The Lasting Effect Of Selfish Choices

Remember, an angelic being has come to be with Daniel, and he has come to Daniel to explain future events. He has already revealed four future emperors, Xerxes from Persia, Alexander the Great from Greece, Ptolemy from Egypt, and Seleucus from Syria. Then we learn about the marriage between Berenice and Antiochus II and how their marriage and alliance did not work out as they thought. 

So the following text is going to tell about the fallout that happens. Berenice's brother Ptolemy III from Egypt is going to take revenge for the murder of his sister, killing the son of Antiochus II in an invasion of Syria, and carrying back a lot of wealth. Here is how the text reads.

And from a branch from her roots, one shall arise in his place. He shall come against the army and enter the fortress of the king of the north, and he shall deal with them and shall prevail. He shall also carry off to Egypt their gods with their metal images and their precious vessels of silver and gold, and for some years he shall refrain from attacking the king of the north. Then the latter shall come into the realm of the king of the south but shall return to his own land. — Daniel 11:7-9

The lesson is simple. The selfish choices of men always have a longer negative effect than we anticipate. All the tension and animosity in these families were born out of the choice of two men — Ptolemy and Seleucus. And it carried on through their families for years and years. 

As we make choices in this life, we should always consider the potential negative effects of our sin and selfishness. Some so many men think they're not hurting anyone by looking at porn or sleeping with another woman. But the reality is there are people on the other side of our selfish desires who are victimized daily by our choices. And while we don't see the immediate effects of our sinful decisions, some families live with a dark history because of our porn addictions and adulterous relationships. Some are the people on the other side of our computer screen. So the next time you have the justifying thought, "I am not hurting anybody," you need to keep this story in mind. Two men destroyed their families, murdered a daughter, assassinated a grandson, and plundered an empire because of a selfish decision they probably thought wouldn't hurt anyone. And here, Gabriel tells Daniel the story of an unfortunate end for these two families born out of one selfish decision.

Today evaluate the choices you're making. If it is selfish, don't make it, not just for your sake, but for the sake of those you lead as well.

ASK THIS: Is there a selfish choice you need to assess and address?

DO THIS: Don't make the mistake of making it.

PRAY THIS: God, may you Spirit convict me before I make a selfish and sinful decision today.


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13 thoughts on “The Lasting Effect Of Selfish Choices

  1. David Josker says:

    God, may your Spirit convict me before I make a selfish and sinful decision today and always.

  2. Mike says:

    Took me 25 yrs to open my eyes and see the harm my alcohol and substance addiction, porn viewing, pride and selfish decisions have been hurting those around me that I loved. I became a lonely, lowly, mere existing human.
    Thank God for mercy over justice! Today I walk a free man from these sins and vices all made possible through Christ alone. Today my alliance to God is contingent on my reliance to Him.

  3. Trent says:

    I have made terrible selfish choices that have no doubt harmed many around me. Could have been much worse. Sometimes I can barely live with the memory of the choices I have made. They haunt me. They make me ashamed and sometimes nearly physically ill. So not only did my choices for instant gratification harm others they came around to snuff out some of my light and joy for as long as my mind functions enough to have a memory. The pain and tears last so much longer than the instant gratification.

    • Tom says:

      I understand as I have made selfish choices and the past does haunt me on occasion. I ask God often to release the memories and push me forward to His plans. Praying for you Trent.

  4. Jack says:

    Daniel is a book I have always had a hard time understanding. I recently followed the teaching of a minister unravel the prophetic value of the book as it relates to history, the birth of Christ and the events of the 70th week yet to come.

    But what you are doing with the book, I can’t find words to express what this means to me. Your ability to make this book come alive and speak to the challenges of our daily life is truly a gift, and as I have heard you say gifts are given to benefit others. Thank you for sharing this gift with us every day.

  5. Tom F. Sr. says:

    Thanks Pastor Vince! I wish that my past was unblemished by the sinful choices I’ve made, and the painful consequences that follow them, but it is not. O God, my loving, patient and merciful God and King, may my remaining choices on this earth be Christ-centered first, then next and always in the best interest of those closest to me. 🙏🙏

  6. Cory D says:

    Spot on Vince. There is no such thing as a victimless crime, or a selfish act with no consequences. Thanks for the reminder brother!

  7. Tom says:

    Yesterday while teaching class at the University, I reminded students “You are not a product of your environment. You are a product of your decisions” (Steven Covey). I encourage them often to make the right decisions to avoid guilt and shame, as well as damage relationships.

    Thanks Pastor Vince for the confirming message.

    • Trent says:

      That is a very simplistic and truthful view on the situation. (Product of our choices) It may be hard for some to hear, but for those of us that like a good smack in the face for a wake up call it is just the ticket. Thank you and I hope you don’t mind if I start using that one as well.

  8. Mark says:

    Brothers, I was that selfish man. My life was nearly destroyed by an addiction to porn and sexual immorality. I am here today because God never left me, but one day after nearly losing my marriage and family I turned back to the God I had walked away from. Today I’m delivered from that addiction, my life is full of peace and joy, my marriage is stable and I praise God everyday for bringing me through that hell. For those of you in that sin, feeding your selfish desires, others do get hurt. Reach out if you’d like and I’ll share more and pray for you and with you so that you too walk away from that habit, that addiction, that sin.

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