Youths nowadays are too much greedy to get rich quickly and when we are talking about social evils and ills in our society these days, youths are many in such nefarious and heinous acts. The lives of certain youths who have compromised and done exploits in the Bible will set as examples for your life. The people are Daniel, Esther, Phinehas and Joseph. They are youths you can emulate.
1. Lessons from Daniel
“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
Daniel in the Foreign Land
Daniel from the beginning of his stay in the foreign land had looked beyond the ordinary. While millions of the Israelites abandoned God, Daniel was one of the few who determined to live for God. He knew that idols are for the devil and he wanted to be for God and not the devil. He went to exile with the law of God in his heart. Exodus 34: 15 warns the Israelites not to eat meat offered to idols.
In Babylon, Gentiles do prepare their food without attention to Jewish dietary laws, without which it would be unclean. Notice Daniel’s request in verses 12 and 13. Wonderful! Just ten days of eating vegetables and water. There is no “unclean” vegetable. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah passed the test creditably well. Divine wisdom was also given to them (vs 17-20).
Think about this
Another day of the test came in Chapter 2, God honoured these four men with the interpretation of the king’s dream. Here, Daniel 2: 27-28. Let us be available for God’s use. All youths must set themselves apart for divine mandate so that God will continue to be glorified through our works (Daniel 2: 46-47).
2. Lessons from Esther
“Go gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do, when this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish”. (vs 16)
Esther: A Demonstrator of a Valiant Youth
Esther, a Jewish lady, brought up by Mordecai in exile, demonstrated the qualities of a valiant youth in a foreign land. Providence smiled at Esther when queen Vashti rejected the request of king Xerxes to come out for a beauty show. When a search was being made for a replacement for Vashti, Mordecai asked Esther his niece not to disclose her nationality. Esther (Hadassah) was one of the beautiful virgins taken to the king’s palace. She was moved to the best place in the harem under Heggai (Esther 2: 8-9).
Esther Won the Favour and Approval
At last, the king was attracted to Esther more than any of the other women. She won the favour and approval of the king more than the other virgins(Esther 2: 17-18). A great banquet was given by the king in honour of Esther the new queen. Esther faced a big challenge thrown to her by Mordecai to avert Haman’s plan of destroying the Jews in all the provinces of Xerxes’ kingdom (Esther 4: 12-14).
Pushed to the wall, Esther took her case to God (Esther 4: 15). Notice the way Esther pleaded her case before the king. Through God’s intervention, the Jews triumphed over their enemies. Esther became a heroine (Esther 9: 29-32). In a dramatic turn of events, Purim, originally a chosen day to attack the Jews became a holiday which is observed to this day. Praise the Lord. Youths, are you ready to fight spiritually for your people in faith? You can emulate Esther’s desire to free her people from the evil plan.
3. Lessons from Phinehas
“Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites, for he was as zealous as I am for my honour among them so that in my zeal, I did not put an end to them…” (Numbers 25: 11 NIV)
Phinehas: A Demonstrator of Holiness
All the youths, we have been talking about having their root in the word and fear of the Lord. Phinehas we are ex-raying today was a young man who did not joke with the holiness of God. At the time, the whole nation of Israel was under God’s judgement, and the people were weeping, an Israelite brought a Midianite woman into his tent for a sexual relationship, when Phinehas saw this, he left the assembly, took a spear that he drove through both the Israelite and the Midianite.
Phinehas Amanda the Wrongs
He passed judgement on them for their act of adultery and disregard for God’s word. By this noble and valiant act of Phinehas, God’s wrath over the people of Israel was appeased. The action of Phinehas was commended and rewarded by God. In verses 10 and 11…, God said that Phinehas has turned His anger away from the Israelites.
Think about this
Are today’s youth working towards turning God’s anger away from our nation or are they the reason for God’s anger on the nation? Phinehas was as zealous as God was for the honour of God among the Israelites. Phinehas was rewarded greatly as God gave him the covenant of peace and his descendant will have a covenant of the lasting priesthood. Believer, are you planting curses for the next generation or bringing them into an everlasting covenant with God? Youth, don’t allow anybody to use you against God.
4. Lessons from Joseph
“And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man”. (Genesis 39: 2)
Joseph: The Carrier of God’s Presence
The most important thing that man can secure in life is God’s presence. This is because there is nothing that man is looking for in life that cannot be found in God. Joseph experienced God’s presence throughout his journey in life. At Potiphar’s house, the Lord was with him. (Genesis 41: 38). No wonder, he was in favour in the sight of every man and he became prosperous.
Think about this
Do you want to make it in life? Do you need God’s mercy and favour? Do you want to prosper in life? All you need is God’s presence. Do away with whatever will not make God’s presence abide with you. He cannot dwell in an ungodly place. Seek and secure His presence and determine to pay the price. Seek Him in prayer and fasting. May His presence forever abide with you in Jesus’ name.
Joseph: A Demonstrator of God’s Holiness
“…how then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” Genesis 39: 9
God made Joseph find grace in the sight of Potiphar and he was made the overseer of his house and committed all that he had into his hands. What great trust! However, a great temptation came his way. The wife of his master asked for an immoral relationship, she said, “come to bed with me, vs 7. To man, this was a cheap offer.
The woman came to Joseph by herself and if Joseph consented, she knows how to cover up. To Joseph, this was not even a sin against a man, but against God, vs 9. He, therefore, refused and rejected the offer. Joseph thereafter suffered for the sin not committed but God allowed it so that he may get to where God had in plan for him.
Think about this
Dear youth, how do you live your life when the pastor and other brethren are not around? In a strange land, Joseph maintained his integrity. He refused to allow the “enjoyment” of a moment to make him go against God. Immorality is a serious weapon in the land of the devil these days. You will achieve greatness if you can run away from the appearance of evil.
Joseph: A Demonstrator of God’s Forgiveness
“…Ye thought evil against me…Now, therefore, fear ye not. I will nourish you and your little ones…” vs 20-21
To forgive in life is not very easy. It is highly human to avenge. Man, being who we are, will always remember evils done against us and will be looking for means of retaliation. Joseph’s brother did him much evil. They sold him because they did not want God’s glory to shine in his life. They greatly conspired against him and were successful in their plans. Humanly speaking, it was not an experience to easily forget.
Think about this
However, thank God for Joseph’s life. His reaction to the evils done unto him by his brothers was highly unexpected and amazing. He saw what God did rather than what his brothers did. Instead of arresting and killing them, he nourished them, comforted them and spoke kindly to them. What a good heart! My youths and brethren, if you were in the position of Joseph, what would you have done? How many people have offended you? Mention their names and declare that you forgive them.
Joseph: A Good Manager
“…And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians…” (Genesis 41: 56)
During the seven years of plenty, Joseph gathered up all the food and in the years of famine, he told unto people. What a good manager! He helped Pharaoh to save for the day of death. He thus saved the people of Egypt from hunger and death in the days of famine. He managed well the resources of another person put in his care. He neither squander the owners’ property nor betray the trust bestowed on him.
Think about this
My young people, how do you plan your life, academics, businesses, marriage, family, etc? Manage well what you have now because only God knows what will happen tomorrow. Nigeria would have become a very great nation if we have people to help manage our resources. Nigeria is blessed but people like Joseph manage the resources that are not there. Many people would have become great in their endeavours, but they lack management. Sit down today and plan for your life.