Daniel’s Faithfulness

We took a group of 75 high school teens to Poland to do missionary ministry. The first Sunday we were in a church where they were going to serve communion with real wine. Being responsible for this group of young people I was forced to make a quick decision. Would we partic … More

Standards

The king wanted these young men to be strong and healthy so he said that they were to eat the same food he ate and drink the same wine that was served to him. They knew that if they were to eat the king’s food, they would break God’s law. This food may have been offered to idols. Also they knew that those who were set apart to serve the Lord were never to drink wine (Num. 6:1-4). Daniel decided not to eat the food God did not approve of (v. 8). The strong moral conviction of these four young men made an impact on this Babylonian official (v. 9). The official feared for his life because anything short of obedience meant execution (v. 10). The king’s official had put a guard in charge of Daniel and his three friends (v. 11). Wisely choosing to negotiate rather than to rebel Daniel worked out a diet of vegetables and water which the guard agreed to (vv. 12-14).

At the end of the ten days they were healthier than those who had dined on the king’s food (v. 15). After this, the guard let them eat vegetables instead of the rich food and wine (16). Daniel and his friends learned all they could about their new culture so they could do their work with excellence (v. 17). At the end of three years the king interviewed them and gave them positions in the royal court (vv. 18-19). They became his advisors and Daniel served until King Cyrus reign (vv. 20-21).

Application

Daniel determined to honor God even though he was living where people did not have the high standards God demanded. It is my desire to live by God’s standards no matter how strong the peer pressure may be to do otherwise.

Daniel 1:8-21 (English Standard Version)

But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, "I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king." Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, "Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king's food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see." So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king's food. So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king. And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom. And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus.

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