We live in a world full of compromise and half-truths. It’s gotten to a point where people don’t even EXPECT you to keep your word or even be the person that you claim to be and instead, they’re SO used to people who are hypocritical and dishonest.
For example, think of the Internet, Social Media, Chat rooms, etc. On many occasions, numerous people have encountered some type of false advertisement or ran across people who aren’t who they claim to be. But, God hasn’t dropped His expectations at all. He knows what we are and what we can be.
1Daniel 1:1-7 (paraphrased), 1:1 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.
Nebuchadnezzar took the holy vessels dedicated to God from the Temple and brought them to the temple of his own false religion. He told his top servant to being certain of the children of Israel and of the king’s sons and princes. Young men in whom was no blemish, but good looking, intelligent and resourceful, wise and understanding. Such as had the skills needed to work in the king’s palace and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. The king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat and of the wine which he drank; so nourishing them three years so that they may stand before the king at the end thereof. Now among these were these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The King’s top servant named then new names. To Daniel the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah of Shadrach; and to Mishael of Meshach and to Azariah of Abednego.
Daniel lived in a time where society was idolatrous, materialistic, everyone lied and cheated a bit and compromised too much. The king gave Daniel the chance to become incredibly rich, popular and successful. Take a look at verse 8. “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…”
Daniel was determined not to defile himself. He made up his mind and minds are to be made up. He decided to MAKE UP HIS MIND of what he was going to do and not do and STUCK with it. He chose the right thing because it was right. He didn’t do what he felt like but instead he did was he knew in his heart was right. Daniel didn’t ask all of his friends what THEY were doing or what they were going to do. He didn’t say, “All these other people are doing what they want! What can’t I do the same thing?” Here’s a thing to know, don’t be so concerned about what other people are doing because you have no clue if what they’re doing is right or wrong. Every person in the world can be doing something and will never out rule God. God’s standard doesn’t change.
What was Daniel saying no too?
He was held captive in the second largest empire in world history and he was offered a chance to no longer be a slave and to be able to enjoy health, wealth and power beyond his wildest dreams. He could also be a part of the very top Babylonian Empire, receive the best clothes, food, entertainment and the chance to cater to every desire his flesh would ever have. “Daniel proposed in his heart not to defile himself…” It wasn’t that bad.
It didn’t seem that bad, at least at first. Like the compromises that the world asks you to make that may not seem too bad at first. But, the king didn’t want to just mix with God’s people he also wanted to merge, blend and make them all conform to one culture. Daniel proposed in his heart what he would and wouldn’t do. It even went as far as what he would and wouldn’t eat and drink. Daniel made up his mind. He made up his mind of what money and other material things would mean to him. Did he want approval from his friends or from God? Popularity, money, possessions and compromise. He didn’t want to defile himself so he decided that he wasn’t going to live like them and be weak. No matter what those around him were doing, he made up his mind that purposed in his heart that he wasn’t going to follow their lead.
Daniel chose the right thing.
He purposed in his heart to live for God. He knew that nothing was going to deter him from that goal. The difference between the weak and powerful, the rich and poor is the person who is walking with God. It also has something to do with peoples’ mind set and their level of determination. Once a purpose is set, a promise is made to God and there’s no turning back.
There’s a price to pay.
Most people have areas of their lives they KNOW keep God from using them. We need to let the Holy Spirit speak into our heart. We might feel unworthy to hear His voice but He doesn’t speak because we are worthy but instead, he speaks to us because we’re needy. He will let you know the things that stand between you and His power. Jesus said “For, behold, I give you power over all power of the enemy.”
There’s a reward to receive.
His 3 best friends were inspired to follow totally after God like he was doing. They were his first fruits. When they were examined they were healthier, wiser 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 his realm.” Verse 20. God will bless your mind, body and spirit more than you could ever imagine.
Promotion, blessing and prosperity came to Daniel.
Daniel 2:48, “Then the king made Daniel a great man and gave him many great gifts and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.” Due to Daniel purposing his heart to not defile himself, he brought the King to a knowledge of God. (Daniel. 2:47) He was promoted and made wealthy. His 3 friends were also blessed and prospered. This was all because of their love and faithfulness for God. God wants to do for you more than you could ever do for yourself.
God wants to bring his power into your life.