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.
Hello readers, and today a new blog from the book of Daniel. People have made money, lots of money, out of the “Daniel diet”. But today we want to consider Daniel 1, and the person Daniel, and see what the real Daniel diet is, what Daniel 1 actually is teaching us… that is, if we are interested in what God’s word says and what God requires of us if we want to follow Jesus Christ in our lives. A truly healthy life begins at the spiritual level. Because we live in a physical, natural world, we most often care about things that pertain to the flesh. People have tried using the Daniel diet just like any other self improvement and prosperity type thing, and the people behind it manipulate God’s word. Sure, it’s good to be physically healthy, as our bodies are the temple of God (if you are saved)… but what God cares about is our spiritual health.
You can be physically healthy, but spiritually dead in sins. The spirit of man is what man truly is. The Bible says the body without the spirit is dead. Your spirit is what you truly are, it is the “God” part of your being, not that we are God, but it is what God breathed into us, that made us a living soul, giving us consciousness and making us alive, separating us from the rest of the creation. Jesus said if your eye causes you to offend, pluck it out, if your hand causes you to offend, cut it off… because it’s better to enter maimed into eternal life than having a whole, healthy body that is cast into hellfire. There are things far more important than the physical. What spirit are ye of? You can compare your life to the Bible, your behaviour, and out of your life will flow what your spirit is. Is your spirit clean or unclean? Holy or unholy? Excellent or poor? Good or bad? Sinful or sinless? Truthful or lying? Merciful or unmerciful? Patient or angry?
Proverbs 4:23 – Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Jesus Christ said out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Jesus said the things which come out of a man, defile a man… because as Mark 7:21 – 23 – For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. You see, people do those things, we do those things, because we have spiritual problems… if you have the Holy Spirit of God in you, and you are walking in him, your life won’t be producing such… holiness, goodness and righteousness will flow from your life instead… because that’s what you are within. Most people don’t want hell, but they also don’t want to give up a life of sin that they love. They don’t want real salvation, Jesus came to save us from our sins.
The real Daniel diet is a spiritual diet… remembering, the body of Christ, all Christians, those who have repented of their sin and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, a body of believers referred to as the church of Jesus Christ… that body is a spiritual body. Does God require you to eat pulse today? It is clear that as in Acts, we have great dietary freedom, and in fact in the Bible a sign of living in the last times is abstaining from meats. The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Unfortunately most Christians today are very carnal, and of course unsaved people can only think and do as they naturally know. Today we want to learn the real Daniel diet.
Daniel and his three friends were part of a greater contingent of young Hebrew children who were taken to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem and wrecked it. He took the vessels of the temple and he took Israel’s best. He’d take them back with the purpose of using them for his kingdom. Furthermore these Hebrew boys were castrated. Imagine how destabilizing all this would be for them… many didn’t stand a chance. We only read of Daniel and the three Hebrews, there were a lot more Hebrews than just these four guys. Keep that in the back of your mind, because while the three Hebrews didn’t bow to the image, all the rest did. These were Israel’s finest and brightest… so what happened that they bowed down?
Well it began with a diet. The king of Babylon commanded a specific diet consisting of the king’s meat and the king’s drink. And today we really need to learn from this. Your spiritual diet will determine whether you’re a Daniel or not. Before you can stand in Babylon, before you can be faithful to the point of being thrown in the lion’s den… you must have the right diet. You’ve gotta be feeding on the right things. Jesus said some tough things to be understood in John 6 about feeding on his flesh. Jesus also said he was the bread of heaven. These things Jesus said can only be understood as they related to us spiritually, indeed he said that the things he said were spirit and life. Understand that your spiritual health and indeed your life depends on what you do with what Jesus Christ has said to us in his word, both Old and New Testament, the entire Bible is for us and necessary for the Christian who wants to follow Jesus Christ.
You need to be saved first. That’s where the Christian life rises and falls. There’s no point, although many actually do it, living as a Christian yet being spiritually the same. Jesus Christ said ye must be born again. Christianity isn’t a culture, though we make it that, it’s not a way of life, though we make it that, it’s not a bunch of rules, though we make it that… it’s in fact not many things corruptible man makes it. True Christianity is when someone realizes they are a sinner, lost and in darkness and under God’s condemnation, and they turn to Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin, salvation from sin, and eternal life. It’s the heart’s cry to God, it’s spiritual… and when we truly get saved, we are changed inside, God’s Holy Spirit comes to live in the believer. The reason why so many fall and stay fallen, is because God is not in them nor with them. A just man falls seven times, but riseth up again. The bush didn’t burn that Moses saw, because God was in it. A true Christian will never burn out. It’s not to say a Christian doesn’t have struggles, because we all do… but there is also victory, because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Salvation thus is principally necessary. Salvation consists of multiple things, there are different aspects of salvation that comprise complete salvation from sin. There is justification, whereby our debt to God is paid through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for each of us individually. Then there is sanctification, which is the life of a believer after he/she has gotten saved. Then in the future there is the promise of glorification, when we are set free from our flesh, from our sinful nature and enter our eternal state. It’s why death holds nothing on a believer, though scary, it is just the pathway, the passing of the Red Sea, into a life where as Moses says, you won’t see Pharaoh and his army relentlessly pursuing you no more. Salvation begins with the right diet, it involves hearing the truth of God’s word and acting upon in, believing it, owning the gospel of Jesus Christ by faith, appropriating the truth for your life. And after salvation, it stays the same, what began with the Spirit of God, continues by the Spirit of God. We do have responsibility in it, to feed not on the king of Babylon’s meat and drink… but on king Jesus’ meat and drink.
You see, the world has a diet for us, Satan has a diet for us, and we have a nature in us that loves the world’s diet. The world’s ways, the world’s means, the world’s thoughts, the world’s activities, the world’s philosophies… and if you spent a life guzzling on these, feeding your flesh, not the Spirit… then expect a fleshly, carnal life, defeated and conquered by that master of sin… rather than a life like Daniel had. We grow by feeding on the word of God, and through the power of the Holy Spirit ministering his word to our life. That’s the real Daniel diet. Getting in God’s word, growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. As newborn babes, desiring the sincere milk of the world that we may grow thereby. You can’t stand in the Babylon of this world if you are feeding on Babylon’s feed and drinking of Babylon’s wells. Does this scripture really teach a vegetarian diet? No. It’s teaching us that we should not feed our flesh. If you are saved, you have a flesh nature, a nature that needs to be crucified, not fed and propped up. The more you feed your flesh, the more he will demand sin of you, the more he will crack that whip like Pharaohs’ taskmasters cracked the whips on the Hebrews in Egypt. Ishmael didn’t cause any issues until Isaac was born, the Bible is clear Ishmael represents our flesh, and Ishmael was older, and bigger, and stronger than Isaac the child, and Ishmael made fun of Isaac, and persecuted him. But Ishmael was to be cast out… and we’ve got to cast out our Ishmael, not feed him and make his flocks bigger and his right hand stronger.
Do people plan to become alcoholics? Drug addicts? Sexual deviants? Compulsive liars? The people of the world are marked by slavery to their flesh, they are the servants of the sin. They can’t say no. When the flesh reminds them who’s in control, they dance to his tune. A believer’s flesh is crucified with Christ, but this is also an ongoing thing, we’ve gotta die daily. NOT feed him. We see in Babylon, there were many Hebrews feeding on the Babylon diet. They ended up Babylonians, learned and trained in all things Babylonian. They spoke Babylonian, they thought Babylonian, they did Babylonian. These were Hebrews… spiritually castrated permanently. They had been physically castrated, but their spiritual impotence was the real issue. You see, the Babylonians were Babylonian, then the Hebrews were also Babylonian. Satan wants young Christian men. It seems ironic that those doing the “Daniel diet” are like the Hebrews that fell before the image, those nameless Hebrew children who got brainwashed in the Babylonian ways, that didn’t stand, that didn’t have faith, who were powerless, weak, conquered.
There was another guy in the Bible… Esau. God said he hated Esau, and loved Jacob. That seems rough? But look at Esau. He was a fleshly, natural, carnal man. He had a big appetite. But a fleshly appetite… while he despised his birthright. He had an appetite for worldly things, the Bible says he was a man of the field, look at what he did and how he thought, he didn’t have an appetite for spiritual things. Lots of people come to the “Daniel diet” looking at the Bible as “what I can get out of it”… like God’s word is a buffet from which you can select what you want, and like God’s word is for you to consume your lusts on and benefit from, physically or financially or whatever. If you go to the Bible, we were actually created for God’s pleasure and purpose, not the other way around. We were created in God’s image, so our purpose comes in being in his image, not trying to conform him to ours
The guy that managed the eunuchs was apprehensive of what Daniel did in requesting not to eat the king’s meat and instead have a diet of pulse and water. But Daniel said prove us … ten days. The king of Babylon was in a position to impose the diet on the Hebrews, and the world is happy to impose itself on you, but if you live for Christ it’s the end of the world isn’t it. At the end of ten days, Daniel and his friends were healthier than the rest… true health will come when you honor God first, when you put his word first, when you obey him. Ten days… ten commandments… when we love God, and have God’s love in us, we fulfill the law, and the Bible says in Proverbs 3:7,8 – Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Proverbs 3:24 – When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
You see, a good spiritual condition will flow into a good physical condition. Even in jail after being beaten, Paul and Silas sung praises to God. In the darkest hour of Job’s life, he said… I KNOW my Redeemer liveth and that even if his body were destroyed he would stand with him in the latter days upon the earth. We so often put the physical first neglecting the spiritual. We feed our flesh, because our flesh is our master. We live lives marked by works of the flesh, instead of bearing any fruit of the Spirit. People love their flesh, and they pursue the flesh. That’s what the Babylon diet was, feeding on the king’s meat and drink. Daniel survived a Babylonian indoctrination. It didn’t happen by accident, he determined in his heart he would not defile himself with the king’s meat. The modern education system is just like the diet that Babylon imposed on the Hebrews, teaching them how to talk like them, doing what they did, thinking how they did. Nd it worked… they were in Babylon to begin with because of the disobedience and rebellion of their parents. Instead of a great spiritual heritage left to them of their father’s, they were spiritually made impotent.
But in amongst this, there were four Hebrews who stood, while everyone else fell away… and it began with determination and a diet… commitment to the God of the Bible. They didn’t want to defile themselves, they wanted to obey God, and it will take that same excellent spirit that Daniel had to overcome this world. We’ve got to stop consuming, and chowing down on what the world has to offer, we have to stop catering to our flesh, to stop serving sin… and although this is impossible in our own strength, God’s grace can enable us to live for him, obey him, and survive our time in Babylon. And not just survive, but thrive. Daniel had king’s ears, all because he was faithful in his own personal life to God. The actual Daniel diet is a true salvation, its obeying Jesus Christ, and growing in him… it’s putting the flesh to death, no longer feeding on the world’s ways and means, no longer making provision for sin, no longer your life being all about your selfish pride and lusts… through the power of the risen Christ… and that will make you spiritually healthy and able to stand while others, even fellow “Christians”, fall away.
Do you want a Daniel diet that is all about what you can get out of it? A diet that is all about your self, your pride, your prosperity, your lust? Or do you want a Daniel diet which is about the Lord Jesus Christ, who he is, and what he has done? Do you want physical health, or would you rather spiritual health? We are all going to die, this body is vile, it is fallen, it is cursed, what is important is what you are spiritually, and that is what the Bible teaches us about the Daniel fast. The Bible doesn’t guarantee you fame, fortune, prosperity, riches, and health… look at the people in the Bible, they were despised, rejected, afflicted… the poor of this world rich in faith… look at Job, smitten with boils head to toe for his testimony towards God. If you want to follow Jesus Christ you will be tested. But the Bible does guarantee some things… forgiveness of sin and eternal life if you repent and place your faith in Jesus Christ. It does guarantee you that it will be worth it to abide in Christ, to obey him, to follow him… and that’s what Daniel’s diet really teaches us. That diet is what enabled him to stand when all the Hebrews fell down, it is what enabled him to survive the den of lions, which enabled him to tell Belshazzar his dream, which enabled his life to count…. But do you want the actual Daniel diet?