I just finished reading through the book of Daniel. Daniel was someone who knew God and didn’t allow what was going on in the world of his time to dictate to him whom he should be worshiping/following.
In the beginning of the book we see that Daniel was brought into the king’s palace for the specific purpose of entering into the king’s service, “Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king” (Daniel 1:3-5).
How does Daniel react to his new lot in life? “But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank.” Daniel knew he shouldn’t be eating the king’s food and decides to take a bold step in asking to be allowed to go against the king’s wishes in order to obey the Lord, “Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.” (Daniel 1:8).
Not only does Daniel ask this but he is secure enough in what he believes that he asks this request of the steward in charge of them, “‘Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.’ So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables” (Daniel 1:8, 11-16).
Daniel and his companions were healthier than everyone else because they didn’t defile themselves with the king’s food. Not only were they healthier but the Lord God gave these men, “every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom” (Daniel 1:20).
I’m not going to make this about what we should or shouldn’t eat. The point I wanted to make today is that sometimes we have to do what God wants us to do and not what the world thinks we should do in order to remain spiritually healthy. We can’t gorge on the pleasures of this world and maintain good spiritual health. I know this isn’t easy because sometimes it requires us to stand alone, to be different and do the opposite of what the world says we should be doing.
I will leave you with this one last verse that I hope will serve as both a reminder and a source of encouragement today, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (I Timothy 4:7-8).