TEXT: Daniel 1:4-20
You are made for more, you have been called out of darkness into God’s marvellous light to show forth His praises. There is more to you than you can see, than your mind can comprehend.
I would like to share a pattern of process that I have seen to be recurrent in some parts of scripture and this might not readily come to mind. Our focus today will be on the book of Daniel 1:4-20 and together we will pill the layers of insights woven into this passage of scriptures. We all know how Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself with the king’s meat together with the three Hebrew boys, however we might be oblivious of the fact that there was a progression of processes that began with a decision, which culminated in the exaltation of the Hebrew boys in a strange land. Many times, in life we find ourselves in positions where we have to make a decision, despite the nagging pressure to compromise. This pattern is common to everyone and that can be seen in the life of Daniel and some other notable patriarchs.
From verses 1 – 4 of the first chapter in Daniel, we see how the king sought for children in whom was no blemish with spectacular abilities, who would be fed and nurtured with the king’s meat for three years before they could stand before the king. It then follows that notwithstanding their Curriculum Vitae, they could not stand before the king until after three years. However, Daniel knew better than to feed on the king’s meat.
Just before you get that dream job, you are told you would have to get in bed with the CEO, or before you get that promotion, you are told to falsify some documents, whatever the condition you have to fulfill, it is equivalent to the king’s meat, don’t fall for it. Be like Daniel, make a resolution and stick to it. Don’t magnify your ambition above God’s right way of doing things (righteousness). When we seek His Kingdom and righteousness first and jettison other alluring advances, we are bound to go home with all “other” things and more.
RESOLUTION – Verse 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.”
We see here that Daniel resolved in his heart, that is, he made a definite and serious decision not to defile himself with the king’s meat. This resolution came out of his knowledge of God and his identity in God, he understood that he is made for more and would not settle for anything less. We need to come into that place of a persuaded knowledge of our identity. Know who you are, don’t settle for less than you are made for. A misplaced identity is a misplaced destiny, if you don’t know who you are and walk in the reality of your identity in God, then living a life below the God ordained order becomes the order of the day. Daniel knew he could not compromise the standard and the demand God had placed upon him, hence his resolution.
RESPONSE – Moving on to verse 9, ‘Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.’
God responded after Daniel made the resolution; God caused the official to favour and have compassion on Daniel. One thing that is sure is that when we put our trust solely on God and are committed to doing as He pleases whatever the cost, God will surely come through. His ways are marvellous and He is always faithful. He saw Daniel’s heart and he responded with favour. This verse of the chapter can be easily overlooked but it is critical to the next level. God doesn’t watch His own take a stand for Him and HE turns a blind eye, He will rise on their behalf and show Himself strong.
RESULT – Verse 15; “And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.”
There was a result of that response because God’s response fired up the effect of Daniel’s resolution, they were ten times better than their fellow counterparts. It is pertinent to note that they did not stop eating vegetables after seeing the ten days results of refrain, they did not relax after ten days and go back to eating the king’s meat, rather they pressed on to the end. Usually, and this is common to majority, when the doctor prescribes a drug for a diagnosed illness, the moment we seemingly get well, we stop the medication and do not complete the required dosage. When this happens, most often than not, we find ourselves battling with the same illness few weeks down the line. I remember I caught a flu sometime in December 2017 and immediately went to the clinic to get treated. I was given some medications to use which I did, and after about two days, I was fine. I immediately stopped the medication and moved on. Unfortunately, in February 2018, the very same flu returned and I had to go through the process all over again, something I could have avoided if I had completed the required dosage.
This might seem regular but it is something to learn from, if I had not stayed on the 2 days result of sound health, I would have been totally fine without having to battle with any flu subsequently. So don’t get carried away with your present success, don’t get comfortable with a little result, you are made for more; don’t stay on 10 days when you can have three years and beyond. Daniel and the three Hebrew boys had three years of healthy nourishment by remaining resolute.
REWARD – Verse 17; “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”
We see the reward for their steadfastness; God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom, particularly Daniel, he had understanding in all visions and dream. It pays to be steadfast. Our God is a faithful God and nothing passes Him by, He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
REFLECTION – Verses 19-20 “And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.”
In this verse we see the evidence to the world, the king found none like them, they were ten times better in all spheres. Their light shone for all to see that the name of God might be glorified.
It all begins with a resolution. We see this same pattern of process in the life of Joseph and also the three Hebrew boys in the books of Genesis chapter 39 and Daniel chapter 3 respectively.
The summary of this all is for us to make a resolution, don’t settle for the king’s meat, don’t compromise. Even when it seems as though everyone is going the other way, don’t neglect your path. Believe me, the crowd is not always right, so just because everyone seems to be going towards a direction or all seems to be in support of a particular suggestion doesn’t make it right. You don’t have to compromise your standard. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t sell your destiny for $800,000 simply because you’re under a lot of financial pressure when it’s worth over $150,000,000 if you can stay patient and trust God (curled from Acrimony). Stand firm for what is right even if it means standing alone. Eagles soar alone. You might be tagged different, it’s okay, if being different means identifying with Christ and not compromising, then please by all means, BE DIFFERENT!
You are made for more, there is more from where that breakthrough came from, so much more. Press on, don’t settle for ten days result when you can achieve three years, don’t get comfortable with now when forever is ahead. Keep soaring.
GOD BLESS YOU!