Daniel 1:8 – 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 prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Hebrews 11:24 – By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
Hebrews 11:25 – Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Hebrews 11:26 – Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
Hello readers, time for a new blog today, and a thought from Daniel, which is perhaps a more familiar story in the Bible. Who doesn’t know Daniel and the lion’s den? But before he was the Daniel in the lion’s den… he was the Daniel in this story, and this story was the making of him. It’s easy to forget these were actually real characters, Daniel was a real man who made a decision in his heart to obey God. It’s so easy to have a passive faith, or be neutered from the reality of life. It is possible to be an onlooker your whole life. Remember the story of Elisha and Elijah… noone else ran to pick up the mantle of Elijah… only Elisha did, while all the sons of the prophets stood afar off watching. It’s so easy to never make it your own heart’s reality, you can know, you can intellectually believe, you can understand… but until you make your own decision to follow God, until you purpose in your own heart to obey him… all the rest doesn’t matter. You have to take up the mantle yourself… otherwise it’s just lying there. You can’t live off someone else’s faith or someone else’s life. Abraham had to leave Ur of the Chaldees, splitting from his family and friends, that was a real decision he made in obeying God’s command. Noone will force you to obey God, noone will make your do right when it’s decision time, noone can make you love God, you could slip off into hell with nobody, not even your closest friend lifting a finger to save you. You could live your whole life reading about others, looking at others lives, even perhaps knowing what you can or could or should do, but yet never yourself get in the battle and follow God for yourself. Remember, unless it’s practical, unless it relates to your real life, breathing life… it really is useless.
Nobody was around to make Daniel obey God. But there was something in him, perhaps we can call it God’s grace upon his life, that made him go, nope I’m not defiling myself with the king’s meat. He didn’t have a mum and dad to make him, and there were many fellow eunuchs who did eat the king’s meat. This is a man of God who had an actual real faith, he knew God’s word (which is what we need to do firstly) and then obeyed God’s word. For himself. And he was a eunuch… and that was a raw deal wasn’t it. He could’ve blamed God, he could’ve blamed the previous generation and the mess they landed his generation in… but he didn’t lose himself in bitterness, nor did that deter him from God’s word for himself. He took ownership of God’s word even while noone else did. For those who don’t know a eunuch is someone who has been castrated… so that was not fun. That was no a good deal. They were taking away his future in doing so, and he would be condemned to soulless servitude to the king of Babylon. You have to realize what you are doing will impact the next generation, and maybe you won’t care like Hezekiah didn’t… but your decisions have ramifications. Daniel did no wrong, yet he was castrated, and brought to Babylon to be indoctrinated with their ways and means and be used in the service of the king of Babylon. Look at how far away we can get from God. Do you want your next generation to end up serving the devil?
We have no business defiling ourselves with the king’s meat and drink. The king’s meat for you today can mean several things. Firstly, it could be you assimilating yourself in this world’s ways and means of living, thinking, doing. Remember, the king was Nebuchadnezzar, and at this point in time he was serving his Babylonian god. He had come in and destroyed Judah and carried away captives and also ransacked the temple and appropriated them in the house of his god. You have a choice of meat today. You can eat the devil’s meat, or the Lord’s meat. God’s meat for you is his word, obedience to him, sanctification from this world by the Holy Spirit. The devil’s meat is going out and living your own selfish life, worldly religion (even worldly “Christian” religion), false doctrines, philosophies. Babylon was no place for Daniel, and it’s no place for a believer, but you can stand in Babylon, just like you can stand in this present evil world. This world is like Babylon was to Daniel today, full of wickedness, full of sin, full of error, full of lies. And we are in this world, but we don’t need to be of it. You don’t have to be part of it. You don’t have to become one with it. You don’t have to be OF it. And to not be of it, you need to know God’s word for yourself, and purpose for yourself, and choose for yourself, that you won’t eat the king’s meat of this world. Jesus said ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Daniel was free, even thought he was many miles from home, a eunuch in a strange land of captivity. Even if you are saved, you will be useless in the sense of being a disciple of Jesus Christ if you are raised on and sustained by the king’s meat of this world, of false Christianity, of false doctrine.
You can watch your whole life go by and never get in the game yourself. The Bible says cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood in Jeremiah 48:10. This refers to there being a battle on but you standing back and not getting into the fight, while others are, while people on your side are dying or getting wounded. It is cowardly, it is weak, it is not right. You have to get involved yourself. The Bible says in Hebrews 10:39 – But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. You can be a drawer back… drawing back from truth, drawing back from getting saved, drawing back from following God… and that is the path to perdition. Saving belief itself is a whole hearted act of hearing and believing, owning what you hear and it changing your life.
The Bible says in Joel 3:14 – Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. Of course this is dealing with a future event, but as always, the Bible has relevance to us today. All the Bible is profitable for us, and today we all find ourselves in the valley of decision. And the day of the Lord is near upon you. We are living in the last days, but even then, your life is uncertain, you have no control over your destiny, you don’t know when you are going to die… and the day of the Lord in your life personally is near. It is near for good or bad, it is good if you decide in your heart to follow him, to come out to him from the multitude and draw near to the cross of Jesus Christ. But it is near for bad if you pull back, if you refuse, if you reject, if you choose the way of unbelief and hard heartedness to the Saviour who died for you. Either way he is working today in this world through his Holy Spirit, and he is commanding all men everywhere to repent because the day of the Lord is drawing now and he will judge every man in righteousness (Acts 17:30,31). Paul said he preached warning every man… it matters what you do, it matters how you live, your life matters. You can be a Daniel, and you can purpose in your to heart to believe God and obey him, or you can be like the rest of the eunuchs, and drift away to irrelevance and doom in Babylon. It is good to finish by also considering Moses, because as the Bible says, when he was come to years… he made some choices in his heart… very costly choices, there was a huge fork in the road, and he chose to follow God, he chose to obey God, he purposed in his heart… and today, it’ll take no less for you either. You must find that place in your life before God where you purpose by God’s grace to obey and follow him all the way to eternity. It would be a wise choice.