Daniel's Faithfulness (Daniel 1:8-21 ESV)
The Bible has many accounts of faithful men and women whom for their great achievements through Godly living and obedience are worthy of our study. One such person is Daniel, a man whom obtained renowned recognition in both the eyes of man as well as God. A promising young man that, second to none, accepting the king, gained great authority even over the wise men of Babylon.
A close look at the book of Daniel reveals his secret and how he was able to reach the great position of power and influence that he did. Through faithfulness to God he obtained power over all of Babylon and later received similar power over the Medo-Persian Empire.
Despite his youth and the pressures to conform as a new slave in a strange land, he was immediately faced with the challenge of violating God's law by eating the king's food. Because of his faithfulness in putting God first in all things, God granted Daniel great favour in the sight of his captors and revelled the great secrets of prophecy that spans from his day through to our day.
 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.
Daniel spoke to Melzar, the chief eunuch that had been put in charge and asked that they not be defiled with the king’s food, but to be allowed to have beans, fruits and vegetables for their diet and plain water to drink.
The popular belief for their action here is that they would only eat ceremonially clean food, and the kings food may have been offered up to Babylonian idols which is strictly forbidden as specified in Leviticus 11:1–47 and Deuteronomy 14:3–20. However, if the meat had of been polluted by first offering them up to their false idols and gods, the vegetables and grains would probably also have been offered, so that does not seem to be the most persuasive explanation.
In my opinion there are two possible explanations. They were following a vegetarian diet for health reasons which if we read any of the health guideline today would make sense.
Or secondly, Daniel and his friends did not want to become ensnared by temptations offered by the Babylonians. They used their vegetarian diet as a way of retaining their Jewish identity and avoiding complete assimilation into the Babylonian culture. By restricting themselves to this diet, they continually reminded themselves, that they were the people of God in a foreign land and that they were dependent upon God for everything, not King Nebuchadnezzar.
When Daniel prayed three times a day, it would have been much easier to hear Gods voice when properly feed over being bloated with rich foods and wine.
 And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs,  and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.”
This simple but impossible request is the first miracle we read of in Daniel for to go against a Kings command literally meant your head, however God caused the chief eunuch to find favour and compassion for Daniel.
Melzar weighed the request presented him by Daniel for he knew too well what would happen if Daniel and his friends became pale and not as healthy as the rest of the captive Israelites.
Most captives would love to be served the Kings fine fare, but Daniel had his reasons. Leviticus 11 tells us the difference between clean and unclean animals. Daniel along with his friends made the choice of avoiding all forms of meat, this way they could not mistakenly eat what God had declared as unclean to eat.
It is also possible that they had already been vegetarians back in Jerusalem and knew the benefits of only eating what God had created to grow both in and upon the earth. It is proven by scientists who study eating habits that too much rich food slows down our mind and alertness. Daniel knew that being in a heathen court there would be many temptations and if he did not keep his mind fully alert at all time, he could find himself in real danger.
 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,  “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink.  Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king's food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.”  So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days.
Daniel proposed a test knowing that he could depend on God to give them strength to be faithful to their ways. Melzar agreed to their strange diet for only a ten day test and then he would see.
The word translated as vegetables in the ESV is translated as pulse in the King James. Pulse does not just refer to beans or vegetables but consists of cereals, legumes, fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
 At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king's food.  So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.
When Melzar made his inspection after ten days and the other captives had been gorging themselves with the high-calorie kingly fare rich meats diet with goblets of the finest vintage wines, Daniel and his friend’s diet of bread, fruit, vegetables and plain water made them appear fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king's food. Then Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them the diet they had requested.
 As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
After three years of intensive schooling, the graduates were brought in before the King himself for their final exams. They were found to be skilled in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. This confirmed that God’s favour was upon them and it is He who gave them their knowledge and not their intensive Babylonian training.
 At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.  And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king.  And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom.
God also gave to all four of them exceptional knowledge and understanding. The magicians and enchanters were the best educated men in the world at that time; and God’s favour enabled Daniel and his three friends to answer all of Nebuchadnezzar’s questions. He found them ten times better than all of his pagan advisers. Little did Nebuchadnezzar realize at this point on just how prominently Daniel and his friends would figure in the affairs of his government!
 And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus.
God placed them in a unique position where they could be a blessing to their captors and build up the society in which they found themselves, while at the same time enabling them to remain true to him amid extraordinary pressures. Daniel lived to a ripe old age and remained physically and mentally active. It was the year 539b.c when Cyrus conquered Babylon and Daniel lived another two or three years.
God’s faithfulness proved sufficient for Daniel throughout the 70 years of his exile. Babylonian kings came and went, and the Babylonians were replaced as the ruling world power by the Medo-Persian King Cyrus, yet God sustained his faithful servant. Daniel witnessed the commencement and ending of the Israelites seventy year captivity.
Brother Chris Sept. 2011
Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. (1 Corinthians 10:11 ESV)
The Bible is not just a story book of history; everything in it has a message for our days here at the end of time. If it was important for Daniel to abstain from rich and unhealthful foods and beverages, how much more is it important to us, who expect shortly to be facing the trials and tests of the closing up of God’s work for planet earth?
In our day it seems customary to live to indulge in every kind of unhealthy habit and consider such indulgence a ‘treat’. At a time when animal food has been clearly demonstrated to be unnecessary to human nutrition, we still hear from ‘official’ sources about the importance of protein in the diet with the emphasis placed on animal flesh.
Yet never has there been a time in history when animal products were more objectionable. Because of the factory farm methods of raising food animals and the unnatural diet fed to them, disease is rampant in food animals sent to the slaughter houses to appear on our tables. Mad Cow and other deadly scourges have immerged from the shadows to take their toll in the lives of men, women and even children.
Careful and unbiased researchers have found that most of the diseases bringing misery and suffering to people of our day, have at least some of their roots in the use of animal flesh and animal products for food.
The message of Daniel 1 is a message for today. A simple diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts with adequate pure water, will still work the wonders today that it did for the four youth in Babylon. Also such a diet will protect us from much, if not most, of the diseases that are crowding our hospitals and doctor’s clinics with suffering humanity, seeking, too often in vain, to obtain relief through chemical drugs and surgery.
Take heed of the lesson; pray for strength and guidance and start today to put it into effect in your life: you will be glad that you did.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV)
Historic research for this article is from “Daniel and the Revelation” by Uriah Smith.
Psalm 60…Friday September 30th, 2011
REAL HELP COMES FROM GOD ALONE
When situations seem out of control we can trust God to do mighty things
Those who fear you, you have raised a banner
Save us and help us with your right hand that those you love may be delivered
Give us aid against the enemy for the help of man is worthless
With God we will gain the victory
The closer we get to God the more the enemy’s presence becomes evident
When God deals in judgment the seemingly rejection is intended to bring people back to himself whereby they can be restored and renewed
We must focus on Christ absorbing thereof of His light and truth
God knows the future of each nation
When the world seems out of control, we must remind ourselves that God owns the cities and knows the future of every nation.
God is in control in and through him we will gain the victory
David was surrounded by enemies
David remembered that God had promised victory and He was aware that Israel’s future was closely tied to God’s reputation for keeping his promises and he so chose to thus respond in the way God reveals in the Word of God
THE LORD RAISES A BANNER WHEN WE DAILY CONNECT WITH HIM THEREBY BEING IN A PLACE OF ENCOUNTERING THE DEFENSE SCRIPTURE REVEALS IN THE WAY MOST NEEDED
I do not look to others as my source of strength in times of trouble.
I understand man’s limitations but in relying on God as my first source of strength; I know that with Him; I am assured that I will do valiantly and have the victory over every adversary and in every circumstance
Proverbs 3:5-6/ Psalm 118:8/ Psalm 146:3/ Joshua 1:5-9
Life on earth was difficult for David as it is with many of us as well.
David found satisfaction only in his relationship with God.
God refreshed and fulfilled him
TO FIND TRUE JOY AND FULFILLMENT WE SHOULD PURSUE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD AND SO CONNECT WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
Unhappiness on earth cultivates a hunger for heaven.
Amidst the dissatisfactions of life is God able to draw our attention to so appropriate the benefits thereof.
We are like strangers in this world 1 Peter 2:11
There are moments of joy as you catch glimpses of divine light.
There are days of peace but it is but a taste of that which lies ahead
For we have only tasted of that which is yet to come
WHERE DO YOU SEEK FULFILLMENT
Fulfillment in all aspects of life can be found only in God
Absorb the depths of truth we see in God’s word
Study by Charlotte…September 2011