Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 130:1-4 | Dan 1:1-2:23 | 1 Peter 3:8-4:6 | Proverbs 28:14
Today’s Scripture Focus: Daniel 1
“But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs.”Daniel 1:8-9 ESV
Daniel is an example of integrity in the midst of a culture of compromise. His own people, the people of Judah, had drifted from God and were suffering the consequences of being under judgment: Nebuchadnezzar’s armies had taken them into exile. Still, the compromise and iniquity of Judah paled in comparison to the wickedness Daniel found in pagan Babylon. In the midst of this spiritual darkness, the integrity of Daniel and his friends stands as a beacon of light.
The depth of his integrity and unwillingness to compromise is seen already in the first chapter when he refuses the king’s food and wine. Offered the best the King had to offer, Daniel refused to compromise his principles. So he asked to be given vegetables and water.
God granted Daniel favor. His request was granted. His integrity was further rewarded by God’s favor in the good health Daniel and his friends enjoyed. Amazingly, his vegetarian diet was making him “better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food” (15).
God further blessed them with learning, skill and wisdom. Even at their young age and with this limited (though extensive) training, the king found them “ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom” (20).
The world in our day needs men and women like Daniel who will be people of integrity–who will stand up for their beliefs at any cost. They too may expect the blessing of God to do great exploits for God. Daniel 11:32b (KJV): “the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.”
Heavenly Father, help me to stand strong and demonstrate integrity amidst the struggles and temptations of this world. Make me like Daniel, who refused to compromise and remained strong in his faith despite the pressures of the world around him. Amen.