Our Stand before the World
After Judah had sinned, God let their enemies have the victory over them; to show them they should repent and turn back to Him.
Sadly they would not, and Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem three times. The first two, he took much of the riches of the land; and the learned men. The third time, he destroyed the walls, and burnt the temple.
On the first conquest, Nebuchadnezzar took away the young men of skill. Princes who had been taught in science and who demonstrated wisdom. They would have to learn the teachings and the language of the Chaldeans, so they could be of use to Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were four such young men. When brought to the palace of the king of Babylon, they were given over to the prince of the eunuchs; or the one in charge of their learning process.
Daniel 1:5 “And the king appointed a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine of which he drank: so nourishing them three years that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.”
They were in a foreign country, living at the whim of the king, and the food that was presented to them was designed to “nourish them”. (make them stronger, smarter, and able to stand before the king, looking good.)
They could have reasoned that they had no choice.
That if God let them come to this land, then He would want them to “go along” with the plan of those that took them.
(The food had been offered to the king’s gods; then given to the king and his favorites)
But Daniel “purposed in his heart” that he would not defile himself with these foods and wine.
He was concerned with serving God, even in a foreign land. He was not going to forget the commandments of God, just because he was not in the land of Judah.
But what should he do?
Daniel 1:8 “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.”
He went to the one in charge of their care, and asked that he might not eat these things.
He did not have a fit, and refuse to eat; but asked: giving respect.
God blessed him, and put respect for Daniel in this man’s heart.
But it was not just his safety that was in question.
Daniel 1:10 “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 face worse liking than the children which are of your sort? Then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.”
Daniel understood the danger he was putting this man in; so he asked for a test.
If it was a matter of their strength and looks, then God would surely let their obedience be blessed; that they may look healthy and strong. (So they would look healthier than the other young men that had been brought to Babylon to learn their sciences and knowledge.)
Daniel 1:12-14 “Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse (grains) to eat, and water to drink.
Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenances of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.”
Daniel was going to leave this test into the hands of the Lord. God would bless His word, and give them health and strength; so the eunuch would be able to see the difference.
They would be able to live, the eunuch would be able to live, and they could obey God, even in this foreign land.
Daniel 1:15-16 “And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children that did eat the portion of the king’s meat.
Thus Melzar (the eunuch) took away the portion of their meat, and the wine which they should drink; and gave them pulse.”
So Daniel and his friends remained obedient to God, and continued in this training.
They became very important to this king, and honored God in their service many times.
Daniel 1:17, 18, 20 “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill and learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all vision and dreams.
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.
And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.”
At first Daniel stood alone, for God’s commandments; but soon three others joined him.
We may be sent to another place, or job, or school; or stay in the same place. But being His born again ones, we can serve the Lord wherever we are.
We are never alone, for the Holy Spirit is within us; giving us the blessing of His Presence and guidance.
He works in us; but He is also working things out around us, if we just trust and obey Him.