Daniel 1: 5 The king assigned them a daily portion of the royal rations of food and wine. They were to be educated for three years, so that at the end of that time they could be stationed in the king’s court… 8 But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the royal rations of food and wine; so he asked the palace master to allow him not to defile himself. 9 Now God allowed Daniel to receive favor and compassion from the palace master. 10 The palace master said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king; he has appointed your food and your drink. If he should see you in poorer condition than the other young men of your own age, you would endanger my head with the king.” 11 Then Daniel asked the guard whom the palace master had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 12 “Please test your servants for ten days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 You can then compare our appearance with the appearance of the young men who eat the royal rations, and deal with your servants according to what you observe.” 14 So he agreed to this proposal and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days it was observed that they appeared better and fatter than all the young men who had been eating the royal rations. 16 So the guard continued to withdraw their royal rations and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. 17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and skill in every aspect of literature and wisdom; Daniel also had insight into all visions and dreams.
The prophet Daniel was among those taken to Babylon when Israel was conquered by the Babylonians. The king of Babylon commands that Daniel and other young men of Jewish nobility eat the rations of the king’s court – which likely included foods that were not kosher. Rather than become ritually unclean Daniel asked that he and his buddies be given vegetables and water only. It was an act of faith to honor God in this way. God responded by honoring Daniel in return, giving him strength, wisdom, and insight despite his status as a glorified slave.
When we honor God, God will honor us in return.
The fact that you’re reading this blog post indicates your willingness to give to the Lord some of your time by dwelling in the scriptures for a bit. If you’re like me there are voices in your head telling you that you don’t have time for this. There is so much you need to get done today. Your to-do list awaits! I seriously hear that voice every day when I start to write. Or each week when the Sabbath approaches. Or when my wife Jana and I give financially what it appears we don’t have to give. Given how long I’ve been following the Lord now you would think those voices wouldn’t bother me anymore – but they do. So this morning I’m asking the Lord to reveal where I’m listening to the wrong voices and where I need to act in faith like Daniel did.
Lord give me strength to be faithful when my trust in you wavers. Amen.