Why did Daniel make that choice regarding his daily food and drink?
THIS WEEK, we explore what it means for the marketplace disciple to live in the world, but not be of the world,43 drawing lessons from the life of Daniel. After Judah fell to the Babylonians, the brightest youths from Israel’s elite families were brought to Babylon. The teenaged Daniel was among them. He “resolved” not to consume the rich food and wine that was assigned by the king (v.8). Why? He “would not defile himself”, because the food did not meet the requirements of the Mosaic law, and the wine and food were probably dedicated to idols. Right from the start, Daniel was determined to keep himself unpolluted and unstained by sin and the idolatrous practices of Babylon.44 Observe two remarkable things. First, Daniel’s choice to turn down the royal food and wine went completely against convention. It took tremendous courage and deep resolve. Second, Daniel acted in a respectful and considerate manner (vv.11-13), not driven by youthful bravado and foolish presumptuousness. As God’s people, we are called to be holy − set apart − and to keep ourselves “unstained from the world” (Jas 1:27b). To be distinctive and influence our world as the salt and light. But the sad reality is that many who profess to be Christians are indistinguishable from the world. We are just as anxious and insecure, ambitious and self-seeking, and driven by the same lusts and fears as other people. Remember, before and above any calling to a particular profession, place or people, Christian disciples are called to be distinct and set apart from the world, so that we can exert godly influence in it for God’s glory.
What aspects of this world cause me to be defiled and what choices will I make in order to walk in holiness?
Dear God, I acknowledge my calling to be set apart for You and unstained from the world. Today, I resolve to live in holiness, so that my lifestyle and practices will honour You. Please help me to make courageous choices to avoid defilement. I want to live a distinctively Christ-reflecting life that exerts a godly influence in the world and brings glory to Your name. Through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.
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What is one key thing that God said to me this week in light of what has happened?
What is one thing I need to do in light of what God is saying?
Commit in prayer.
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