But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. ~ Daniel 1:8
There are so many things in our lives that are completely outside of our control. The same is true of Daniel. Think of what he lost, in such a short time – his home, his nation, his language, his people, even his own name (Daniel 1:1-7). And yet Daniel, in the midst of exile, in a foreign nation, surrounded by worldly and pagan people, keeps his integrity.
It would have been very tempting to assimilate. To say, “well maybe the food isn’t really a big deal. Perhaps, I should just blend in.”
But instead, Daniel makes a choice. He couldn’t control the geopolitical tensions. He couldn’t control where he was placed as a captive in a foreign nation. But Daniel resolved. He made a mental choice and acted upon what he could do – to keep himself holy for the God that he knew was still sovereign. Though Daniel was not in control, he knew the One who was in control.
And we see that God blesses his choice.
And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs ~ Daniel 1:9
As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. ~ Daniel 1:17
Sometimes, we feel as if we are crushed, overwhelmed by the world. We are not in control of so many, many things. And yet, we like Daniel, have the opportunity to choose what is right in the midst of a foreign land. After all, isn’t that what earth is for us (Phil 3:20)?
What will we choose for His glory today?
This world is not my home
I’m just passing through…
(Mary Reeves Davis)
Image: Still Life with Broken Glass 1642 Rijksmuseum