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.
PLAY THIS: Mercy.
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