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Do the Right Thing

May 18th, 2012

“Let it be known to you . . that we are not going to serve your gods.” Daniel 3:18 NASV

Do the right thing without regard to profit or pain.

My thoughts and comments today are, “do the right thing.”

Life presents you with consequential moments of decision. What you decide at such times shapes your life from that day forward. Some decisions are just choices with multiple acceptable options. However, there are matters that draw the line between right and wrong. At the risk of being ludicrous, let me illustrate the difference. What you choose to wear may be only a matter of preference and style, or the lack of it. However, which side of the freeway you decide to drive on will seriously impact the safety of others, and your own. The latter decision is consequential.

Three Hebrews were faced with a life shaping decision. Daniel 3:1-18. By royal command, the King decreed that everyone would bow down before a golden image at his command. To obey the king would desecrate their faith and renounce their God’s command – the first Commandment, “You shall have no other gods before Me . . you shall not bow down to them or serve them.” Exodus 20:3-5 NKJV.

They were captives in a foreign land. In spite of that beginning they had risen to places of privilege and prominence there. Everything they had gained and currently enjoyed would be forfeited. Of even greater gravity, to disobey the king would risk their lives. This was no small matter to the King, nor to them. Choices have consequence, immediate as well as eternal. They could make the right choice when it counted most because they had established a record of doing the right thing. See Daniel 1:3-8 NKJV.

What did they do? More importantly, what would you have done? Thankfully, the Bible records their answer. “Our God, Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O King, But if not, let it known to you that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the golden image which you have set up.” Daniel 3:18 NKJV. These Hebrews did the right thing; they obeyed God rather than man. See Acts 5:29 NKJV/Proverbs 29:25 NIV.

They could make a right choice because they knew that was the right thing. They knew the right thing in the clutter of conflicting demands and inherent self preservation because they knew their God. Here is the secret to their moral and spiritual strength. They knew God’s ability and power, “Our God . . is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace.” They long before made a non-negotiable commitment, “Our God, Whom we serve . .” But as importantly, they knew God’s character, “He will deliver us from your hand, O King.”

When you are certain about God and your convictions, doing the right thing is simpler. They understood their deliverance from the furnace was not assured, but their deliverance from the King was. They trusted themselves to God’s hand, not the king’s. You can’t really know who you are until you are sure who God is. What is the thing with which you are struggling? Do what’s right.

Moses’ instruction to Israel is wise advice still today, “Listen to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His eyes . . Do what is right and good in God’s sight, so that it may be well with you.” Exodus 15:27/Deuteronomy 6:18 NIV. When tempted to do what friends pressure you to do, or what your own desires dictate you do, do what God wants you to do. That’s always the right thing. Doing the right thing is neither convenient nor always spares you hurt. You do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, without regard to profit or pain.

My prayer for you today is that you will never shy from doing what’s right to say or do.

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