In last week’s note, Colton walked us through David’s response to his sin. As I read through Psalm 51, another verse stood out to me:
"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
The definition for steadfast is resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering. Unwavering makes me think of a tree with deep roots that does not move, even in the strongest of winds (I could probably write a few paragraphs on that metaphor).
The Bible has many examples of people who have been steadfast in their commitment to the Lord, my favorite of which is the book of Daniel. Now, the first thing that may come to mind is the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, but what speaks loudest to me was seeing Daniel’s refusal to compromise from the very beginning:
“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.” Daniel 1:8
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had bound Jehoiakim, King of Judah, in shackles and looted the temple in Jerusalem. He had carried Daniel and his friends away from everything that they had known and taken them to Babylon. They were isolated, surrounded by strange people and customs, and most likely confused and scared. In this situation, it would have been tempting to compromise on the “small” things in order to focus on surviving. It is not clear why the food would have defiled David. It could have been that it was unclean, per Jewish law, or that it had been offered to idols. Regardless of the reason, Daniel was resolved to not compromise on his commitment to God.
We see that later in the chapter, God blessed these young men both physically and mentally because of their conviction. If they had compromised early on the small things, it may have been harder to stand firm when the serious challenges presented themselves (Daniel 3 – the Fiery Furnace). These young men were prepared to be steadfast, even if the outcome would result in their death.
Ultimately, what we see in Daniel reflects what our Savior would do (approximately 600 years later). Jesus would leave His place in heaven to come to a foreign land. He would stand firm when tempted by Satan. He would be steadfast as he was led to the cross to pay the ultimate price.As David prayed in Psalm 51:10, we are not expected to grind our way through this life on our own. We need Christ to create in us a pure heart and steadfast spirit. We may stumble, but we have a perfect Savior who loves us and wants to redeem our spirit. I pray that Christ will continue to renew a steadfast spirit in each of us.
The elders are praying for you every week. Please contact an elder or deacon with any prayer requests.
FROM THE ELDERS—Matt Baker