Refusing to Compromise

KEY VERSE: “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.” —Daniel 1:8

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Daniel 1:3-5, 8-16

DANIEL WAS OF royal or princely descent, and at the time described in our lesson was a Jewish captive in Babylon. (vs. 3) Because of his rank in Israel he was selected and trained for palace service by King Nebuchadnezzar. (vs. 4) Daniel was aware that Nebuchadnezzar and his servants had the power of life and death over him, yet even after he and his friends were given new Babylonian names, they remained faithful to God.

They were given food and drink fit for the king, but Daniel and his friends resolved that instead of eating it they would eat only vegetables and drink water. They would not defile themselves with the royal rations of food and wine, because meat set before them might have been taken from unclean animal flesh, or from an animal offered in sacrifice to an idol; both such sources of meat were forbidden by their Law. The Jews were distinguished from other nations by the careful attention they paid to the meats they used for food.

To the Babylonians, a diet of vegetables and water was considered unhealthy. But at the end of a ten-day trial period which had been negotiated with their prison guard, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego looked far healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who had eaten the king’s food. We read: “The king communed with them … 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.”—Dan. 1:19,20

What was the secret of this wisdom? It lay in the blessing of God, and in the fact that these young men sought to devote their lives to the doing of the Divine will and of following righteousness! Thus we see that we can be free to do the will of God at any cost. By refusing to compromise in this matter, Daniel and his friends remained faithful to God. However, they were not released from captivity, and, in fact, underwent severe tests, being subject to death at any time at the king’s command. But God was present with them in all their trials because they were true to the principles and teachings of their faith.

The lesson for all who are striving to follow in the footsteps of the Master—even in the most dire circumstances—is that God is ready and able to help those who refuse to compromise their beliefs. This knowledge helps us to be faithful disciples even in the midst of a hostile world. Christians throughout this Gospel Age are in a condition very similar to that of Daniel.

The King of Glory has enlisted them in the school of Christ, to train a few especially chosen to be joint-heirs in the Messianic kingdom when it shall be established. The pronouncement of faithfulness is given at the end of each one’s course. Those found worthy show the ‘Daniel spirit’ of devotion to their worthy God and to the principles of righteousness, willingly to lay down their lives in the service of the truth. Of these the Lord speaks saying: “They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels.”—Mal. 3:17

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |