OUR DECISIONS will determine OUR DESTINY: "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. God...brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs...God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams." (Dan 1:8-9, 17)
Daniel purposed not to eat the king’s food which was forbidden to Jews. Such separation is twofold: it is toward the Lord, and away from things that defile. The results of the ten-day experiment demonstrated God’s approval of Daniel’s courage and conviction. Even Nebuchadnezzar found the four Hebrews to be not only healthy, but also wise in giving counsel (v. 19).
There may be three possible reasons why Daniel made the crucial decision not to defile himself with the king's food:
- The meats provided for the king's table was forbidden by the Jewish law (see Lev. 11).
- The delicate food would be only to gratify the lust of the flesh (1 Cor. 9:27).
- The food provided were already consecrated to idols (Acts 15:29).
When Daniel did his part, God did not fail to do His part and made the king’s steward greatly respect and admire Daniel. Daniel is distinguished from his companions in his ability to interpret dreams and visions, much as Joseph was in the court of Pharaoh (Gen. 40:8; 41:16). Thus, the obedience of Daniel and his friends to God, and their refusal to compromise their faith in a heathen environment, were rewarded with God’s blessing (Deut. 8:3; Matt. 4:4). God’s blessing was not just limited to physical well-being, but also included outstanding intellectual development during their three years of Babylonian education.
The success of Daniel’s plan was due more to the sovereignty of God in blessing his spiritual commitment than it was to the diet. In times of testing we also need to remain faithful to God. Sometimes this will require:
- Wisdom to seek a creative compromise that would enable us to meet society’s expectations without violating our spiritual beliefs (1:8–14)
- Courage to be willing to stand up for our beliefs when no compromise is possible (3:15–18)
- Personal discipline to develop a lifestyle of faithfulness so the right response to a test will come “naturally” (6:10)
Perhaps in no other area do we have as great an opportunity to influence people around us as in our ethics and morality in our schools, colleges and workplaces. How we behave on the job tells others everything they need to know about our values and commitments. The question is, are we standing for what is right? Remember, our decisions will determine our destiny!
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." (1 John 2:15-17)