Quiet Time Coaching Episode 476 | New Thing Series — Part 31 | “Daniel’s Purity” | Malcolm Cox
A new thing! I’m Malcolm Cox. Welcome to your daily devotional podcast anchored in Isaiah 43:19: ‘See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’
We are currently looking at God doing a new thing in the life of Daniel. Today we explore Daniel’s purity.
“But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the royal rations of food and wine; so he asked the palace master to allow him not to defile himself. Now God allowed Daniel to receive favour and compassion from the palace master. The palace master said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king; he has appointed your food and your drink. If he should see you in poorer condition than the other young men of your own age, you would endanger my head with the king.” Then Daniel asked the guard whom the palace master had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: “Please test your servants for ten days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. You can then compare our appearance with the appearance of the young men who eat the royal rations, and deal with your servants according to what you observe.” So he agreed to this proposal and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days it was observed that they appeared better and fatter than all the young men who had been eating the royal rations. So the guard continued to withdraw their royal rations and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. To these four young men God gave knowledge and skill in every aspect of literature and wisdom; Daniel also had insight into all visions and dreams.
At the end of the time that the king had set for them to be brought in, the palace master brought them into the presence of Nebuchadnezzar, and the king spoke with them. And among them all, no one was found to compare with Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they were stationed in the king’s court. In every matter of wisdom and understanding concerning which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. And Daniel continued there until the first year of King Cyrus.” (Daniel 1:8-21 NRSV)
We do not know precisely why Daniel chose this diet. Vegetables would not be any safer from ritual contamination than meat. I offer you this thought by Joyce Baldwin quoted in a commentary on Daniel:
“It would seem that Daniel rejected this symbol of dependence on the king because he wished to be free to fulfil his primary obligations to the God he served. The defilement he feared was not so much a ritual as a moral defilement, arising from the subtle flattery of gifts and favours which entailed hidden implications of loyal support, however dubious the King’s future policies might prove to be.”
Is an act of faith
Is effective in impressing pagans
Is blessed by God
We similarly make decisions which the world would find strange. We attend church services instead of having extra time to do whatever we want. We pray to an invisible God! We hold to a moral and ethical code which seems outdated to most of society. Perhaps you can relate to what Peter wrote:
“You have already spent enough time in doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry. They are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses of dissipation, and so they blaspheme.” (1 Peter 4:3-4 NRSV)
Are there any current situations in your life over which you are finding it hard to make a decision because of how it might look to other people? Will doing things gods way make you look strange? Why not pray that you can take inspiration from Daniel and his friends?
I hope you find your heart, your life, your congregation and your world inspired by God doing a new thing. Until tomorrow, take care, and God bless.
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“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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