Read Daniel 1
Daniel and his friends resist the mandate to eat the king's food; Nebuchadnezzar's forgotten dream and its interpretation; fiery furnace proven harmless to three Jews.
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat (Dan. 1:8).
Daniel was outstanding in wisdom and in his understanding of the times. Soon after Daniel's captivity, Nebuchadnezzar provided a special three-year course of training for Daniel and other selected captives to be educated in the language and customs of their new country.
The king's purpose was to strengthen his kingdom by weakening their loyalty to God. We must be careful in life whenever someone offers a reward or prize. Often, we find out our so-called great reward was nothing more than a scam to cheat us. The king was choosing some of the best and the brightest. He truly believed this would work against any future problems from the enslaved Israelites. The Israelites were commanded to teach God's Word diligently to their children (Deut. 6:6-7). Daniel and his friends had been captured as teenagers and had been taught God's principles from birth. In getting these men, the king, unknown to himself, was choosing some of the most dedicated men of God. He was training them to be like Babylonians, but they never lost their faith in God. If anything, God strengthened them for those hard times that they would face in their stand for God. Still today the Lord says: Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (Gal. 5:1).
One of the requirements of these “privileged” men was to eat the same food that the king ate. But Daniel and his three friends were permitted to not eat the “defiled” food (which probably meant that it was not prepared according to God's Levitical standards). As a result, God honored these men with healthier bodies and clearer minds than any of the others. God will always bless obedience to His Word. Even though the trials may seem never-ending, we must not compromise but press forward for the cause of Christ. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14).
Although it may sometimes be difficult, God expects His children to remain true to godly principles in every situation.
Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew My power in thee, and that My Name might be declared throughout all the earth (Rom. 9:17).
Thought for Today:
Always remain true to God and His Word even when facing opposition.
As The Stone that smote the image (Dan. 2:35). The Stone is Jesus Christ (Acts 4:11; Eph. 2:20; I Pet. 2:4-8).
1:4 Children in whom was no blemish, Young men who were strong and healthy; 2:1 his sleep brake from him, he was unable to sleep; 2:31 great image . . . was terrible, dreadful, awesome, frightening; 3:19 the form of his visage, his facial expression; 3:21 hosen, other garments.
Pray for Government Officials: Sen. Mark Steven Kirk (IL) and Rep. Joe Barton (TX) • Country: Tanzania (31.3 million) in eastern Africa • Major languages: Swahili and English • Churches are expected to help implement Marxist policy • 45% Christian; 19% Muslim; .4% Baha'i; .1% Hindu; 35.5% Other• Prayer Suggestion: Pray and praise God with a spirit of thankfulness for His goodness (Ps. 107:1,21).
Optional Reading: Revelation 20
Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:4