buckle down spiritually, clean food, Daniel 1:8, Daniel and friends, Daniel Diet, dark spiritual atmosphere, Leviticus 11-17, not defiling themselves, pure in heart, the King's table, unclean food, vegetables and water
I am sure you have heard of the Daniel Diet before…. Vegetables Only! Daniel requested the guard serve them only vegetables and water to eat for ten days. After ten days, if they were not as healthy as the others, then their diet could be altered. At the end of ten days Daniel and his friend’s appearance looked better than all of the others eating the royal food. So the guard did not force them to eat from the king’s table, but continued to serve them vegetables instead.
Where did Daniel discover this “vegetable diet“? Daniel and his friends based their convictions on God’s Word. Leviticus 11–17 outlines God’s commands concerning eating clean food and avoiding unclean food. The true Jew only ate kosher food. Being kosher meant eating only foods prescribed in scripture. The only foods available from God’s menu to eat at the King’s table were vegetables and water.
The question is… Did Daniel and his friends have to eat only vegetables and water? No, they could have blended into the crowd. I am sure there were other young Jewish boys who did. But Daniel did at a young age what took me several years to figure out. If the spiritual atmosphere is dark… if it appears the Lord has abandoned you… if evil is prevailing, then buckle down spiritually and get your house in order. The Lord desires to work mightily in this situation, but he needs someone clean and pure to use. If you really want to make a difference in a dark situation, then it is up to you to set yourself apart for service. Most are just looking to get out of tough, dark situations. The dedicated are searching for a way to get into these positions and be light. These boys understood the type of person God was looking for in difficult times.
So, in the midst of one of the darkest periods of Israel’s history, Daniel and his friends made up their minds to pursue God and live on principled convictions. A conviction is a truth you would rather die for than disobey. In Daniel 1:8 we read Daniel’s conviction… “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.”
These young men went against the accepted cultural trends of their day by not defiling themselves. It may have not been politically correct. Others may have looked disparagingly upon them. But, God was pleased and they were in a position to be used. They refused to accept their new Babylonian identity. Although, the young men were taken from their homeland, Babylon couldn’t squelch their faith and belief in God.
I don’t think you need me to tell you, we too are living in dark times right now. Has the darkness caused you to buckle-down spiritually? Have you purposed to “not to defile yourself” like Daniel…. or, has the lure of the King’s table been too attractive? The time to make a decision for the Lord is now, before the darkness overwhelms everything. Take some time to review your convictions and purpose to take a stand for light. God is searching for a few good men and women who will be His light in dark places.