Daniel 1:8 But 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.
If there ever was a time in the history of the world when God was looking for men and women of God to stand for his truth and have their lifestyle empowered by the grace of God it is today. One person whose life stood tall for his God was Daniel. The character trait in Daniel can represent a new breed of Christians God is raising up in this generation, those who will be uncompromisingly righteous, to stand for Him in this secular increasingly godless culture.
Daniel has been raised in and is rooted in his nation’s founding religion and his God, Jehovah. The book of Daniel begins with Daniel at age fourteen being removed from his culture, values, family, and nation and is put in a new culture foreign to him, a very aggressive and godless system called Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar, the new world ruler conquered Judah and exiled the young people. He put an entire generation of youth under the power of an alien culture and lifestyle. Every effort would be made to break them down from their former convictions, values, beliefs, and lifestyle. Pressure would be placed on Daniel to change his values, his identity (by changing his name; all the Hebrew names ended with “el” or “ah” identifying their allegiance to the only Tue and Living God with all of His names. Daniel means “My God is Judge but the king changed it to Belteshezzar meaning “May Baal protect my life”). What happened to Daniel is happening in our day. Babylon the ancient city is gone but Babylon, the spiritual power of the world system, is still here with world governments becoming more and more godless.
Today’s spirit of the world is shaping a culture through its worldview, its philosophies, world view where it is:
Lessening its standards of morality, right and wrong.
Making truth relative. (if it works for me it must be truth; if its true for me it must be true; if its what the majority or group says is true it must be true).
We need to be like Daniel who would not defile himself and be a part of the idolatry in the culture around him. He refused to go along with the crowd taking into himself what everyone was partaking of and defile himself with the kings idolatrous food. He would not tolerate mixture. This is not just about ingesting physical food but the king was trying to make Daniel (and the other youth) inwardly and outwardly a Babylonian. To think, speak, eat, dress, and act like a Babylonian.
The reason Daniel did not compromise was that he “purposed in his heart” not to defile himself. The word means to plan or rehearse. It implies he already decided and had a plan of how to respond when the opportunity to compromise would be presented. He purposed, “what will I say if this happens or if that happens; what will I do if this is presented to me?” He made a decision ahead of time.
The fruit of not defiling himself can be seen in vv. 15, 17, and 20.
- 15 A better appearance.
- 17. Better knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom.
- 20 Ten times better than the kings people
Are there any Daniel’s out there who will stand for righteousness through a life empowered by the grace of God and not be conformed to the spirit of this world?