – וּ:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as waw , which is a ‘peg or tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.

 

Nun – נָ:

The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as nun, which pictures asprouting seedand gives the idea of continuation or an offspring or an heir, speaking of that which sprouts forth to be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy.

 

Hey – ה:

The ancient script has this letter pictured as hey, which is a ‘man standing with his arms raised out’. This word can mean “ behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation; from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!

 

In the understanding of this word אֱמוּנָה emunah – Strong’s H530 representing for us ‘trustworthiness’, we can clearly see from these pictures the following: The complete and sure strength of our Master who washes us and secures for us the promise of everlasting life, as we submit to Him and praise Him with our all. Our ability and strength to remain trustworthy servants comes as we allow The Word of our Master to wash us and secure us in Him, as we walk in total submission to Him, with hands lifted high in continual praise of our Master and Elohim.

 

And being steadfast, there was NO negligence or corruption found in him:

B – Negligence

The word that is translated as ‘negligence’ comes from the root word שָׁלוּ shalu – Strong’s H7960 which is the Aramaic word that means, neglect, negligence, fail, offensiveand corresponds to the Hebrew root word שָׁלָה shalah – Strong’s H7951 which means, to deceive, be negligent, mislead and this word implies a carelessness in duty and failing to do what is required and expected!

Many people in the world today are negligent of their required duties and while be deceitful in putting on an appearance of obedience, while being misled and even misleading others to being negligent!

C – Corruption

The word that is translated as ‘corruption’ comes from the root word

Hebrew Word שְׁחַת sheath – Strong’s H7844 which is the Aramaic word that means, corrupt, be lying, be untrue and falsified, morally corrupt and wickedand corresponds to the Hebrew root word שָׁחַת shaath – Strong’s H7843 which means, destroy, ruin, spoil, pervert, corrupt’.

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:4 “Alas, sinning nation, a people loaded with crookedness, a seed of evil-doers, sons acting corruptly! They have forsaken יהוה, they have provoked the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, they went backward.

In the days of Noaḥ we see the following:

Berěshith/Genesis 6:11-12And the earth was corrupt before Elohim, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And Elohim looked upon the earth and saw that it was corrupt – for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth

The reason for me highlighting these two verses from Berěshith/Genesis is to show how corrupt mankind was in the days of Noaḥ! And we know that our Master likens the last days to that of Noaḥ, where men will be corrupt, yet we can take courage from the example of Noaḥ, who was a righteous man in his generation, as well as Dani’ěl, in whom there was no corruption amidst a corrupt and wicked government!

 

Steadfast – and no negligence or corruption was found in Him! WOW – that is a great description of Dani’ěl – a real steadfast man!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 20:6Most men proclaim each his own kindness, but who finds a trustworthy man?

What Shelomoh is making clear here is that while most will proclaim that they are exercising loving-commitment the reality is that their assumption of their own standard of loving-commitment may not necessarily measure up with true trustworthiness! In the time of the judges (Shophetim) we find it being written twice that because there was no sovereign in Yisra’ĕl, everyone did what was right in their own eyes.

Everybody exercised a different standard of what they deemed to be their own loving-commitment. Today it is no different as there are so many who are claiming that their own standard of loving-commitment is good enough, even though they willingly break the Sabbath and various other clear instructions for righteousness as they hold fast to false man-made traditions and forsake the commands of Elohim and claim that they are lovingly-committed to the Creator! The clear question that Shelomoh asks here is whether a trustworthy man can be found! Many can talk a lot yet their actions may prove otherwise and despite their claim at being lovingly-committed their actions reveal that they are simply untrustworthy!

In a Psalm of Dawiḏ we see the following:

Tehillah/Psalm 12:1 “Save, יהוה, for the lovingly-committed one is no more! For the trustworthy have ceased from among the sons of men.

In Hebrew the word translated as ‘loving commitment’ is חֶסֶד ḥeseḏStrong’s H2617 and means, goodness, kindness, deeds of devotion, faithfulness’.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:3 “Let not loving-commitment and truth forsake you – bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart

Two very powerful words that are often neglected to be carefully considered by so many “wanna-be believers”, who think that they can do whatever they want and still claim that they love Elohim.

The word translated as ‘truth’ is אֱמֶת emeth – Strong’s H571 which means,truth, firmness, faithfulness, and this word carries an underlying sense of certainty and dependability – and we know that The Word of יהוה is truth:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:142 “Your righteousness is righteousness forever, and Your Torah is truth.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:151 “You are near, O יהוה, and all Your commands are truth.

Tehillah/Psalm 119:160 “The sum of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous right-rulings are forever.

Anyone who claims to serve יהוה without walking in and giving heed to follow His Torah, commands and instructions are not serving in Truth, and those who claim that the Torah/Law of Elohim has been done away with are sadly riddled with the leaven of the hypocrisy of man’s theologies and dogmas that seeks only to serve self rather than the Giver of Life, while claiming the opposite!

When a true servant who fears יהוה serves in perfection and in truth, then the putting away of the falsehood that had been inherited from the past is done with urgency and without hesitation!!! And in order to do that we need to recognise that loving-commitment and truth must go hand in hand! In fact, when we look a little closer at the word for ‘loving-commitment in the Hebrew we are able to clearly see that true loving-commitment is and it can only be connected with the pure truth of the Word!

Many may claim their own loving-commitment, yet it is not the loving-commitment that Scripture requires!

For more on ‘loving-commitment’ please see sermon notes on the message called, ‘FORSAKE NOT LOVING-COMMITMENT’ under the sermons 2013/2014 menu from our site: http://atfotc.com or go to the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2013-2014/503-forsake-not-loving-commitment-jeremiah-2

Dani’ěl did not need to proclaim his own kindness – his life of reverent obedience declared it in his trustworthiness! The answer typically to that proverb is ‘rarely do you find a trustworthy man’! But Dani’ěl was one – a ‘rare breed’ if you will.

Rarely will you find people who will actually do what they say or follow through on what they commit to; or one who ‘hangs in’ and does not give up when the going gets tough – may we all be part of an assembly of ‘rare’ ones – called out, chosen and set-apart ones, aměn!

 

Are you trustworthy and steadfast in Messiah? Can people count on what you say? Can they count on you getting the job done that is required of you?

As you daily ‘rub shoulders’ with the world around you and come across multitudes of corrupted people, people you may even work with, or know personally, and interact with – how do you live?

Do you remain trustworthy unto Elohim – are you faithful to your Maker and Saviour? Can you be counted upon in getting done the job that is required of you, to the esteem and praise of יהוה? Or do you find yourself easily influenced by corruption and compromise and end up only giving half-hearted efforts in order to merely scrape by? Being steadfast in our daily walk in Messiah is critical and vital. Dani’ěl remained steadfast amidst the opposition and persecution. How about you?

What do you do when people begin to ridicule you about your Torah walk – your life of obedience unto Messiah? What happens when you are ridiculed and mocked and challenged about keeping Shabbat? What happens when you are ridiculed because you no longer watch the rugby or attend those party braais on Shabbat? What do you do when you are mocked and laughed at because you do not eat that which is not classed as food – things you may previously have indulged in but now is an abomination to you – like pork, crayfish to name a couple – what do you do – do you shy away or give in – or do you remain steadfast and trustworthy with His Word now living in you?

What about when people laugh at your tzitzit – when they see these ‘threads’ hanging off your clothes and ask questions in a derogatory manner – what do you do?

Do you answer them with boldness or do you try to hide and avoid any forms of confrontation?

These are just some basic examples that may not bother any of us – although I am sure at first, they may have, yet walking steadfast in integrity according to the Word, one only becomes stronger and more courageous.

 

Compromise in the life of a believer is not an option!!!

Dani’ěl’s accusers could not find fault with him and so they devised a plan in order to trap him by making a law that is contrary to his flawless life of steadfast faith. A decree was issued declaring that for 30 days no one was allowed to petition or pray to any ‘mighty one’ or any other man other than king Dareyawesh (Darius). Anyone found to be petitioning any other would be thrown into the den of lions.

What does Dani’ěl do?

He remains steadfast to יהוה and continues to pray and make petitions daily – not to Dareyawesh but unto יהוה – just as the men expected Dani’ěl to do. What is important to realise here is that Dani’ěl didn’t try to go into hiding – he remained steadfast and did what he had always done and his whole life reflected whom he worshipped and served! The men sought a way of finding something in the Torah of the Elohim of Dani’ěl that would interfere with the agenda of the Babylonian culture and tried to use his obedience unto יהוה against him.

Dani’ěl remained steadfast, committed to serve and was without corruption!

The third character trait we see here in his life is:

3 – AUTHENTIC SPIRITUALITY (6:10)

As he had done before

His prayer life was consistent – he did not only pray when there was a need or a crisis or when there was panic!

In fact, he did not panic; for His trust was in יהוה the Living Elohim. As he had always done, he went up to his room, got down on his knees and prayed and gave thanks to יהוה – as he had always done – business as usual!

Dani’ěl was not flaunting his prayer life – he simply did as he always did and this is a very powerful lesson for us – a critical lesson on how not to get side-tracked by the enemy’s agendas, but rather do as we always do in our life of obedient worship.

This is authentic spirituality – this is real spirit filled living – the spirit of excellence was on him.

The word that is translated as ‘excellent’ in verse 3 comes from the root word יַתִּיר yattir – Strong’s H3493 and means, ‘exceptional, outstanding, pre-eminent and extraordinary’.

It can also carry the connotation of ‘shining’ or ‘visible from afar’. An excellent spirit was in him and he let that shine! This in itself is a great image that we can learn from, especially as we consider that we are called to shone our light before men!

Dani’ěl walked by the Spirit and not the flesh and it was abundantly obvious; and his prayer life reflected this very excellent spirit that was in him. Dani’ěl knew the decree and that did not cause him to panic, he knew that he would possibly be handed over to the king for persecution – and that would be another opportunity to witness for Elohim!

How is your prayer life? What does it take for you to get on your knees - a tragedy or a crisis or even a physical lack? Dani’ěl’s prayer life was habitual – that is – it was a part of his daily life – a good habit.

Prayer is vital for us and we would do well to have a good habit of daily prayer and quiet time no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.

How many times, when asking someone how they are, do you find attached to their response the addition of, “…I am trusting Elohim for breakthrough in…”? Although it is a great confession, as we are to trust Him totally but how about just giving Him esteem and thanks – it is not all about you!!! It is about the esteem of His Name – yes present your petitions, but with thanks – be thankful and filled with great awe for the One who has called you out and set you apart for a possession – you are His סְגֻלָּה segullah – Strong’s H5459– His treasured possession: (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 14:2) – give Him thanks that we are His, aměn!

Many today, will even have the lame excuse that they just do not have the time to pray and quite frankly that is a whole lot of rubbish!!!

Dani’ěl was one of the top government officials of an entire nation yet he made it his priority to make the necessary time for prayer without neglecting his duties as they could find no fault in him!

Too many today want to use work and rough schedules as an excuse for their lack of authentic living, according to the spirit, while others will, at times, try to use their fake spirituality as an excuse for their lack of performance at work by blaming their lack of performance on ‘spiritual matters!!!

For far too many today, a productive prayer life is simply not a priority and it is very clear that the evidence of this is seen in the lives of those who struggle to remain steadfast, faithful and committed.

What is also sad to see is the seeming repetition of recited prayers – that is a rhyming off of lines of prescribed prayers that have been devised and constructed by man and are simply learnt by recital, without the actual application of one’s heart and mind interacting with יהוה.

This is often done as a means to make one feel good about having done one’s prayers, as a means of their religious duty, yet the relationship with יהוה evidently becomes cold and loveless and so they rarely get to extract issues of the heart and accredit true thankfulness and praise unto יהוה.

יהושע taught us how to pray – He did not give us a recital to memorise and recite in a parrot fashion – He gave us a clear guide and instruction on the manner of how we ought to pray.

Let me ask you at this point – when your life gets busier and busier – does your prayer life and quiet time decrease? Don’t let it, but rather let your prayer and reading of Scripture increase, as your daily life demands more of you – as pressure increases around you, increase your prayer and reading time! For some of you, just continue to do as you always have done – although I am sure that most of us would admit that prayer and quiet time could most certainly increase – and believe me you will need it!!!

יהוה has called us, set us apart and chosen us to live in Him and He has called us to a life of integrity.

Dani’ěl is a great example for us to learn from – a man who was committed to walking upright in the integrity of the Living Word, even when the world’s systems tried to find fault with him.

Do not compromise your walk and confession of faith in any way – let the character of set-apart living be evident and bud in your life with fruit that lasts, as you sojourn here as foreigners who are faithfully waiting for our King’s return!

 

As we reflect on these accounts as recorded in Dani’ěl’s life may we be encouraged to stand firm!

What it comes down to is our worship. Will we remain steadfast in our worship or not?

Through this great example and clear mirror of His Word, let us realise that as we walk in Messiah, in this world we will face trouble but we are to take courage for He has overcome the world and so, let us be about our Father’s business and let His character be shaped in us, unto completion in Him.

 

It is all about choice – Dani’ěl had a choice or rather often was faced with many choices and he continued to make the right choice. We have the choice to walk in obedience to His Torah which is life or in lawlessness which results in death.

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30:11-20For this command which I am commanding you today, it is not too hard for you, nor is it far off. 12 “It is not in the heavens, to say, ‘Who shall ascend into the heavens for us, and bring it to us, and cause us to hear it, so that we do it?’ 13 “Nor is it beyond the sea, to say, ‘Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, and cause us to hear it, so that we do it?’ 14 “For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it. 15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil, 16 in that I am commanding you today to love יהוה your Elohim, to walk in His ways, and to guard His commands, and His laws, and His right-rulings. And you shall live and increase, and יהוה your Elohim shall bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17 “But if your heart turns away, and you do not obey, and shall be drawn away, and shall bow down to other mighty ones and serve them, 18 “I have declared to you today that you shall certainly perish, you shall not prolong your days in the land which you are passing over the Yarděn to enter and possess. 19 “I have called the heavens and the earth as witnesses today against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore you shall choose life, so that you live, both you and your seed, 20 to love יהוה your Elohim, to obey His voice, and to cling to Him – for He is your life and the length of your days – to dwell in the land which יהוה swore to your fathers, to Aḇraham, to Yitsḥaq, and to Ya‛aqoḇ, to give them.” 

Walking in Torah – walking in Messiah – The Living Torah – leads to life!

Walking outside of Him and in rebellion to His Torah leads to death.

Dani’ěl chose life and he lived!!!

He chose:

1 - Discipline over disorder

Maintained a steadfast commitment amidst the temptations to quit and follow the ‘disorder’ of man’s temporary rules for self-gain. Man’s rules may come and go and change at intervals to suit self-gain, but the Word of Elohim remains forever. Governments will change their laws and policies regularly, but the Word of Elohim remains!!!

2 – Love over ‘lust’ – Love is obedience to Elohim’s commands as opposed to the world’s portrayal of ‘living it up’ by chasing after the lust of the flesh

3 – Character over comfort – Character is built through endurance and perseverance through trials as opposed to the world’s comfort of fitting in or keeping up with the joneses.

Is the true character of set-apart living evident in your life?

Let me read again the words of Kěpha/Peter

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2: 11-16Beloved ones, I appeal to you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the life, 12 having your behaviour among the gentiles good so that when they speak against you as evil-doers, let them, by observing your good works, esteem Elohim in a day of visitation. 13 Be subject to every institution of man because of the Master, whether to the sovereign as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of doers of evil, and a praise for those who do good. 15 Because such is the desire of Elohim, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men, 16 as free, yet not using your freedom as a cloak for evil, but as servants of Elohim.

Rise up and be the Dani’ěl’s of today – the remnant few that will remain steadfast to walking in integrity, revealing a true authentic life of walking according to the Spirit; as His excellent Spirit in within you. He remained faithful and trustworthy in service to Elohim, while still being subject to every institution and when the judgement from man-made institutions came upon him, he was protected by Elohim! We can be steadfast amidst a wicked generation and we can have our set-apart behaviour good among the nations, no matter how corrupt the systems and governments of the world get! We can walk according to the Spirit amidst a fleshly world and we can abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the life, as we stay in the Master and guard righteousness and be unaffected by the increase of lawlessness and corruption! Do not worry what others will say – just hold fast to the integrity of the Word of Our Master and Elohim, so that you can be found to be one who is as Dani’ěl was: steadfast and in whom there was no negligence or corruption!

Perhaps your life is full of old skeletons in the closet – give it over to יהושע and confess your sin/lawlessness to Him and as His Word promises - He is faithful and just to cleanse you from all unrighteousness! His Blood cleanses us from all sin and allows us to stand up and be counted worthy to serve Him as Dani’ěl did.

 

There may be some tough times ahead – some ‘lion’s dens’ that we may have to face – and the key to being able to face anything is having the character of set-apart living being evident here and now. As the mirror of His Word is before you today – how do you look – do not walk away and forget what you look like – look intently into His Word that we may reflect Him in every way, as His Word teaches us, Aměn!

As steadfast, diligent and uncorrupted servants of Elohim keep your set-apart behaviour good!!!

יהוה bless your and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you Shalom