Daniel 1:8 – But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Nebuchadnezzar had made abundant provision for his captives. Theirs was a life of luxury, not deprivation, for they were given a portion of food and wine daily from the king’s own table. However, this food did not conform to the requirements of the Mosaic Law. The fact that it was prepared by Gentiles rendered it unclean. Many things forbidden by the Law were served on the king’s table, so to partake of such food would defile the Jewish youths. Further, this royal food had probably been sacrificed and offered to pagan gods before it was offered to the king. The Jews were forbidden to eat flesh sacrificed to pagan gods. Similar problems would arise in drinking the wine. The Jews customarily diluted wine with water. The Babylonians did not dilute their wine. So both the food and the drink would have defiled these Jewish young men. Daniel knew the requirements of the Law governing what he should and should not eat and drink. Daniel’s desire was to please God in all he did. So he resolved that even though he was not in his own land but in a culture that did not follow God’s laws, he would consider himself under the Law. He therefore asked the chief court official to be excused from eating and drinking the food and wine generously supplied by the king. Daniel was courageous, determined, and obedient to God.
Daniel did not make his decision not to eat or drink the kings delicacies at the last moment. No, Daniel was a man that chose to walk each day worthy of his God. He was committed to choose obedience over indulgence. There is a strong spirit of entitlement in this world that is finding its way into the church. There are many Christians who expect to be served instead of being eager to serve. How can this be, when Jesus Himself said in Matthew 20:28 “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”? There is a great need today for all followers of Christ to be obedient to the Lord and to His word. Therefore, your challenge this week is to make choices based on how it will please the Lord and not how it may satisfy your flesh. Justifying your actions that are clearly contrary to the word of God is called being disobedient. This week, choose obedience. I know God will bless you for purposing in your heart to do what is right in His eyes.