Daily Bible Reading: Daniel 1: 3-17
Daniel and his friends were taken into captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar. In those days, it was important for the king to raise up young men, to train them in language, behavior, and wisdom. He wanted these young men to forget the God of their fathers and focus only on his kingdom and things of the world. They fed them the best food to help fatten them up and strengthen them.
But, look at verse 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 price of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”
Daniel stayed true to his religion. He held fast to the spirit of an Israelite, and determined to keep himself from sin. This speaks volumes about Daniel’s character. He didn’t covet what the king or other young men had, and he didn’t seek the delights of his senses.
The story goes on to say that Daniel approached the prince of the eunuchs, Melzar, and asked that he and his friends not be made to eat from the king’s table. Melzar gets a little nervous about this. “What if I listen to you, don’t give you the king’s food to eat, and then I put you before the king only to have you skinny and scrawny next to all the other young men? It’s my head on the line, and I just can’t take that chance.”
So, Daniel asks him for just 10 days. For just 10 days, give us only vegetables and water. After those 10 days, compare us to those who eat of the king’s meat, and then you can decide where to go from there.
For 10 days, Daniel and his friends ate nothing but water and vegetables. Can you guess what happened at the end of those 10 days? Look at verse 15: “And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.”
Now, look at verse 17: “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”
If we want to be wise, we must be like Daniel and keep our body under subjection. Daniel avoided defiling himself with sin, we must learn to do the same when we think about our diet and food choices.
Before you started trying to get on the right track, you didn’t understand the benefits better food choices would have for you. You had to see it for yourself. When you avoid the excess junk or have a sparing diet, it contributes to your overall health. You feel better, you have more energy, you look better, and you’re stronger. All from making the right choices.
I read a quote the other day that said, “Conscientious temperance will always do more, even for the comfort of this life, than sinful indulgence.” This is so true in so many different areas of life!
There’s one more thing I want you to get from this: Changing your habits, what you eat, what you desire, when you exercise – it isn’t just a change you need to make in your head knowledge. If you want real change, full and complete change, it has to be from the heart. Go back to verse 8: “But Daniel purposed in his heart…” Real change that’s permanent and life changing has to be something that you desire so deep down, you’re willing to do it no matter what. And, as Christians, who has control over our heart, (or should, anyway)? Christ dwells within us, He lives in our heart – therefore, when we make this a heart change, we don’t do it with our strength, we put it in His.
1. Do you truly desire permanent change deep down, or do you just have a goal number in mind, and once you reach that goal, you’ll be happy? Which do you think will satisfy you more?
2. Can you purpose like Daniel to not give into the pleasures of sin and make better choices this week? How’s it going so far?
Exercise at least 30 minutes and drink 8 glasses of water.