This week we looked at how we can stand strong in the face of adversity – Staying faithful, even in a hostile environment. (If you missed Session I, you can review the material here. Also, to read previous blogs from Session II, click here)
Now let’s look at this. It says, …but Daniel resolved. Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the kings food or with the wine that he drank.
Now we could read this and just pass right by it, but think about how remarkable this is. Let’s profile these 4 Hebrew boys. They are teenagers. They are good looking. They are smart. The average teenager that had just been plucked up out of their homeland by a foreign invading army at first would be terrified. I’m sure these boys were fearful, but then they find out that nothing bad is going to happen to them. As a matter of fact, they actually had hit the lottery. Not only are they not going into a prison, but they are actually going to the king’s court. They are going to eat, drink, and be merry. They are going to be treated very well. Lots of great food. Lots of learning. It’s party time! All they have to do is go with the flow. All they have to do is not make any waves and all will be fine.
Of course there is a but involved here. If they go with the flow, all will be fine… but… they just have to turn their back on Jehovah. They just need to forget about the God of their ancestors. Forget about how they are supposed to worship him. If they do that, then they will be treated great and all will be well.
But Daniel is like “not a chance. I can’t do that.” This young man had amazing character! And he resolved not to defile himself by eating the king’s food or drinking the king’s wine.
Now how’s this going to play out? Let’s take a look.
He resolves not to eat. Then he asks. Notice he’s not belligerent. He’s not obnoxious. He doesn’t get in Ashpenaz’s face and say “I ain’t eating that” You can’t make me eat that. Remember last week, we said something cool we’re going to see about Daniel is that he’s wise. And as we hang out with him he will rub off on us. Look at how he handles this. He asks. He puts himself in a place of humility and submission and asks “Hey Ashpenaz, can I ask you a question? I am a follower of Yahweh and it would be a violation of my religious beliefs if I ate this food. I don’t mean to be rude, but is there any way I can pass on this?”
Now in a normal situation, the chief eunuch would probably look at him and say “what are you talking about, crazy Hebrew boy?” You’re a prisoner because your country got conquered, and you have the gall to ask not to eat this amazing food that’s been given to you? Shut up and eat your food before something bad happens here.” That would be the normal response in a situation like this. However, we’re missing one little principle. The Scripture states that “God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs.” God gave Daniel favor.
In Psalm 5:12 it states “For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.”
God puts favor on Daniel. Favor is explained as the divine goodwill which He extends to humanity.
Daniel makes a good decision and God gives him favor. For reasons he does not understand, the chief Eunuch likes Daniel. He just likes him and has it in his heart to help him, if he can.
Application to our lives – Did you know that you can pray for God to cover you with His favor? It’s a great prayer, because a lot of times we need favor to be able to accomplish what He’s calling us to accomplish.
Let me encourage you to never feel bad to pray Psalm 5:12, never feel bad to pray God’s favor over your life and over the lives of those you love.
So our takeaways today – Resolve to do the right thing, and believe God for his favor as you do!
Praying God’s favor over all who read this today!
Fuel is a weekly Bible Study that meets Thursday nights at 6:30 @ RockChurch – 1081, Upper Spring Bay Rd. East Peoria