But Daniel made up his mind not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief official for permission to eat other things instead. - Daniel 1:8

Daniel had been taken captive to Babylon. He was chosen among other strong and healthy young Israelite men to serve in the royal palace and to be prepared for leadership in Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom. What an opportunity for Daniel to take advantage of his position and comply with all the orders he was given. After all, he was being groomed for greatness. Daniel and the other trainees were given “a daily ration of the best food and wine” from the king’s kitchens (Daniel 1:5). So why would Daniel jeopardize his career by refusing to eat the food offered by the king? Daniel took this extraordinary action because he had “made up his mind not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king” (Daniel 1:8). Daniel’s reasoning is unknown, but the food may have contained items prohibited to a Jew.

Daniel made it one of his top priorities not to defile himself. Can you and I say the same? If we claim that King Jesus has our heart allegiance before any other allegiance on earth, can we say that we’ve made up our mind not to defile our-selves—by marrying someone who isn’t a believer, or by illicit sex, or by sloppy work habits, or by telling lies and half-truths?

Daniel stuck to his priorities, and God stuck to Daniel, making him an indispensable servant to the king and a model for us all.

For Further Study: Daniel 6:1-28 

Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.

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