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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

March 18, 2016

How faithful are you?

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

The divorce statistics in western countries are reason enough for some to joke about changing the traditional marriage vow from "Till death do us part" to "Till the judge parts us".

There are different reasons for the failure of so many marriages today. One of them is a trend of our time that is not limited just to bad marriages, but is seen as well is society in general: a diminished appreciation for faithfulness.

Marriage is used in the Bible as a symbol for our personal relationship to God. Those who accept their calling by God and want to walk with Him commit themselves to a life of faithfulness. And it is faithfulness to the end of our physical life!

One of the favorite children's stories in the Bible is that of the prophet Daniel in the lion's den. This story is a confirmation of Daniel's long life of faithfulness to God. Daniel was probably 80 years old – or older – when he was thrown into the lion's den. What caused his punishment? It was his faithfulness to God, but as well to the king of the Medes and Persians, Darius. Daniel's enemies in the government "could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him" (Daniel 6:5). So they came up with a decree that would be a trap for Daniel, because he was faithful to God.

What did Daniel do? "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days" (verse 10).

In this situation Daniel remained faithful to God, as he had been all his long life. He didn't compromise to save his life. Even Darius recognized Daniel's faithfulness. When Daniel was thrown into the lion's den, Darius said: "Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you" (verse 16).

God rewards faithfulness. Daniel was spared death in the lion's den, "because he believed in his God" (verse 24).

When we are baptized, we are to count the cost of the commitment we are making. Part of that cost is the faithfulness to that commitment. It isn't always easy to honor that commitment, but faithfulness will be rewarded!

As human beings we might waver or even fail in our faithfulness to God, but God will never fail: "If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself" (2 Timothy 2:13). Faithfulness is a part of God's character. And we are to "be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48).

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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