OCTOBER 22, Daniel 1:8
Many of us are familiar with the account of Daniel. It is mentioned in today’s text that Daniel purposed in his heart he would not defile himself with the food given to him. What does the phrase “purposed in his heart” mean?
That phrase means Daniel had the intention and determination not to defile himself. Was eating what must be yummy food from the palace of the king sinful? It must have been so, because Daniel rejected it. Although we are not told what food it was, it was likely things that God forbade the Jews to eat, and perhaps it was food already offered to the Babylonian gods.
Now think about it – Daniel was a slave whose life was in the hands of his masters. We do not know how old Daniel was when he took that step of faith, but he was likely a teenager then. You see, the Babylonians would take young teens and inculcate them with the customs of their nation, and give them Babylonian names and identities. People around Daniel must have thought how good it was to be chosen to eat such wonderful food, yet this slave boy refused to eat it! How dare he disobey the kind gestures of his masters!
What are the possible outcomes of his stand? Daniel could have easily been killed; there were many other Jewish male slaves the Babylonians could have as a replacement. Even if Daniel was not killed for his stand, he could have been jailed or punished in another way. However, none of these happened. Instead, his request was amazingly granted! God honoured what Daniel purposed in his heart, which was to please God by not eating of the king’s food.
What have you purposed in your heart? Some of you may think, “I am too young to purpose anything in my heart.” You are not too young to purpose in your heart to honour God in your life. Daniel would have been a few years older than a Primary Six child, yet he had the faith many men do not possess!
Thought: May I purpose in my heart to honour God always.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the example of Daniel. May I learn to be more like him, that I’ll stand up for Jesus, that I’ll stand up for the truth. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.