DAY 274- BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE EXILE
Reading: Daniel 1
Today, we’re going to spend time honouring the third great prophet that God raised up during the Exile period – Daniel.
Daniel was taken captive in 605 BC during the first stage of the exile. He was carried off in this first deportation when Nebuchadnezzar took some of the royal seed to serve as hostages and to train for service in his court. These captives were treated extremely well in Babylon because Nebuchadnezzar recognized their royal standing and treated them accordingly.
We have much to learn from the life of this dedicated servant of God, starting with what we read about today in our Reading. Daniel purposed in his heart not to eat of the food Nebuchadnezzar had provided. The phrase “that he might not defile himself,” suggests that the food King Nebuchadnezzar was serving was a kind of food that the Jews weren’t allowed to eat. Remember that the Jews had many dietary restrictions of foods that were declared unclean.
Daniel didn’t have to uphold his Jewish standards. He was away from home, in a foreign pagan kingdom, without his parents around. He could’ve eaten the food without a second thought. A modern day example of this would be if a child goes to a friend’s house and they’re playing a video game or watching a movie they aren’t allowed to watch. Since parents aren’t around, this child can easily get away with playing the game or watching the movie. Same thing going on here. Daniel didn’t have to maintain his Jewish standards. But he did. This young boy had had the precepts of God – as well as integrity – so instilled in him, that it mattered to him whether or not he pleased God. It didn’t matter what everyone around him was doing.
Are you a Daniel? Or are you more inclined to compromise under pressure?
Father, help me to stay true to You, help me to live out my faith without apology or compromise.
FOR THE FAMILY
Watch the first part of this video about Daniel