Obedience to God and His command
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men chosen, all from the tribe of Judah. The chief of staff renamed them with these Babylonian names: Daniel was called Belteshazzar. Hananiah was called Shadrach. Mishael was called Meshach. Azariah was called Abednego. But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel. Daniel 1:6-9
The Israelites were captured by the Babylonians led by King Nebuchadnezzar in 605 BC. The king ordered that the best young people from Jerusalem be taken to Babylon. They will be trained to the ways of the Babylonians starting with changing their names and giving them food based on the dietary laws of the king. But the food and wine of the Babylonians are against the dietary laws the Israelites should observe. God through Moses gave the Israelites commands that include their habit in eating and engaging in drinking wine. From the text, Daniel expressed his great concern about violating God’s command if he and the rest of the Israelites will give in to the orders of the king. His concern was based on his obedience to God and not to compromise his spiritual conviction. He would rather follow God and His word. He approached the king’s chief of staff and with meekness and humility requested not to be pushed in taking the food and wine being given to them. Daniel assured him that even without the food and wine the king offered and by just allowing him and the others to follow what the word of God said regarding the type of food they will eat, they will still come out healthy. Daniel found favor from the chief of staff and his request was granted. “At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king” (Daniel 1:16). From then on forward, the king allowed that they be given food and water based on their obedience to the command found in God’s word. God blessed Daniel’s conviction and obedience that he made a positive impact on the lives of others. His willingness to stand for God and not compromise led him to be trusted by God with greater opportunities to serve Him. Why not start to decide now that you will have the conviction of obeying God no matter how much pressure the people around you will put on you so you will not compromise? “We must obey God rather than any human authority” (Acts 5:29).