Category: Faith

Integrity Stands on Principle

John MacArthurby John MacArthur

 

“And the king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the king’s personal service. . . . But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself” (Daniel 1:5,8).

Godly integrity is built upon the foundation of biblical authority.

From the world’s perspective, King Nebuchadnezzar had much to offer his Hebrew captives: the best food, the best education, and high positions in his kingdom. But Daniel’s perspective was quite different. He did not object to receiving a pagan education because God had given no direct prohibition against that, and a Babylonian education had much to offer in the areas of architecture and science. But as with anyone receiving a secular education, Daniel would have to exercise discernment in sorting out the true from the false and the good from the bad.

It was when Daniel was asked to violate a direct command from God that he drew the line and took his stand on biblical principle. That’s the character of godly integrity. It bases decisions on the principles from God’s Word, not on mere preference, intimidation, or peer pressure. Seemingly Daniel had every reason to compromise: he was young, away from home, and facing severe consequences if he defied the king’s order. Yet he was unwavering in his obedience to God.

Although Daniel couldn’t obey the king’s order, he handled the situation in a wise and respectful manner by seeking permission to abstain from eating what God had forbidden. From his example we learn that standing on principle will sometimes put us at odds with those in authority over us, but even then we can love and respect them.

by John MacArtur

Trust His heart!

John MacDuffby John MacDuff

“The Promised Land!” 1859

“And He led them forth by the right way–that they might go to a city of habitation.” Psalm 107:7

God’s thoughts are not as our thoughts–neither are His ways as our ways! This truth is strikingly exemplified in the manner in which He led the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land. We would have chosen the way that was nearest and most direct–but God decided otherwise. He led them round about through the wilderness, and that for the space of forty years! And not merely was it the most distant way–but it was the most dangerous way as well. It was a land of deserts and of pits–a land of drought and death–a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt.

But, as strange as it appeared, we are fully justified in saying that it was wisely arranged.
Their long detainments; their tiresome and circuitous wanderings; their fierce conflicts with the Moabites and the Amalekites; the bitter waters which they had to drink; and the fiery serpents with which they were stung–all fulfilled the high purposes of Him who is excellent in counsel, as well as wonderful in working. However contrary His way might have been to theirs–yet “He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.”

His dealings with His people now are still as unusual, and as much opposed to all their preconceived plans–as were His dealings with the Israelites! He has crossed their own schemes, and thwarted their most fondly-cherished purposes! He always effects His own ends–in His own way!

Christian, what is your duty?

It is to cherish high thoughts of God in all His inscrutable dealings towards you.

It is to trust His heart–even when you can’t trace His hand; believing that “all the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.”

It is to follow His guidance continually; for as He led His people of old with “the cloud by day, the pillared fire by night”–so He has promised to direct all your steps, and preserve all your goings.

It is to wait His time; for although the way may appear long and tedious–yet remember, “all is well, that ends well.” And what will the end be? “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads! They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away!”

by John MacDuff