““In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.” Daniel 1:20
When King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came and conquered Jerusalem, he set out to have young, strong, and healthy men brought to him in order to teach and train them the literature of the Babylonians. King Nebuchadnezzar planned to train such men for three years. All the while they sat at his table and ate the royal food. Among the men brought into his presence was Daniel. Daniel, a man of God, did not want to defile himself in the eyes of the Lord by eating the food on the King’s table or drinking the King’s wine. Rather he asked for permission to forego the feast at hand. What came next is the first of many stories showing how the Lord was with Daniel.
Daniel asked the Chief Official to put him to the test. Rather than eating the food served to him, for ten days he would only drink water and eat vegetables. At the end of ten days, the Chief Official would compare Daniel to the men that had been partaking of the King’s feast. As the story goes, Daniel and the three other men who only ate vegetables and drank water were healthier and more nourished than the other men. Throughout the rest of their training, Daniel and the three men time and time again were set apart from the other men. God was with them and gave them knowledge, understanding, and even the wisdom to discern visions and dreams. By this, the four men became most favorable in the eyes of King Nebuchadnezzar.
The story and Scripture above may seem odd or out of place in today’s world. Men and women are not tested in the same way Daniel was, but underneath the surface of the story above is still a valuable lesson to learn. It would have been easy for Daniel to eat and drink at the King’s table, foregoing God’s instructions. Yet, Daniel did not let the fear of retribution from the King or the Chief Official overwhelm him or cause him to stumble in his walk with God. He, and the three others, held true to God’s word and stood firm in their beliefs and devotion to God. For this they were rewarded time and time again. It is easy to be peer-pressured in today’s society, or to simply “go with the flow” rather than making a stand for God. Let the story above inspire you, and encourage you. God will reward you for holding true to him, instead of the ways of the world.
Please help me to nourish my heart and mind with your Word, your doctrine. Help me to be so grounded in you, that I’m not tempted to stray from you into the ways of the world.
In Jesus’ Name,