Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Monday, November 26, 2012

The King's Food

I love the book of Daniel! Let me share the very first story with you. (The verses shown are all from the first chapter.)

Jerusalem has just been conquered by King Nebuchadnezzar, and many have been taken captive to his headquarters in Babylon. The king especially wants to borrow brains, so he instructs a man named Ashpenaz to look for young noblemen to be wise, knowledgeable, able to teach, strong in their standing, and without physical blemishes. (verses 3-4)

Four young men were chosen: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. (You’ll remember the last three as Shadrach, Mechach, and Abednego, their pagan names, given to them in Babylon. Oddly enough, we know Daniel as Daniel and not by his pagan name, Belteshazzar.)

They were to be given the king’s food—the meat and drink from his table. (verse 5) This was to last for the three years of their training. But, Daniel was not pleased with this idea. 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. (from verse 8)

Notice that Daniel understood that eating the king’s meat and drinking the king’s drink would defile him. The meat was prepared by gentiles, which was forbidden under the Mosaic Law. It might have included meats from “unclean” animals, and it was probably offered to heathen gods before the king partook of it—all reasons that eating this meat was not agreeable to these Jewish young men. The drink was also probably much stronger than what was permitted, thus another “defilement.”

Daniel was the leader of the four, and he had won the friendship of Ashpenaz, the master of the king’s eunuchs. Daniel suggested to Melzar (who worked under Ashpenaz) a switch to “pulse” (vegetables, quite possibly legumes of some sort) and water. Melzar thought this would displease the king and maybe even cost him his life! But, he agreed to a ten-day trial period. If, after ten days, the young men looked sicklier than the others, they would have to eat the king’s food. Daniel agreed.

This was much more than a switch to a healthier lifestyle. This meant the four friends were sticking to their faith. And, God honored them.

After the ten days, they appeared before the king, and they were more handsome and ten times wiser than their counterparts, who had eaten the king’s food. (Think of it—one time wiser for every day of obedience! Not a bad swap!!!) That they looked so healthy after only ten days of a diet change was nothing less than a miracle of God. God did it so that these men could stand pure and honor Him. And the wisdom . . . the source of wisdom is God! (James 1:5)

The practical lessons for us?
  1. When you’re away from your Christian comfort zone (on vacation, moved to another place, studying out of town, visiting friends, etc.), don’t leave God behind. Instead, look for other Christians, so you can have fellowship. Cling to God’s Word daily. Follow His commands rather than the prevalent philosophy around you.
  2. Prove God’s faithfulness.
  3. Follow Daniel’s example and endear yourself to the people around you. Be courteous and classy.
  4. When you’re tempted with “the king’s food” (sin), remember to honor God instead. 
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink,
or whatsoever ye do,
do all to the glory of God.
(1 Corinthians 10:31)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your thoughts.