2024_02_14 Insight Post- Rusty Coram


This week’s reading- Daniel 1:7, Daniel 2:49Daniel 3

I love the stories of the people we have looked at so far this year in our Bible Reading Plan. There’s something unusual that stands out this week that bears some real focus. Every time we read about the three men – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – they are mentioned together and not individually. I believe this is important and warrants some evaluation. These young men were friends of Daniel, who were taken captive and conscripted into the Royal service at the same time. Daniel, whom the book is named after, gets significant individual attention, but he was vitally connected to the three others who are always mentioned together. What we learn is that from the beginning of their captivity, and through their rise in leadership and influence, these men stayed connected. What we see in them is the application of Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (NLT)

It is easy to honor and admire the lone hero but all too often we bypass the influence of the community around them that has played a big part in their success. Daniel benefited from the comradery, examples, and support of his friends. These were men of character and deep faith which is evidenced by their willingness to resist the King’s mandate that would have caused them to violate their faith in God.

The team of people we surround ourselves with is very important. We read a warning in 1 Corinthians 15:33 that, “bad company corrupts good character”. The opposite is also true that good company can strengthen and build strong character. In Daniel’s story, we see that the four young men relied on and benefited from each other. The question for us is who do we mutually rely on as we pursue living lives for God’s honor? Where do we go for God-honoring advice regarding issues in our work, marriage, parenting, and community involvement? Do we invite people who are devoted to Jesus to come alongside and walk through life with us? Do we give them permission to speak into our lives along the way to help us grow and develop our faith and character so that we reflect Christ? One of the reasons for being vitally connected to a local church is the value found in relationships where we live open and authentic lives; where we know and are known. When we choose to live this way, we will discover the power and the benefits of friendship the way Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Daniel did.

Rusty Coram
Senior Pastor