Daniel 1:8 (NKJV) — 8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Daniel is one of those great men of faith from the Bible. At the very beginning of Daniel, we are told that he is one of the selected young men of Israel that were carried off to Babylon to serve King Nebuchadnezzar as a royal official. These young men went through a three year training in the language and customs of the Chaldeans. While they were going through this training, they received portions of meat and drink from the King’s own table. The problem is that many of these things were considered unclean according to God’s law, either because they were unclean animals or because they had been dedicated to pagan gods.
But Daniel, the Bible says, purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself by partaking in these things. What a statement this makes about Daniel! How many of us can say we purpose in our heart to follow God, even when the world tells us to do something different. Usually, even for the christian, we tend to go along with the world. We join the same conversations, we go to the same parties, we watch the same defiling things on TV and at the movies. How much better the Church would be if christians only purposed in their heart to always seek after the Lord and His Kingdom.
Daniel could have purposed in his heart to get into the King’s favor and be the perfect Chaldean. He could have played office politics and been the perfect student. But he didn’t. He chose in his heart to follow the Lord. The great thing is what the Lord did with this heart of Daniel. Daniel eventually becomes the King’s most trusted advisor. And Daniel never has to do it with worldly ways. He followed God and God did it all. In fact, Daniel wasn’t even in a position to refuse the food. The Bible says he “requested” to not be forced to eat the food. Daniel was even submitting to the authority God had put over him. Submitting to authority, whether that authority is evil or not, is part of following God. The truth is that Daniel would not have defiled himself even if the authority refused him. But, God even put it in the heart of the authority over him to allow Daniel’s request.
We do see later where Daniel does refuse to follow a royal order. He continues to pray to God when it is forbidden. The flip side is that Daniel was also willing to take whatever punishment came at him for following God. Again, how much better would the Church be today if we had the same heart? Even more simple than that, how much better off would you be today if you had the same heart? Jesus even speaks of this same heart.
Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) — 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. If we are seeking God’s will first, we have no need to worry about anything. God will lift us up. God will give us all we need. God will protect us. In the end, all these other things will pass away. Our job will pass away. Our standing in the community will pass away. The suits we wear to look holy will pass away. Everything else will pass away, but God’s kingdom will never pass away.
Let’s seek after the only thing that will last. Daniel understood that. He even understood that a permanent kingdom was coming, a kingdom greater than Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom, greater than any kingdom known to man.
Daniel 2:44 (NKJV) — 44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
The Kingdom of Jesus as Lord over the whole earth is the kingdom to which Daniel was looking. It’s to what Jesus said we should look.
Let us seek first the kingdom of God.
In His Service, Scott
This Week’s Reading Plan:
- Day 1 – Daniel 7-9
- Day 2 – Daniel 10-12
- Day 3 – Hosea 1-7
- Day 4 – Hosea 8-14
- Day 5 – Joel 1-3
- Day 6 – Amos 1-5
- Day 7 – Amos 6-9