“Grandpa?” Edward had listened to adults read a scary news story. “Do you think we will be taken away someday, and Mom and Dad put in jail?”
“We never know,” Grandpa said, thoughtfully, “but always remember that God will help you if you are true to Him. Let me tell you a story….”
The Boy That Was True
(Reference: Daniel 1.)
He lived far away in the land of Judah, a hilly dry land with farms and orchards, villages, and walled cities. And he was raised to know God and love His ways, even when many other people did not. Daniel was different. Many other boys cheated in their lessons, fought, and broke the rules, but Daniel always tried to do his best. He was often at the head of the class because he studied hard. Most of all, Daniel prayed.
Then his home city, Jerusalem, was besieged by the Babylonians. Enemies had often camped around the high walls and battered them, but this time the Lord let them capture the city! The king of Judah had been living very wickedly and many people had turned from God. Now he and many of the temple vessels were taken captive. It was a scary time for Daniel and his family, but they trusted in God. They waited to see what the king of Babylon would do.
Then it came—a summons to appear before the king for questioning. Do you think that Daniel was a bit frightened to leave his family? He might never return. Daniel and the other boys were tested for strength and understanding by important officers, and the best were chosen. Daniel was one of them. Maybe he wished that he hadn’t studied so hard now! But he still prayed, and asked God to help him be true. Even in far away Babylon.
God did help Daniel, because he chose to do the right thing always. One time he was asked to do something he knew would be wrong. The officer in charge was angry at him for not obeying, but Daniel only said, “Please prove us ten days.” He knew God would help him, and the other boys who wanted to do right. And the Lord made the officer like them and treat them well.
I’m sure Daniel got lonely for his family and home, as he studied a new language in a strange land. Every day he prayed and did his best. And because he was true to God, God was his Friend. Even as a captive Daniel learned to serve God and help others. And because the boy Daniel trusted in God, one day he was appointed top ruler in the land.
Alice and Sammy had come in to listen as Grandpa told the story that they knew so well. “I never thought of it that way,” said Alice, as he finished speaking.
“It was sort of like the newspaper story,” said Edward, “because Daniel was taken away from his family when they were trying to obey God and everything.”
“Yes,” agreed Grandpa. “We often have to suffer for what other people do. Daniel was taken captive because other people had lived wickedly, even though he did right.”
“Was it the story about the children who were home schooled?” Alice asked.
“What story?” said Sammy.
“They were a family trying to do right, and other people who didn’t like them turned them in as law-breakers,” Grandpa said. “But what matters most? To live so other people will like us, or so God will be pleased?”
“God,” said Sammy solemnly.
“It’s hard when others laugh or think I’m stupid,” said Edward, looking down.
“But that is how Jesus was treated, too,” put in Alice. “I guess many people didn’t like Him either, and He always did right.”
“Yes, and now He reigns in heaven.” Grandpa smiled. “It was worth it.”