King Darius wanted to set Daniel as the leader of the whole kingdom under him because he had displayed exceptional quality (Daniel 6:3).
Daniel chapter 1 shows us the beginning of Daniel’s journey into the king’s court.
1. He was chosen because he was:
- without physical defect
- showed an aptitude for every kind of learning
- quick to understand
- and qualified to serve in the king’s palace (verse 4).
2. God gave Daniel this knowledge, understanding and learning ability (verse 17).
3. God also granted Daniel the extra ability to understand visions and dreams of all kinds (verse 17).
4. In fact, God went above and beyond in gifting Daniel and his three friends as seen in verse 20. Their wisdom and understanding was ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.”
Daniel Was More Than Prepared
Daniel was more than prepared by God to face the new challenges in his life. Last week we saw the challenge to his prayer life and how prayer for him really was his lifeline (saved from the lions in the lion’s den). This week we will see how Daniel exercises his resolve and demonstrates humility in the process.
Daniel RESOLVED himself not to be defiled by the king’s food (Daniel 1:8). What does this mean? This means he had his mind-set that he was going to obey God’s standards set out in Leviticus 11 concerning food to remain pure in his worship of God, no matter the circumstances (he was not afraid to die for what he truly believed).
Since he could not know exactly what the ingredients were in the king’s food, he asks for permission to eat only vegetables and drink water. He knew this diet would enable him to continue in his pure devotion to God.
The Guard Grants Daniel Permission
Although God had granted favor and compassion in the guard towards Daniel – which caused him to actually listen to Daniel and consider his proposal – he had to let him know that he was afraid of being beheaded by the king if their appearance should change in any way (verse 10).
Daniel Exercises Humility Towards the Guard
Daniel, knowing that his RESOLVE and obedience to God was not going to change, then exercises the HUMILITY of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:3-4) towards the guard.
We read in Daniel 1 – 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.”
The Result of The Diet Test
The guard agreed to Daniel’s proposal. At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food (verse 15). And they were then allowed to eat the food that would not defile them (verse 16).
What About Us?
What about us – are we seen as people with exceptional quality. Like Daniel – we have been gifted by God; we need to determine what our RESOLVE is; we need to decide whether or not we want a pure, wholehearted devotional life with God; and we need to decide if we will exercise humility in our dealings with other people.
I haven’t arrived there yet, but I am so thankful that God is not finished chiseling away the debris that clutters my life.
Philippians 2:1-4 – 1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Exceptional quality will be developed in us, as we yield to the Holy Spirit’s guiding to become more like Christ.
Abba Father please bless us with the resolve to worship You wholeheartedly and help us to demonstrate humility when dealing with other people. Abba thank You for Your love and concern for us. In Jesus name, amen.
In what areas of life, do you need to have resolve?