by Christina Farris
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;
4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.
11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.
16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.
17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
19 And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
21 And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus. In life we make choices to obey or disobey laws that may affect our faith. One of the hardest choices in life is to say is I will not defile myself in anyway with the kings choice for me. Often times the choices another makes for us maybe against what God would want for us. We make hard choices to not to take provision from a king. Let's say a person qualified for food stamps refused the government stamps. Choosing to do it on their own. Does the government have a right to force their will on a person, some would say only if the person was unable to care for themselves in a good way, or their dependents. Often our view of provision of the provider is seen as you got to take what a person gives or provides. That is what society teaches. Accept it and do not worry about it. Do not worry if you got dietary need is met, just eat it. It is nourishment and it will at least keep you alive to fight another day. Daniel attitude was such no I will not eat the portion the king sets before me, though he eats this food himself. I want pulse/vegetables and not only for me, but also my friends. Hebrew dietary law prevented them from eating certain types of meat, so the rich meat of the king was forbiden by their dietary religious law. It takes faith to say I eat the vegetables of the king's table but not his meat.
Daniel and his friends were not only faithful to God but he desired to keep his faith in tact. He was intelligent, had the ability to learn and favored by his own people. He would learn to speak the language of the Babylonians to learn to speak the language for communication and learn their science and technology. Learn their schooling. Yet Daniel was not willing to ever compromise his faith even down to the food he ate. His cross before him of standing his ground despite what was advised by the prince of the eunuchs of the court of Nebuchadnezzar not to refuse the meat for if Daniel appearance was sickly he would not to be allowed to continue or at least not his diet. Daniel assure Prince of Eunuchs not to fear, for he said he would look better with this diet. When almost two weeks had past he was presented before the king, and the appeared fairer, fatter in the flesh then children that ate the kings diet.
This cross of Daniel story begins here. His unwillingness to bend one inch when it came to his faith, for doing so God blessed him with the ability to learn and to interrupt visions and dreams and he had more wisdom then any of his magicians and astrologers that served in the king's kingdom. God blessed Daniel in learning. One might think you can learn anything without God, but the question still remains would you be willing to take a stand on your own convictions when it came to food? The question remains would you defy the one that has brought you to the royal palace and sat you at his table to eat? Would you refuse someone with the power to kill you. Daniel was convinced his God was mightier then the king despite he was in captivity.
How do I know Daniel and his friends were so convicted about their faith, because they were willing to go into the fiery furnance and Daniel into the lions den for his faith. And each time God would reward the Hebrew children with his protection. It takes faith to stay true to your cross. Are we loyal to God to stand faithful to our cross? If the question is yes then the question has to be what extreme would you be willing to endure your cross? If it is unto death then you might face that cross one day. Choose your battles wisely Christians, make sure they affect your will being and not the world around you. Remember God is on our side, so do not fear what man will do to you. It is far better to trust in God/ and in Christ/ and in the Holy Spirit. Daniel took God's word seriously.
Dear Heavenly Father help us to stand firm in faith knowing the cross we bear may even lead to death. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study for Devotion:
Psalms 118:6-8 KJV