Colossians 3:22, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord”
We all desire to be liked by others. As you look through God’s Word you will certainly see that God’s people especially His leaders, were not always given positive treatment as some were mocked, threatened, beaten, and even killed. Think of Moses who at one time had the favor of Egypt as a prince, and was treated as an outlaw upon returning to free the Israelites. Moses went from friend to foe, as he “fell out of favor” with the Egyptians. The Apostles were all killed for their bold preaching of the gospel. However, despite these truths there is another side to the same coin. You see God has a way of intervening in relationships and granting favor from the unsaved, ungodly, toward the godly. What do I mean, well let me explain.
Daniel and his three friends were brought into captivity into the land of Babylon. This was an ungodly land, with ungodly leaders where pagan gods were worshipped. Even though he was in captivity Daniel gained favor with the ungodly leaders in Babylon, all whom had the “power” to take Daniel’s life from him at any given time. Even though Daniel was in such an ungodly environment the Scripture points out Daniel 1:8, “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.” His mind was made up to be pure before God and not to follow the old saying, “when in Rome do as the Romans do.” No, he would do as God desired, period. Because of this Daniel gained favor with the most unlikely people of that ungodly land, and that is the leaders, specifically the princes and kings that ruled the nation. Look at Daniel’s testimony.
Daniel 1:9, “Now God had caused the official (prince of the eunuchs) to show favor and sympathy to Daniel,”
Daniel 2:46, “Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him”. 47, “The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.” 48, “Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men.”
Daniel 5:29, “Then at [King] Belshazzar’s command, Daniel was clothed in purple, a gold chain was placed around his neck, and he was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom.”
Daniel 6:1, “It pleased [King] Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom,: 2 with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss.:3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.
How did Daniel gain favor with the ungodly princes and kings? He simply maintained a commitment to God. He told the kings things that were true that was bad news about them, he broke the laws of the land in order to obey the Laws of God, and he of course operated and so flourished in the spiritual gifts God had given him. He would not compromise his relationship with God, and always took care of his three friends.
Application: In an ungodly world, keep your commitment to God no matter what. God can bring favor with the ungodly toward you. Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations (heathen-KJV), I will be exalted in the earth.” Blessings Pastor Phil